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Dance Performance BA Honours

Develop your creative and vocational skills for an exciting career in dance
October 2021
EU/International induction: September 2021
3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£14,000 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Chris Tudor

Develop your dance craft with practical performance training while deepening your understanding of the theory behind it.

Why study dance performance with us

An interest in dance and a flair for creativity can take you far and a dance course can really help to establish your skills and knowledge. Our course ranks as one of the UK’s top courses for dance, with national and international recognition for its high calibre of research and teaching. Your lecturers have years of industry expertise that they'll share in practical and theoretical contexts, so you get an understanding of what a creative career in dance looks like. Their experience includes performing internationally at the Olympic Arts Festival, nominations for the Laurence Olivier Award for Dance, as well as directing the 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony among others.

You'll engage with different aspects of dance performance like critical and reflective analysis, dance science and safe dance practices, to name just a few.

Develop your practical dance performance skills

A dance degree will equip you with everything you need to start a career in this creative field, from joining a dance company to working for an arts organisation. Your day will be made up of a variety of learning including theoretical and creative practices, and daily practical classes with live accompaniment where you’ll specialise in different dance techniques.

We have four fully-equipped dance studios. Additionally, our flagship Grove Dance Theatre has a seating capacity of 144, a dedicated dressing room, a specialist lighting rig, and many more extras to facilitate an authentic stage environment.

We have a long-standing partnership with the artsdepot, an award winning cultural hub in North London, where you'll have an opportunity to perform. You’ll also attend industry professional workshops and the student-led dance society will facilitate your interests and pursuits of different dance styles. Graduates have gone on to perform with the likes of Eddie Peake, Ross McKim, and Flawless among others.

Get the support you need

While you’re learning, you’ll be matched with a Personal Tutor directly related to your course. You’ll also get support from our Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants, who have experience in your subject area. We also have close links with the sport and rehabilitation clinic, so you receive support for safe dance training.

Teaching staff always work closely with students, going above and beyond to support them in their career goals and with their professional experience, they know the hurdles you'll face. Careers in the arts, dancing as part of a troupe or becoming a choreographer are all just an application away!

Find out more

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What will you study on the BA Dance Performance?

You will intensively engage with the skills of dance performance, encompassing dance technique, safe dance practice, dance performance, dance repertoire, creative processes/innovative choreography. You will do this through expert guidance in a range of dance techniques  of the Graham-based, Humphrey-based, Cunningham-based, Release-based, Urban/Hybrid supplemented by Ballet, open classes and opportunities to actively participate in interdisciplinary entities, all of which contribute vitally to the development of technique and dance performance skills.

The theoretical modules are designed to nurture enquiring minds alongside the performance and creative components developing your academic analytical and critical thinking skills, deepening your anatomical knowledge, of how the body works in relation to dance, understanding and applying safe dance practice, engaging with creativity and enterprise and learning professional practice strategies to help you navigate your journey through the dance profession.

The totality of the above will provide you with a solid skilled and academic foundation for your career in the creative arts and if you wish to further your studies by enrolling in one of our postgraduate degrees.

Year One will provide you with practice-based experiences to ground the inter-relationship between subject areas such as, dance techniques, performance, anatomy, choreographic processes, collaboration and independent work, cultural identities and connections of current and past practices.

Year Two allow you to develop your professional practice strategies and skills, dance techniques and performance opportunities, creativity and enterprise – varied modes of artistic presentation, academic frameworks relevant to dance, dance science and safe dance practice.

Year Three will give you the opportunity to further extend and apply your knowledge, understanding and skill within a professional practice context. Dance artistry develops building on the prior technique and performance skills embedded within Years One and Two to attain a sophisticated physical articulation.

What skills will you gain?

'Graduateness’ in the Creative Arts field in general cannot be defined in the singular but will involve a range of both subject specific and general skills you will gain. The transferable skills you will gain are much sought after in many industry environments. These skills include those of creative ingenuity and vision, communication (performance, oral, digital, written), practice-as-research and analysis, ability to work independently interpersonally and in groups to deadlines and under pressure and with flexibility, imagination, self-motivation and organisation. You will develop all these skills and practises across the Dance Programmes.


  • Year 1

    • The Emerging Dance Artist (120 credits) – Compulsory

      This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of the diverse range of ideas, practices and skills embedded in the dance field and creative industries. Through participating in practice-based projects, you will explore the inter-relationship between subject areas such as dance techniques, performance, anatomy, choreographic processes, collaboration and independent work, cultural identities and connections of current and past practices.

  • Year 2

    • Theorising Performance and Practices (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module develops key academic frameworks of methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives for analysis and interrogation of dance practices and works. The module will also introduce you to areas of professional practice, alongside developing your understanding of ethical considerations, strategies and skills required for navigating a journey through the profession.

    • Dance Techniques and Performances (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Through practical work you will explore various dance techniques, enhance your technical and artistic abilities and develop your knowledge and understanding of technique and performance. You will be introduced, learn and perform dance works ranging from twentieth century repertoire to current creations.

