"I have been blessed by my education at Middlesex and I am grateful for being provided with a safe and creative environment in which to study." Leroy Dias Dos Santos, Dance Performance graduate (Flawless dance troupe)
The BA Dance Performance degree will equip you with the required skills and knowledge for a career in dance – whether as a performer, choreographer, researcher, administrator or educator. We recognise the importance of integrating practice and theory, and reflect this in our approach to teaching and learning.
Middlesex University is one of the top universities in the UK for dance, recognised nationally and internationally for its high calibre of teaching, innovative research and state-of-the-art facilities. Performing Arts at Middlesex has a long established tradition of excellence in training and educating students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Middlesex prides itself in offering a vibrant and inclusive environment, instilling in our students a sense of confidence, passion, and achievement. This, together with the vicinity of London's many theatre and dance venues in this global city, makes for a unique student experience.
Middlesex is the best modern university offering drama and dance in London (Guardian League Table, 2018)
This course has a 100% student satisfaction rating (NSS, 2016)
Your comprehensive study of dance practice will include dance technique, performance and choreography. Contemporary dance is at the core of our technique teaching, and is centred on Cohan method (Graham-based), Release, Humphrey-based and Cunningham-based training, supplemented by classes in ballet. A range of optional classes – jazz dance, repertoire, and improvisation – contribute vitally to the development of technique and performance skills.
The theory-based modules are designed to develop your academic and analytical skills alongside performance and creative components. A range of studies, including anatomy, dance history, science of movement, philosophy, and critical studies, will help develop your critical and independent thinking. Independent research projects in the final year will further stimulate your knowledge and interest, providing you with a solid academic foundation if you wish to further your studies by enrolling in one of our postgraduate degrees.
Choreography, practice and performance
Choreography plays a fundamental part in years 1 and 2. As well as developing your creativity, choreography assessments provide students with regular performance opportunities. Daily practical classes in contemporary dance will enable you to develop and hone your technical skills and artistic understanding with a view to dance performance. Performance work is an important part of the curriculum; we boast a brand-new, purpose-built dance theatre, the Grove, which we use for our first and second-year dance student shows. Our final, third-year performance takes place in the Arts Depot, a thriving theatre in north London
Theory classes play a key role in enhancing students' study and practice by helping them gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the contexts within which dance is embedded. We pride ourselves on combining practical and theoretical approaches to offer a thorough, well-rounded contemporary dance foundation. Although there is more contact time devoted to practical classes than to theory, students are expected to support this with independent study and research. Theory and practice are weighted as equally important when it comes to assessment.
Dance Technique, Dance Performance, Choreography: Compositional design, Participatory Arts (Community dance)
This module will introduce the student to the study and practice of the fundamental principles involved in dance technique, composition, performance and dance in participatory arts contexts in the UK. It will establish an awareness of the physical creative complexities involved and how these disciplines can be applied in a broader context. Additionally, it will investigate participatory arts from a primarily practical perspective with reference to historical, sociological/administrative aspects. The module contains core material paramount to the understanding of dance and is the key foundation for progression of all other modules in years 2 and 3.
Dance History, Anatomy for Dancers
This module aims to develop knowledge of the social and historical influences on the arts and to develop understanding of anatomy in relation to the dancing body. The module also aims to raise awareness of the social construction of dance knowledge, dance practices and their historical contexts and a critical approach to source material. The module will develop students' independent research, library research/source location skills and critical thinking. It will prepare students for DAN2010 Dance Analysis component, DAN2110 Dance Studies 2 in Year 2, DAN3810 Independent Research Project, DAN3820 Dance Science Research Project and DAN3830 Choreography Research Project in Year 3.
Arts in London, effective learning skills, seminar presentation, research strategies, written skills
This module aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to be an effective learner, with particular relevance to dance and the performing arts. It also aims to develop student awareness and experience of dance as an artistic, social and professional activity. The main emphasis is to introduce research, library, reading and writing skills to students through different strategies and modes of learning. The module forms the basis for both programmes and sets dance, as artistic expression, into an artistic and academic context.
