Dance Units 3 and 4
You will study world famous chorographers Fatima Robinson and Randy Duncan who created the “Balletto solo” for the movie Save the Last Dance. You also study Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean from his Bucharest tour. In Unit 4 you study The Prologue from West Side Story choreographed by Jerome Robbins.
Who is it for?
This subject is designed for students who:
- love to dance
- love to create their own dances
- are willing to expand their understanding of what dance is
- are curious and passionate about dance.
Studying Dance not only keeps you fit and flexible, it involves more than just the body. The body is the instrument a dancer uses to communicate and create meaning. Dancers are often vibrant, fit, energetic, flexible and positive. Dancers find work in the performing arts, education and fitness industries.
What do you do?
Activities you will engage in include:
- observing solo works and group works created by world-famous choreographers
- learning VCE terminology and applying the terminology to analysis
- analysing dance pieces to show meaning
- creating and making your own solo works showing a range of movement which explores the criteria as set by the VCAA
- doing one solo to explore your best dance skills through a range of expressive use of time, shape and energy
- doing one solo to explore the use of spatial organisation (direction, level, focus and dimension) to reflect an expressive intention
- learning, rehearsing and performing a group dance work as a DECV class
- discussing and describing dance movements in your own and others work, to show meaning.
What skills do you need?
Students need to have some basic dance skills from taking dance classes in any style, which include working on skills such as alignment, balance, coordination, control, strength, stamina and flexibility. It is recommended that students studying VCE Dance Year 12 have had a minimum of four years dance training. Students need to be regularly attending studio dance classes during the year in order to systematically develop physical skills in the dance style of choice.
What skills do you develop?
By the end of the year you should have developed:
- dance compositional skills that are displayed in the two solos that cover the VCAA criteria
- a proficiency in analysing a range of dance works
- an ability to discuss your own processes in the learning, rehearsing and performing of your solo and group work
- an understanding of how the different aspects of choreographic principles can be applied to dance-making and creating.
Things to think about
VCE Dance requires a dancer to be a “thinking” dancer, which is one who understands that there is more to dance than kicking a leg up high a la seconde. A thinking dancer is one is able to unpack the what, how, where and who of a dance and write that information down. The thinking dancer can describe not only the dance steps that they observe and create, but can use the VCE Dance terminology and find links between what the movement is, and what the movement means.
In order to successfully complete both Units you will need to come to Melbourne three times during the year to:
- complete a learnt group dance School Assessed Coursework and Unit 3 Seminar
- attend a mock exam to perform both solos for feedback
- choose to attend the Top Class excursion and/or the Unit 4 Seminar
You may be required to film and submit solo phrases online for continual feedback.
Things you can do now
Unit 3 requires you to analyse two prescribed dance solo works. You could start by:
- watching the movie Save the Last Dance to give you the context to view the prescribed work solo from the movie starring Julia Stiles
- watching on YouTube Michael Jackson performing Billie Jean on his Bucharest tour in 1992
- listening to a range of music and choosing songs of soundtracks that you love and can imagine creating a solo to. Consider listening to movie soundtracks as they often include atmospheric soundscapes that could work will with exploring differences in time, shape and energy qualities
- taking extra summer classes with dance teachers that inspire you to work in different dance styles as this could help you to expand your movement vocabulary
- watching a range of YouTube dance solos to gain inspiration about different moves that you could explore
- going to the VCAA website and reading the criteria for the solos, and the Chief Assessor’s reports to gain understanding.
Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.
Things to have a look at
Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
Billie Jean by Michael Jackson Bucharest Tour 1992
Balletto Solo ‘Save the Last Dance’
Balletto Solo Save the Last Dance choreographed by Fatima Robinson and Randy Duncan