Why choose AQA for GCSE Dance

An exciting and diverse specification

We've worked with dance teachers and subject experts to create a qualification that gives you the freedom to create lessons that will inspire and motivate all your students.

Dance is a powerful and expressive subject which encourages students to develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity, whatever their previous experience in the subject.

This specification recognises the role of dance in young people’s lives and students will study a range of dance styles and style fusions. Apart from the solo performance, they can choose any style in which to perform and choreograph, providing it meets the assessment criteria.

The study of the anthology of professional works will develop their ability to critically appraise professional dance works and provide a springboard for engaging in practical tasks.

Clear, well-structured exams, accessible for all

We realise most GCSE Dance students choose dance for the practical rather than theoretical focus. That’s why our written assessment is clear, well-structured and easy for students to understand. Students will enjoy the variety of question styles, which include multiple choice, short and extended answer.

Marking you can trust

Your students will receive the grade that fairly represents their achievement and skills.

Clear progression to A-level, higher education and beyond

We've bridged the gap between GCSE, AS and A-level, giving your students the skills and experience to better prepare them for the demands of AS and A-level if they choose to progress with their study.

You can find out about all our Dance qualifications at

A specification designed for you and your students

We have worked closely with teachers to design our specification to inspire, challenge and motivate every student, no matter what their level of ability, while supporting you in developing creative and engaging lessons.

This specification focuses on the aesthetic and artistic qualities of dance and the symbolic use of movement to express and communicate ideas and concepts through the interrelated processes of performance, choreography and appreciation. Dance is a powerful and empowering form of non-verbal communication and it is both physical and expressive, which makes it similar to and different from other art forms and physical activities. Dance develops creative, imaginative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacities.

This specification acknowledges the important role that dance plays in young people’s lives. Whilst many students will bring some previous experience of dance, others will have very little. This specification aims to value and build on whatever experience they have. GCSE students will study a range of dance styles which acknowledge aspects of the repertoire of dance that can be seen in the United Kingdom today.

Skills-based approach

The practical component of the course enables students to study dance by ‘doing’ and the anthology of professional works will provide a springboard for the development of creative and engaging practical tasks. The study of the anthology will facilitate the development of students’ skills in performance and choreography as well as broadening their knowledge and understanding of dance and ability to critically appraise dances of different styles and cultural influences.

We're behind you every step of the way

Our mark schemes and marking processes have been developed to ensure that the assessment is fair and consistent. Rest assured, your students will receive the grade that fairly represents their attainment and skills.

Support and resources to help you teach

We’ve worked with experienced teachers to provide you with a range of resources that will help you confidently plan, teach and prepare for exams.

Teaching resources

We have a comprehensive range of dance resources.

Visit to see all our teaching resources. They include:

  • schemes of work: a variety of ideas to help you plan your course with confidence
  • good practice guides: to help you to inspire and challenge students to think creatively
  • exemplification materials: to showcase sets of marked students' work supported by senior moderator commentaries and guidance.

Support service

  • Teacher standardisation: our teacher online standardisation (T-OLS) system allows teachers and whole departments to work through exemplar and standardisation material quickly and easily.
  • Dance advisory service: each school or college is allocated a subject adviser. You can contact him/her for one-to-one advice on any aspect of the subject, assessment and/or support with planning and delivery of course content.
  • Subject community: provides access to free resources and services offered by many dance organisations and universities.
  • Support meetings: to help you with course delivery; offering practical teaching strategies and approaches that really work.
  • Teacher network group: allows teachers to contact colleagues at other schools/colleges to share ideas about resources and teaching strategies for the AQA specification.
  • Training courses: to help you deliver AQA dance qualifications.
  • Subject expertise courses: for all teachers, from newly-qualified teachers who are just getting started to experienced teachers looking for fresh inspiration.

To find out more about our support service visit

Preparing for exams

Visit for everything you need to prepare for our exams, including:

  • past papers, mark schemes and examiners’ reports
  • specimen papers and mark schemes for new courses
  • Exampro: a searchable bank of past AQA exam questions
  • exemplar student answers with examiner commentaries.

Analyse your students' results with Enhanced Results Analysis (ERA)

Find out which questions were the most challenging, how the results compare to previous years and where your students need to improve. ERA, our free online results analysis tool, will help you see where to focus your teaching. Register at

For information about results, including maintaining standards over time, grade boundaries and our post-results services, visit

Keep your skills up-to-date with professional development

Wherever you are in your career, there’s always something new to learn. As well as subject-specific training, we offer a range of courses to help boost your skills.

  • Improve your teaching skills in areas including differentiation, teaching literacy and meeting Ofsted requirements.
  • Prepare for a new role with our leadership and management courses.

You can attend a course at venues around the country, in your school or online – whatever suits your needs and availability. Find out more at

Help and support available

Visit our website for information, guidance, support and resources at

If you'd like us to share news and information about this qualification, sign up for emails and updates at

Alternatively, you can call or email our subject team direct.


T: 01483 437 750