Dance Technique, Choreography, Dance Analysis
This module aims to extend and develop the students' level of knowledge and understanding in dance technique, choreography and performance acquired in DAN1001 Dance Practices 1. The module introduces dance analysis by building on knowledge from DAN1002 Dance Studies 1 and skills of DAN1100 Learning in Context enabling students to identify, contextualise, analyse and interpret key issues relating to professional repertoire in order to enhance their knowledge and appreciation of dance. The module is designed to encourage a balanced and holistic approach to the study of Dance by establishing and reiterating logical connections between practice, composition and theory. It will link into the third year modules of DAN3100/DAN3200 Dance Technique and Dance Performance, DAN3051/DAN3061 Choreography 1 and Choreography 2, DAN3810 Independent Research Project, DAN3820 Dance Science Research project and DAN3830 Choreography Research Project.
Critical Studies, Science of Movement
This module aims to deepen the knowledge gained in both components of DAN1002 Dance Studies 1. Critical Studies expands on the cultural and historical concepts addressed in the History component of DAN1002. Students will explore how issues of cultural and philosophical relevance can usefully illuminate contemporary dance theory and practice. Science of Movement allows students to develop their understanding of the moving body from the Anatomy component of DAN1002, introducing postural and movement analysis in relation to dance performance. It will prepare students for DAN3820 Dance Science Research Project, DAN3810 Independent Research Project and DAN3830 Choreography Research Project in Year 3.
Students choose one of the three optional practical modules. This module aims to further develop practical dance and performance skills in relation to the specific stylistic demands, conventions, and principles within the jazz dance genre. This module works alongside dance technique, performance and choreography (DAN2010), developing the dancer's versatility, through focusing on the application of complementary technique and performance skills specific to diverse jazz techniques and styles.
Students choose one of the three optional practical modules.. This module will explore the breadth of improvisation as a discipline both as a mode of development in creative dance making and as a principle of performance. Focus will be given to key methodologies such as Contact Improvisation, Action Theatre, and Authentic Movement. In addition the module will highlight the creative possibilities such as task setting and the use of scores towards the development of a choreographic lexicon. This module will serve to support choreography as part of DAN2010, Dance Practices 2, Release technique, and performance practice.
Students choose one of the three optional practical modules. The Repertoire module has been designed to provide, through practical experience, an artistic understanding of selected contemporary dance repertoire; to allow the student to form cohesive links with theoretical areas covered in dance history, critical studies and composition and the physical and stylistic aspects of dance technique. To give the student experience of learning from and rehearsing under a professional director; to provide an opportunity for developing the individual's discipline with regards to self-directed practice, as this is an essential part of the learning process.
Dance techniques and technique evaluation
The module will provide through study and practice a depth of knowledge of dance techniques. Students will acquire increased technical, stylistic and interpretative abilities through further development of the dance techniques encountered in Year 2.
Dance Performance: repertoire/new work, performance evaluation
Optional for exit award BA (Hons) Dance Studies. The module will provide through study and practice a depth of knowledge of choreographic works from the modern/contemporary dance genre. Students will acquire increased technical, stylistic and interpretative abilities through participation in either new or recreated dance works. They will have the opportunity to investigate, develop and apply varying rehearsal techniques. The module draws upon tutors' professional performance, directional and/or choreographic experience.
Overview of subfields within the dance profession, with optional choice of components
Students on this module will gain an awareness of career paths in dance, especially those outside the routes of choreography and performance. The module will cover a range of professional areas, providing information on opportunities for employment and skills required for navigating a journey through the dance profession in the UK. Students will also gain a grasp of funding structures and an overview of the dance ecology that supports dance and the performing arts in the UK. This module allows students to step outside of the safety of university life and make vital links both in research and practice with the wider dance profession. Students will then have a choice of one component out of three possible strands: a) The Teaching Dance Technique component aims to provide experiential understanding of the teaching of contemporary dance technique through study and practice. b) The Work Placement component will provide first-hand experience of a UK dance/arts organisation along with an opportunity to reflect on that experience: c) Dance Criticism aims to develop the journalistic side of theatre practices in giving students the opportunity to foster their written skills. All elements of DAN3710 have the potential to feed into students' Research Projects (DAN3810 or DAN3820 extended essays).
