Dance Performance BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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Dance Performance BA Honours

Learn about the course below
October 2018
EU/International induction: September 2018
3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£12,500 (INT) *
Course leader
Louise Kelsey

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.

Why study BA Dance Performance at Middlesex University?

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. This course has a 100% student satisfaction rating (NSS, 2016).

Course highlights

  • Our teaching staff are renowned experts in their fields, with impressive portfolios in both the dance profession and academia
  • We teach daily practical classes with live accompaniment
  • You will have frequent performance opportunities during the course
  • Our degree integrates theory with practice
  • We have an excellent graduate employment record
  • Guest performance workshops will enhance your learning
  • Our student-led dance society offers you the opportunity to pursue your own interests in different genres (classes have included, for example, hip hop, lyrical jazz and street dance)
  • Our vibrant campus is close to central London
  • We are linked with the sport and rehabilitation clinic
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

What will you study on the BA Dance Performance?

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 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.


  • Year 1

    • Dance Technique, Dance Performance, Choreography: Compositional design, Participatory Arts (Community dance)

      Dance Technique, Dance Performance, Choreography: Compositional design, Participatory Arts (Community dance). This module will introduce 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 Practices 1 (60 credits) - Compulsory

      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 your independent research, library research/source location skills and critical thinking.

    • Dance: Learning in Context (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Arts in London, effective learning skills, seminar presentation, research strategies, written skills. This module aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills to be an effective learner, with particular relevance to dance and the performing arts. It also aims to develop your awareness and experience of dance as an artistic, social and professional activity. The main emphasis is to introduce research, library, reading and writing skills 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.

  • Year 2

    • Dance Practices 2 (60 credits) - Compulsory

      Dance Technique, Choreography, Dance Analysis. This module aims to extend and develop your level of knowledge and understanding in dance technique, choreography and performance acquired in the Dance Practices 1 module. This module introduces dance analysis by building on knowledge from the Dance Studies 1 module and skills from the Learning in Context module enabling you to identify, contextualise, analyse and interpret key issues relating to professional repertoire in order to enhance your 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.

    • Dance Studies 2 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Critical Studies, Science of Movement.This module aims to deepen the knowledge gained in both components of the Dance Studies 1 module. You will explore how issues of cultural and philosophical relevance can usefully illuminate contemporary dance theory and practice. Science of Movement allows you to develop your understanding of the moving body introducing postural and movement analysis in relation to dance performance. It will prepare you for the Dance Science Research Project, the Independent Research Project and the Choreography Research Project modules in Year 3.

    • Jazz Dance (30 credits) - Optional

      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, developing the dancer's versatility, through focusing on the application of complementary technique and performance skills specific to diverse jazz techniques and styles.

    • Improvisation (30 Credits) - Optional

      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 the Dance Practices 2 moduel, release technique, and performance practice.

    • Repertoire (30 credits) - Optional

      This module has been designed to provide, through practical experience, an artistic understanding of selected contemporary dance repertoire to allow you to form cohesive links with theoretical areas covered in dance history, critical studies and composition and the physical and stylistic aspects of dance technique. You will gain experience of learning from and rehearsing under a professional director. You will have the opportunity for developing your discipline with regards to self-directed practice, as this is an essential part of the learning process.

  • Year 3

    • Dance Technique - Performance Pathway (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Dance techniques and technique evaluation. This module will provide, through study and practice, a depth of knowledge of dance techniques. You will acquire increased technical, stylistic and interpretative abilities through further development of the dance techniques encountered in Year 2.

    • Dance Performance - Performance Pathway (30 credits)

      Dance Performance: repertoire/new work, performance evaluation. 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.

    • Applied Professional Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Overview of subfields within the dance profession, with optional choice of components. On this module, you 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. You 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 you to step outside of the safety of university life and make vital links both in research and practice with the wider dance profession. You will then have a choice of one component out of three possible strands:

      • The Teaching Dance Technique component aims to provide experiential understanding of the teaching of contemporary dance technique through study and practice
      • The Work Placement component will provide first-hand experience of a UK dance/arts organisation along with an opportunity to reflect on that experience
      • Dance Criticism aims to develop the journalistic side of theatre practices in giving you the opportunity to foster your written skills
    • Independent Research Project (30 credits)

      The module aims to equip you with the skills, methods and procedures to enable you to research and present a major, individually chosen, designed and managed research project. It will draw upon the research and study skills acquired in previous modules such as library searches, data analysis, academic writing, argumentation, critical thinking, discussion skills, analysis, and scholarly presentation as appropriate for the chosen topic.

    • Dance Science Research Project (30 credits)

      Including Science of Movement lectures. This module aims to equip you 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 previous modules such as library searches, observational analysis, data collection, critical thinking, discussion skills, and scholarly presentation, as appropriate for the chosen topic.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

How can the BA Dance Performance support your career?

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.

Distinguished graduates

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.

What support is available?

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.

  • Bethany Flower

    Dance Performance BA student

    Bethany recently performed at the Arts Depot in North Finchley which was again the platform for Middlesex University dance students to perform their final year pieces. She talks about this new and challenging experience and what she's gained from it:

    Performing in 'Stabat Mater' was definitely a memorable experience and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was lucky enough to work closely with Anne Donnelly and in turn Robert Cohan and their feedback and comments boosted my confidence to dance such a technical, emotional and iconic piece. A new experience which I found exciting and challenged me as a dancer was working with a live orchestra. Performing on stage with live music gave me a whole new sensation to the piece connecting emotionally to the music. The entirety of the process rehearsing and performing gave me an insight into what it is like to work for a professional company and the physical and mental demands it brings with it. After experiencing this it has furthered my passion for performing and I want to repeat the whole process again.

    It gave me the opportunity to work with iconic figures in the industry and I will take forward into the profession feedback I have gained from them. Regular feedback and reflection in rehearsals allowed me to work on specific technical elements to enhance my ability and push the boundaries of my performance capabilities. I feel I have developed as a performer having been given this opportunity to dance in such a mature piece and also further improved my professionalism by working with a variety of dancers.

  • Hearns Sebuado

    Dance Performance BA 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.

    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.

    Watch a short film about Hearns

  • Corisse Ledward

    Dance Performance BA 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.

  • Leroy Dias Dos Santos

    Dance Performance BA 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.

  • Jessica Wilson

    Dance Performance BA 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.

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Music BA Honours

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