    • Creativity and Enterprise (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module further develops your knowledge and understanding of collaborative creative processes and practices in dance. You will be introduced to different modes of presentation (screen, site specific and theatre) and engage in collaborative processes to produce a creative outcome. The module also introduces you to different approaches to framing, presenting and disseminating your creative work.

    • Dance Science (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module develops your understanding of the moving body. You will be introduced to common postural changes in dancers, and the effects of this on dance performance. The module will equip you with the skills to recognise the importance of warm up/cool down, supplementary fitness training, and nutrition, for safe dance practice.

  • Year 3

    • Applied Professional Practices (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module make links with the wider dance profession, develops key skills and attributes and engages you in practice-based experiences / work placements. Learning through reflection on your engagement with professional practice, you will gain vital employability skills necessary to effectively plan and pursue a career in the creative arts industry.

    • Directed Performance (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module further develops your understanding of dance repertoire. You will be challenged to apply and expand your technical proficiency, acquire stylistic and interpretive skills through your engagement with rehearsals in a directed context. You will explore the multiple layers inherent in the rehearsal process and performance of dance repertoire.

    • Dance Techniques (Performance) (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on the development of a sophisticated understanding and physical articulation of the artistic and technical skills embedded in dance technique. Alongside the technical training you are expected to advance your physical fitness.

    • Creative Performance (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Through engaging with a professional choreographer you will develop a sense of personal artistic interpretation and an awareness of ‘self’, enhancing your understanding of the role the dancer plays within the creation and performance of new work. You will have the opportunity to investigate, develop and apply varying rehearsal techniques and perform in a professional theatre context.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning – changes for students in 2020
  3. Teaching and learning - typical structure
  4. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  4. Interviews and auditions
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Dance Performance support your career?

A degree in Dance from Middlesex opens up a wide range of careers:

There is such a wide range of performance opportunities available to you once you graduate. Recent graduates have performed with:

  • Akram Khan Company
  • Alter Ego
  • Amici Dance Theatre Company
  • Attik Dance Company
  • Avant Garde
  • Boy Blue Entertainment
  • C-12 Dance Theatre
  • CandoCo Dance Company
  • Eddie Peake
  • Ensemble Dance Company
  • Flawless
  • Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company
  • Loop Dance Company
  • MCDC - Michaela Cisarikova Dance Company
  • Mavin Khoo Dance
  • Melody Squire - Sol Dans Company
  • New Adventures (Matthew Bourne)
  • Olympic 2012 opening and closing ceremonies (as choreographer and dancers)
  • Reside Dance Company
  • Ross McKim
  • Royal Opera House (Covent Garden)
  • Sia and Zayn dance music video
  • Shobana Jeyasingh
  • Uchenna Dance
  • Vocab Dance Company

After graduation, you might wish to enhance your skills with an internship. Our graduates have taken advantage of a range of dance internships at studios and organisations such as Dance Research Studio, Dance Programme Support Graduate Intern at Trinity Laban, Ombetja Yehinga Organisation Namibia, Tanzplattform Rhein-Main Frankfurt, DanceXchange, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

There are also a number of arts organisations you could forge a career with and previous graduates have been successful at One Dance UK, The Lowry Theatre, Creation Box, MOVE IT, Capezio, East London Dance, DanceXchange, Big Dance Bus, Arts Depot, The Place, Dance UK, Jackson's Lane Theatre, London Studio Centre, Activate Performing Arts Richard Alston Dance Company, Dance4, Blac Canvas, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA), The Royal Ballet School.

Interested in choreography? Our graduates have worked with the following companies GradLab ACE funded project, Young Choreographer South West, Resolutions!, ACE funded dance artist Ieva Kuniskis, Siobhan Davies Dance Young Artists Advisory Group.

You could also be successful in the journalism industry and several of our graduates are working as dance writers or critics for Resolution, Dance UK, Dance Direct Blog, and 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.

Anne Donnelly
Associate Professor in Dance and Director of Programmes

Anne had a long career as a dancer with London Contemporary Dance Theatre, (under the name Anne Went) performing internationally including the Olympic Arts Festivals at both the Los Angeles 1984 and the Seoul Olympics 1988. In September 2014, Anne came out of ‘Performance Retirement’ to dance at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London and was nominated, alongside the cast of the Elders Project, for the Lawrence Olivier Award for the most outstanding achievement in Dance. She has served on international dance panels and is currently a mentor for One Dance UK Dance Teachers Mentoring Programme. Her research coheres around the specific focus on the mastery of Robert Cohan’s method of teaching.

Read more about Anne's work.

Dr Astrid Bernkopf
Senior Lecturer in Dance, Programme Leader Dance Studies

Dr Bernkopf has danced as a professional ballet dancer in Austria, Germany, the Czech and Slovak Republics. She studied pedagogies of ballet (MA with distinction) at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where she also taught ballet. She then commenced her studies at the University of Surrey, Guildford, where she now holds a PhD. Her research focuses on the narrative of the ballet scenario for which she has created a method of narrative analysis and approaches to analyse dance through written source materials.