Students choose either Independent Research Project OR Dance Science Research Project for exit award BA (Hons) Dance Studies. The module aims to equip students with the skills, methods and procedures to enable them to research and present a major, individually chosen, designed and managed research project. It will draw upon the research and study skills acquired in DAN1002, DAN1100, DAN2010 and DAN2110. These include library searches; data analysis; academic writing; argumentation; critical thinking; discussion skills; analysis and scholarly presentation as appropriate for the chosen topic.
Including Science of Movement lectures
Students choose either Independent Research Project OR Dance Science Research Project for exit award BA (Hons) Dance Performance. This module aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and methods required to research and present an individually chosen, designed and managed dance science related research project. It will extend and develop knowledge gained from anatomy and science of movement components, and build upon the research and study skills acquired in DAN1002, DAN1100, DAN2010 and DAN2110, to include library searches, observational analysis, data collection, critical thinking, discussion skills, and scholarly presentation, as appropriate for the chosen topic.
Our dance staff are professionals and experts in their specialist fields, and many of them have extensive international experience.
Current dance technique training at Middlesex can be traced back to the famous pioneers of modern dance. For example, Graham/Cohan technique is taught by Anne Donnelly, who danced for Robert Cohan, who studied and performed with Martha Graham. Lesley Main who teaches Humphrey technique danced with Ernestine Stodelle, who in turn danced with Doris Humphrey. Choreography lecturer Angela Woodhouse studied with Alwin Nikolais (US) and worked with Reinhild Hoffmann (Germany): direct descendants of the American modern dance pioneers and of Kurt Jooss. Through these links we can offer you a truly authentic rendition of numerous important styles, in addition to cutting-edge contemporary and other dance techniques.
Our theory classes are taught by leading academics with numerous international book and journal publications. These embrace topics as diverse as improvisation, contemporary dance and politics, ballet, science of movement, dance narratives, postmodernism, art management/funding and key practitioners in dance. Many lecturers have taught at overseas universities – for instance in the USA, Austria and New Zealand – and bring an international perspective to Dance at Middlesex. Most also have extensive practical knowledge of numerous dance genres and understand the realities of current dance practice.
Click here to watch a short film about our staff
In addition to our core and specialist dance teaching staff, we frequently invite eminent practitioners and academics to run individual workshops, classes and lectures.
Dr Lesley Main
Head of Performing Arts Department: Humphrey technique, performance, repertoire
Director of Dance Programmes: Cohan method (Graham-based), performance, repertoire
Professor Vida Midgelow
Professor of Dance and Choreographic Practices: Independent project supervisor, postgraduate supervisor
Dr Alexandra Kolb
Associate Professor in Dance: Dance history, Critical Studies, independent project supervisor, postgraduate supervisor
Dr Adesola Akinleye
Co-Programme Leaderof MA Professional Practice in Dance Technique Pedagogy
Co-Programme Leader of MA Professional Practice in Dance Technique Pedagogy: Release technique, choreography, performance, community dance, professional studies, teaching dance technique, independent project supervisor, postgraduate supervisor
Dr Astrid Bernkopf
Programme Leader of BA Dance Studies: Dance history, dance analysis, critical studies, learning in context, independent project supervisor, postgraduate supervisor
Lecturer in Dance: Humphrey technique, fitness for dance, Pilates, science of movement, teaching dance technique, independent project supervisor
Lecturer in Dance: Choreography, independent project supervisor
Programme Leader of BA Dance Performance: Humphrey technique, choreography, performance, independent project supervisor
Lecturer in Dance: Self and performance, anatomy, science of movement, independent project supervisor
Lecturer in Dance: Cunningham Technique
Associate Lecturer in Dance: choreography, performance
Leroy Dias Dos Santos
Senior Costume Technician
Mikkel Buda Svak
Lighting and Sound Technician
Typical offers for this course:
A Levels minimum two, maximum three subjects
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma minimum two, maximum three subjects
Access to HE Diploma
Overall pass: must include 45 credits at level 3, of which all 45 must be at Merit or higher
We are unable to accept applications for deferred entry, or defer offers for this programme as applicants must retain a high level of physical fitness to avoid injury while studying.
