Mrs Cope - Director of Vocational Learning and Head of Department
Mrs Agyekum – Acting Head of Department
Mr Turner – Teacher of Dance

Department Overview

The Dance department offers high quality dance provision throughout the school curriculum.   We are fortunate enough to have fantastic dance facilities and we are a subject in which results are consistently outstanding. Lessons have a predominantly practical focus and are designed to ensure all students are challenged and able to achieve their full potential.  We also strive to raise the profile of dance as an academic subject.  Students are expected to discuss, analyse, debate and write about dance and so become versatile performers and thinking dancers.  We encourage students to develop their creative thinking skills via a variety of choreographic and performance opportunities. Students have the opportunity to work with renowned artists within the industry through access to workshops that build their confidence and skills within a variety of dance styles. Dance enhances students’ physical, mental and emotional wellbeing whilst developing invaluable life skills that are transferable across other subjects, such as confidence, collaboration, innovation and leadership. We believe that students benefit from a holistic dance education whereby learning takes place within and beyond the school environment.

Many of our students progress onto undergraduate dance programmes at renowned conservatoires, universities and institutions such as Trinity Laban, The Place, The Urdang Academy, London Studio Centre, Performers College, The Royal Academy of Dance, Middlesex University, Roehampton University, Kingston University and De Montfort University. Our students are all supported with their UCAS application process via personalised tutorials and mentoring, audition preparation classes and open day visits to ensure students are making choices that are right for them as an individual. Our Alumni have been extremely successful within the dance industry, with careers in fields such as: 

  • Choreographer
  • Community Dance Practitioner
  • Company Director
  • Dance Performer: Contemporary companies, commercial sector, cruise ships, musical theatre, etc.
  • Dance/Arts officer
  • Dance Movement Therapist
  • Dance Journalist
  • Dance Historian
  • Dance Teacher/Lecturer: private and public sectors
  • Marketing for Dance Companies
  • Management Specialist
  • Press and Public Relations Specialist
  • Events Planner
  • Dance Administrator
  • Dance Psychologist
  • Youth Worker
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Dance Film Maker
  • Academic Researcher
  • Dance Photographer/Videographer
  • Dance project coordinator
  • Dance company outreach
  • Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor
  • Lighting designer/Technical Production
  • Costume Designer
  • Dance Foundation and Funding Specialist
  • Notation/Choreology
Curriculum Content

Key Stage 5

BTEC Level 3 Performing Arts (Dance)
As with Level 2, BTEC level 3 is a vocational qualification designed to equip students with skills required within the working world.  Students gain insight into the audition and application process, working in a dance company and directing others and lessons are designed and delivered to realistically reflect the current dance industry.  BTEC dance is continually assessed with no formal exam at the end of the course.  It is therefore essential that students work consistently throughout the course as they are assessed in a variety of areas such as technical proficiency, self-discipline, performance skills, creative contribution, research skills and collaboration.

Each course equates to UCAS points required for university entrance.   Students can achieve a Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction* which are worth the same amount of UCAS points as their equivalent A Level grade. 

Please be aware that you must select dance in both blocks A and C if you would like to study the 2 A Level equivalent and in only block A if you would like to study the 1 A Level equivalent . If you have any questions regarding this please email: or call 020 3967 1341.

There are 2 different courses which may be followed:

National Diploma

National Extended Certificate

2 A Level equivalent

8 units to be completed over 2 years

1 A Level equivalent

4 units to be completed over 2 years


Units to be studied may include:

  • Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance
  • Investigating Practitioners Work
  • Jazz Dance Techniques
  • Final Live Performance to an Audience
  • Group Performance Workshop
  • Individual Showcase
  • Contemporary Dance Technique

Our courses also compliment other subjects such as Music, Drama, Art, Business, P.E. Sport, English, Photography, Psychology.

Students have the opportunity to attend auditions and apply for Youth Dance companies and Training programmes such as:

• IMD Leigon
• Homebros
• Boy Blue Entertainment
• Centre for Advanced Training Scheme at Trinity Laban and The Place
• Shift Dance Company
• Trinity Laban Youth Dance Company
• National Youth Dance Company

Our students have benefitted from working with industry professionals on the above programmes to push themselves to their full potential and successfully prepare for careers within the Dance industry.

Careers in Dance

Take a look at the Barking Abbey Dance Department on Instagram

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”

Martha Graham