Adesola Akinleye
Programme Leader (BA Professional Practice)

Adesola is a choreographer and artist-scholar, training initially at The Rambert Academy. She began her career as a dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem, later working with Green Candle Dance Company and Union. She now directs her own company DancingStrong which tours UK and North America. Her choreographic awards include One Dance UK Champion Trailblazer, Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award and ADAD Trailblazer Award. For her work in community dance and education she was awarded Woman of the Year in Community Dance by the Town of Islip, New York. Adesola has published in the field of dance scholarship as well as cultural and social studies. She holds a PhD from Canterbury Christ Church University and MA (Distinction) from Middlesex University.

Helen Kindred
Senior Lecturer Dance (Choreography and Professional Practice)

Helen is a dancer, choreographer and movement practitioner and has toured as a performer, taught within a variety of settings in and beyond formal education and presented work at venues, festivals and conferences across the UK, Europe and USA. As a movement practitioner, Helen specialises in release-based techniques and improvisation. She is currently co-curator and choreographer for the trip project (Turning Research Ideas into Practice) with DancingStrong and is a member of TIN (TransDisciplinary Improvisation Network). Helen has previously served as an executive board member for DanceHE, worked as Artistic Assessor for Arts Council England and is an External Examiner for other HEIs.

  • Jac Coxall

    Dance Studies BA graduate

    One thing I loved about training at Middlesex University was getting the chance to be around such diversity. I loved working with people who had completely different strengths and interests within dance. The technique classes continually pushed me as I moved through my three years of training and helped me to develop such a strong technical base. Dance at Middlesex has so much to offer, so many amazing opportunities, so many incredible tutors and facilities. I took so much from my 3 years of training, things I still refer back to now, 2 years later.

    Since graduating from BA Dance Studies I have gone onto perform with a contemporary and commercial company and started to explore a performance path. I competed in the Britain’s Got Talent live semi finals and also featured in Zayn Malik and SIAs music video ‘Dusk till Dawn’. I have developed a portfolio career working professionally within the fields of choreography, teaching and as a dance artist in London schools and universities. My big dream as my career broadens is to be booked for a world tour with a professional music artist and I’m getting closer to that dream every day! Middlesex University was one of the best decisions I ever made!

  • Joshua Chapman

    Dance Performance BA student

    Joshua explains what it was like working with renowned choreographer Robert Cohan building up to his final year degree performance.

  • Jennifer Vogtle

    Dance Performance BA graduate

    I chose to study at Middlesex because of the amount of practical hours and varied techniques the course offered and because I wanted a real university experience rather than a vocational or conservatoire route. The BA Dance Performance course introduced me to four very different contemporary techniques (Cohan, Release, Cunningham and Humphrey) that have formed a strong and well-rounded platform of movement vocabulary. The programme also made me start to delve into my own creativity more through choreography and improvisation. My three years not only progressed my physical training but also taught me about contemporary dance history, gave me skills to work and support myself as a freelance dancer, and an in-depth anatomy education that has been an invaluable asset across my portfolio career.

    Being in London offered endless opportunities; while I was studying I had the incredible experience of working with Professor Robert Cohan, re-staging his work ‘Forest'. All the tutors are very passionate about their subjects and were always very helpful throughout the three years. They have become professional contacts and friends that I can still reach out to now.

    If you are considering studying dance further this course will help equip you for any kind of career in the dance industry, from performing, choreography, admin and education to name a few! If you put the work in and make the most of the amazing resources available at Middlesex you will grow immensely as a dancer.

    I'm currently dancing with Michaela Cisarikova Dance Co and Black Orchid Ballerinas and doing other work I've been contracted for with Regents University and various photographers. Also since graduating I have toured with Ensemble Dance Co, worked for Eddie Peake, and Yorke Dance Project and am currently getting into more circus related work with my aerial and acrobatic training.

  • Jessica Wilson

    Dance Performance BA graduate

    I began working as the Marketing and Communications Assistant for the Royal Academy of Dance the week following my final degree performance at artsdepot. Since I have also taken on the role of Editorial Assistant for the RAD's flagship publication, the Dance Gazette and the smaller member publication, Focus on Members.

    Since graduating from the Middlesex Dance Performance course in 2012 with a First Class Honours, I have continued to write and review for a variety of external publications, both online and in print, including those such as Critical Dance, A Younger Theatre and 4dancers and Resolution! I have also continued to write and co-ordinate the blog for dance wear retailer Dance Direct, and write for retailer Dancewear Central under a pseudonym. Dance writing has opened up many opportunities for me, including being asked to guest lecture on Dance Writing in the Professional Studies module at Middlesex. In terms of performance, I have worked with Rambert's youth dance company, Quicksilver as well as being a senior dancing member of The Chelmsford Ballet Company since 2012.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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