GCSE Dance

Phoenix Dance Theatre is thrilled to be featured in the national AQA GCSE Dance curriculum. Shadows choreographed by Christopher Bruce CBE premiered in 2014 and was created on Phoenix Dance Theatre Company Dancers, the piece is included in the GCSE Dance Anthology of professional set works.

Our Access and Education department is pleased to offer a range of packages to support the learning of Shadows in GCSE centres across the UK.

See below for a full breakdown of Phoenix Dance Theatre’s GCSE Dance curriculum offer.

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 at The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster
  • Rehearsal material with interviews with Christopher Bruce CBE 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 repertory to give students further insight into the piece. Led by current or former company dancers, these workshop put 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 is a unique workshop and performance viewing 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.

For more information regarding the GCSE Dance course, please visit the AQA website.