The UCAS Tariff has changed for courses starting in September 2017. The points awarded to each qualification have been lowered in comparison to the previous UCAS Tariff. Our entry requirements are displayed as the grades you will require, however if you wish to find out the equivalent tariff points please use the UCAS calculator.
UK/EU and International students are eligible to apply for this course.
If you have achieved a qualification such as a foundation degree or HND, or have gained credit at another university, you may be able to enter a Middlesex University course in year two or three. For further information please visit our Transfer students page.
If you have relevant work experience, academic credit may be awarded towards your Middlesex University qualification. For further information please visit our Accreditation of Prior Learning page.
We accept the equivalent of the above qualifications from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the qualifications we accept from your country please visit the relevant Support in your country page.
If you are unsure about the suitability of your qualifications or would like help with your application, please contact your nearest Regional office for support.
You will not need a visa to study in the UK if you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If you are a national of any other country you may need a visa to study in the UK. Please see our Visas and immigration page for further information.
You must have competence in English language to study with us. The most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in all four components). Visit our English language requirements page for a full list of accepted English tests and qualifications. If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-sessional English course.
Your application is just the first step in our selection process. If it is successful, we will invite you to an audition.
You will attend a talk in which the programmes, curricula and resources are outlined and there will be ample opportunities to ask questions. You will then observe part of a dance technique class (during teaching term time) and take a contemporary dance class for about one hour.
Following the audition potential candidates will be interviewed either in a group or individually. This informal discussion will help us find out more about you and your aspirations.
We strongly advise all prospective applicants to attend an Open Day. You will be able to talk to staff and students, listen to talks on the subject areas that interest you, ask questions and view some practical dance sessions.
A degree in Dance from Middlesex opens up a wide range of careers:
The performing industry
Middlesex graduates have worked as choreographers or dancers for:
Flawless, C-12 Dance Theatre, New Adventures (Matthew Bourne), 2012 Olympic opening and closing ceremonies (as choreographer and dancers), Zoo Nation, Alter Ego, CandoCo Dance Company, Uchenna Dance Company, Mavin Khoo Dance, Vocab Dance Company, Loop Dance Company, Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Attik Dance Company, Shaded Voice, Earthfall Dance Theatre Company, Amici Dance Theatre Company, Delve Dance Company, Shobana Jeyasingh, Scottish Dance Theatre, Akram Khan Company.
The arts administration/management industry
Middlesex graduates have worked for:
English National Ballet, Arts Depot, The Place, Dance UK, Jackson's Lane Theatre, London Studio Centre, Richard Alston Dance Company, DanceDigital, Regional Dance Agency, Dance4 National Dance Agency, Laban (Education/Outreach), Big Dance, 2012 Olympics, The Royal Ballet School, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA).
The education industry
Middlesex graduates have worked as teachers in schools, further education colleges, universities and other higher education institutions, community settings, and studios including London's world famous Pineapple dance studios. Many of our graduates have been successful in gaining sought-after PGCE places, and a high percentage of our graduates now hold Head of Dance positions in secondary schools.
The health industry
Middlesex graduates have worked as massage therapists, personal trainers, Pilates teachers, and fitness professionals. Some of those with an interest in dancers' health have continued their studies by taking an MSc in Dance Science.
The journalism industry
Middlesex graduates have worked as dance writers or critics. Jennifer Teale, a 2010 Dance graduate, was the recipient of the Chris De Marigny Dance Writers Award. Other graduates have written for: Resolution, Dance UK, Dance Direct Blog, Cloud Dance Festival
We encourage our students to undertake a work placement, lasting a minimum of thirty five hours, during their studies either full-time over the summer following your second year of study, or part-time throughout the course of your final year.
Work experience in the form of placements and internships greatly improve graduate employment prospects, and students who take part achieve excellent academic results through applying their learning in a professional setting.
