GCSE Dance

GCSE Dance
GCSE DanceGCSE Dance

AQA GCSE Dance specification, Phoenix Dance Theatre
Shadows by Christopher Bruce


Phoenix Dance Theatre is thrilled to be featured in the national AQA GCSE Dance curriculum.

Christopher Bruce’s iconic piece Shadows, which was premiered by Phoenix Dance Theatre in November 2014, is included in the GCSE Dance Anthology of professional set works.

Our Access and Education team is pleased to offer a range of packages to support the learning in GCSE centres across the UK. They are held in venues across the country and at our base in Leeds.


Digital Resource:
The digital resource provides insight to the work, tailored to the requirements of the GCSE Dance specification. This includes:

  • showing the full film of Shadows, shot in The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster
  • Rehearsals material with interviews from Christopher Bruce and behind the scenes footage
  • Detailed breakdown of the costume, setting, lighting and accompaniment with clear links to choreographic intention
  • Comprehensive analysis of the movement vocabulary, highlighting actions, space, dynamics and relationships with clear links to choreographic intention
  • Pupil worksheets to support learning and prepare students for written assessment
  • Creative tasks to explore themes from the work practically in the studio


Workshops in schools (for students):
We offer workshops based on Shadows to give students further insight into the piece. Led by current or former company dancers, this workshop puts an emphasis on the movement language. The workshops aim to:

  • Introduce Phoenix Dance Theatre’s company history
  • Build participant’s contemporary dance technique
  • Introduce the choreographic theme as well as the intention of Shadows
  • Discuss production features including set, costume, lighting and music
  • Demonstrate key phrases from Shadows
  • Teach students material from the piece
  • Q&A about the devising process


CPD workshops for teachers:
We created a CPD training for teachers in order to support the staff in their delivery of the GCSE Dance syllabus. The course will be led by our experienced Officers and include items outlined above as well as:

  • Further details of Shadows, in line with AQA syllabus
  • Refresher of choreographic and performance skills, in line with AQA syllabus
  • Tasks (both theoretical and practical) that can be used to develop students’ learning within the course

All of our workshops are available as either full-day or half-day instalments. To ensure high quality of the courses, we work with a maximum of 25 participants per workshop. We can tailor our delivery to the needs of each school.


Inside Phoenix, Shadows:
This workshop is a unique opportunity to visit our company at our home in Leeds and work with us for an intensive day, including:

  • Performance of Shadows in our Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre
  • Workshops for students (led by company dancers)
  • CPD workshops for teaching staff
  • Access to the Digital Resource to continue the learning during school time


Inside Phoenix, Shadows takes place twice throughout the academic year, dates tbc. Up to six schools will share the day, each school can bring up to 25 students and two teachers.


To submit an order for the Digital Resource, please contact education@phoenixdancetheatre.co.uk .
For further information about the workshop packages on offer, please contact sophie.wyatt@phoenixdancetheatre.co.uk
For more information regarding the GCSE Dance course, please visit the AQA website.