As the first single honours dance degree programme in Wales, the course aims to develop you as a creative, reflective dance practitioner with independent learning skills, giving you the ability to apply your knowledge, understanding and experience to a variety of contexts. A balance of academic and vocational studies provides the basis for teaching and learning, with contemporary dance as the main focus for the course. In examining contemporary dance practice 3 strands and the interrelationship between them form the core of studies i.e. dance theatre, community dance and dance education.
Creating and Performing Dance:
- Physical Skills – developing individual practice by focusing on a range of current dance techniques and styles to develop an enhanced understanding of the body through application of movement principles; supported by analysis of practice through real-time video feedback and the application of healthy dance practice.
- Composition & Choreography – approaches to researching and exploring ideas; making and devising processes; evaluating and realising in performance through collaborative group work.
- Performance Practice – formal & informal settings.
The Dance Infrastructure:
- Dance Culture – historical, cultural and social perspectives, appreciation and critical analysis;
- Dance Systems – management, funding, administration, politics & policy;
- Dance Context – dance as art and the interrelationship between dance theatre, community dance and dance education.
Dance in Wales and the UK:
The picture of dance in Wales is one of continuous development. The worlds of creativity, performance, programming, participation and viewing intersect to give strength to the vibrant dance ecology. In order to further its ambitions for dance in Wales, the sector is consolidating existing strengths and building on achievements, whilst developing new initiatives and strategies, and pursuing vital partnerships at national and international level.
Consequently the needs of the dance industry, not only in Wales but across the whole of the UK, demand a highly skilled and innovative workforce. Life and career pathways are crucial to dance; through encounters with dance in school years to study and patterns of training at higher levels; and from there to the employment and retention of practitioners and the sustainability of practice and companies. The importance of preparing those who wish to pursue a career in dance cannot be over stated and as such, any education and training, whether at initial entry points, undergraduate, postgraduate or continuing professional development (CPD), needs to reflect this preparation and development.
A more strategic approach to dance education, training and CPD in Wales has emerged in recent years with a clear growth and development in the range of provision. Our dance degree has made a significant contribution to that growth as the first single honours dance degree in Wales and its design and structure has taken account that all students need to be aware of, and sensitive to the issues and debates that are topical to dance and the need to develop a broad experience of creative, performance and teaching based dance work.
You will undergo foundation training in core dance activities. As well as technique classes (in contemporary, ballet and classical jazz) to develop physical and performance skills, you will also study the following areas:
- Dance Practice – exploring the potential of the physical body by engaging in a variety of dance and movement informed techniques.
- Research and Practice in contemporary choreographic approaches will enable students to work towards creating new dance work for performance as well as developing reflective communication skills through opportunities to work collaboratively.
- Healthy Dance Practice – understanding how the body functions anatomically & physiologically, body conditioning, safe & effective practice, psychology and motivation; and nutrition are a few of the topics that dance practitioners need to understand for working in today’s dance industry.
- Historical, contextual and social theory that underpins current contemporary dance practice.
- Dance Pedagogy to develop leadership skills within formal & informal settings.
You will also be introduced to research processes; academic skills and developing professional & personal profiles to underpin your studies in years two and three.
Years Two and Three:
You will continue to develop and challenge your learning in all core activities in year two with a focus on application of practice. A student-centred approach ensures learning experiences are informed by current professional practice and dialogue. In year three student learning shifts from dependence to independence through new experiences in researching, managing and creating dance companies to perform in non-theatre settings; supported by continued practice in technique. Opportunities to place student learning within a professional context are realised through placements within the industry in a variety of settings. All year 3 students are supported in the writing of an independent research study – a dissertation.
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