Our specialist Employability Service and London location ensure that every year our students and graduates gain prestigious placement opportunities.
Our Employability Service can help you to develop your employability skills and get some valuable work experience. We provide workshops, events and one to one support with job hunting, CVs, covering letters, interviews, networking and so on. We also support you in securing part-time work, placements, internships, and volunteering opportunities, and offer an enterprise support service for those looking to start their own business. Find out more here.
BA Dance Performance graduate
Hearns Sebuado, who dances by feeling the vibrations of the music, is following his passion for dance despite losing his hearing at the age of ten. Watch a short film about Hearns here.
"Studying dance at Middlesex has been an amazing and challenging experience. At first I was not sure how my tutors or others students would cope working with a deaf dancer, but they were all very open minded and willing to learn from me and show how they could communicate with deaf dancers in technique class or rehearsals.
"Explaining movements does not have to be verbal and if you demonstrate movements I pick them up very easily. My dance tutors and my interpreter Geraldine Pascoe have supported me throughout my three years at Middlesex and they helped me to progress as a writer and performer."
Leroy Dias Dos Santos
BA Dance Performance graduate
Leroy and fellow Middlesex Dance student Nathan Gordon achieved national profiles as members of the Flawless dance troupe on the television show Britain's Got Talent. Their performances as finalists received widespread critical acclaim.
"I really enjoyed taking part in a programme that enabled me to develop my talent and strengthen myself as a dancer in new areas such as ballet and contemporary dance, while developing my academic skills at the same time. The university experience also taught me how to manage my time effectively. I had to juggle my studies while doing music videos for artists such as Madonna. My tutors were all really supportive though and really helped me to establish my career. I built good friendships with them and they were able to really mentor me and help me stay focused.
"As soon as I finished my degree, I literally jumped straight from university into the West End for three months which was amazing. It showed me that all my hard work had begun to pay off. When you start something you may not be the greatest but if you work hard, have a really clear vision of where you want to go and enjoy what you are doing, you can make it."
BA Dance Performance graduate
"Studying on the Dance Performance programme at Middlesex was extremely rewarding, both academically and physically. The academic side of the course enabled me to shape my knowledge and cultivate an 'academic opinion' as I was able to articulate my thoughts with more confidence and competence.
"I learnt to appreciate the many different strands which make up the dance sector, and this was also aided by the physical, technical side of the programme. Studying a number of dance techniques allowed me to evolve as a dancer, and I feel I have been very lucky to experience such an informative three years with tutors who are leaders in their fields.
"I feel I have developed into a versatile and strong performer who is able to appreciate and respond to different techniques and methods, and above all be a testament to Middlesex. Now I'm working at the Royal Academy of Dance, I can clearly see how my experiences at Middlesex put me in fantastic stead to enter the dance sector as an informed individual, excited for the next steps."
BA Dance Performance student "As a performer it's essential that I attend live performances and there's no better place to do that than in London so Middlesex's location was an important factor in my decision to apply."
"The lecturers are all very much involved in the professional practicing industry and so you're led by a strong team passing on their first-hand experience. Like most dancers, I really enjoy the practical side to this course. It's great too that the lecturers put on extra classes and invite practitioners from outside of the university to offer workshops and often lead the class."
Dance at Middlesex counts many distinguished names among its graduates:
Adam Benjamin trained in Dance and Fine Art at Middlesex. He is the co-founder of CandoCo Dance Company, one of the world's premier companies for disabled and non-disabled dancers, and the author of the widely-read book Making an Entrance. Theory and practice for disabled and non-disabled dancers.
Mavin Khoo took both his undergraduate dance degree and postgraduate degree in Choreography at Middlesex. Malaysian-born, he performed with many of today's leading choreographers, including Akram Khan and Wayne McGregor. He is also celebrated as one of the leading male solo Bharata Natyam performers, both in India and around the world.
Jenny Sealey did her undergraduate dance degree at Middlesex. She was the Co-Artistic Director of the 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, and is Artistic Director of Graeae, a major disabled-led theatre company in the UK. She was awarded an MBE in 2009 for services to disability arts.