January 14, 2022

GCSE Dance Workshop with a Choreographer

Always keen to inspire her dancers by bringing industry professionals into the Dance Studio, Teacher, Beth Butler has most recently secured approved AQA deliverer, Mel Simpson, to deliver a workshop exploring Component 1 of the GCSE course.

“Today we have been rehearsing for our duet/trio exam.” commented Year 11 student, Anna. “The choreographic intent was ‘catastrophe’. In each section we had a different development in which we explored a world problem, for example a car crash, a bombing, an aeroplane crash or someone trying to climb out of the trenches. Some of the movements were quite sharp and others were smooth. Other movements were on different levels. I enjoyed learning this piece a lot and can’t wait to improve and perform it.”

With over 16 years of choreographic and education specialist experience, Mel’s motto is to “Inspire bodies and minds of all ages and abilities, inclusively, with love, care and a sense of fun!” Mel has worked internationally in opera, musical theatre, independent film and music video, and danced with numerous contemporary and physical theatre companies. She has created and performed work in prestigious venues including The Globe and Latitude Festival and her choreographic collaborations include the Secret Cinema and 2012 London Olympics.

Welcoming the specialist’s advice, Anna reflected, “The top tip Mel gave me was to arch my back more and to extend through my arms to show more expression. She also told me to improve my expressive skills such as facial.” Classmate Flick, added “It was a really great experience to understand more about dance and have that opportunity to know what it’s like in the workplace, out of school.”

Beth remarked, “It has been advantageous for them to learn the dance in one day so that they have time to rehearse and refine it, before the final exam on Wednesday 2nd March.” The duet component is worth 18% of the final grade.

“The most challenging part of the GCSE course so far, has been learning the coursework for Infra as we had to learn it during Covid-19 when we were first in lockdown. However, my favourite part of the GCSE course has been discussing and comparing ideas about the coursework on some of the dances in which we had to write an answer to a 6 or 12 mark question on set, costume, aural setting and lighting.” commented Anna.

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