Dance Practices BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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Dance Practices BA Honours

Learn about the course below
Code
W550
Start
October 2019
EU/International: September 2019
Duration
3 years full-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£12,500 (INT) *
Course leader
Anne Donnelly

Dance at Middlesex is highly respected as a leader in the sector and this course draws on a long established history of experiential dance teaching, performance, choreography and research. You will be equipped with the tools needed for an enriching portfolio career in dance, and in so doing, develop into a vibrant and dynamic creative dance artist, practitioner, entrepreneur or educator.

Why study BA Dance Practices* at Middlesex University?

This degree is designed to identify your passion be that in choreography, dance science, dance education, dance writing, dance administration, dance enterprise and/or portfolio of experiences of ‘Dance Practices’ within the Arts and Creative Industries.

This course will supply you with in-depth knowledge of dance practice, and the dance and transferable skills to pursue a successful career in dance and the broader creative industries. We aim to promote the acquisition of knowledge of contemporary, historical and diverse cultural contexts within which dance is practised, produced and disseminated.

The design of the programme will allow you to identify your strengths and passion, and tailor an individual pathway for the final year. You will have opportunities to choose specialist areas of interest for study in depth and your learning experience will be enhanced through enabling, where possible, extended collaborative projects with students from other Dance and /or Performing Art courses.

Course highlights

  • The course embeds high quality vocational training in contemporary dance underpinned by experiences within the creative industries more broadly
  • Two distinct exit awards in Choreography and Dance Science
  • We have state of the art facilities including four fully equipped dance studios and a specialist dance theatre
  • Daily practical training taught by highly experienced artists
  • Extensive performance opportunities
  • Development of professional skills through engagement in industry focused projects
  • London based campus close to the capital’s many theatre and dance venues
  • Exposure to other creative disciplines, through cross-disciplinary projects

*Subject to validation

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What will you study on the BA Dance Practices?

The Year 1 module, The Emerging Dance Artist, is a year-long 120-credit module that provides you with a sound foundation from which to develop. By positioning you at the centre of the learning experience, it lays the fundamentals of effective working practices and encompasses a range of core areas such as dance techniques, choreographic processes and dance-making, contextualisation of current and past practices, cultural identities, collaboration and independent working. You will explore the interrelationship between these components through a portfolio of learning themes that provide lineage and currency to the landscape of dance today.

Your Year 2 modules will further develop your knowledge, understanding and skills of Dance Practices. Each of the four modules has a distinct and specific in-depth focus which is central to the developing artist. The modules together offer the opportunity for you to reflect on your learning within dance practices and shape your pathway into Year Three.

Year 3 will enhance, further develop and allow you to apply knowledge and skills within a professional practice context.

Exit awards

All students follow Year 1 and Year 2 modules on the BA Dance Practices and can remain on that award for Year 3 with a further choice of one 30 credit module from Directed Performance, Creative Performance or Collaborative Practices. And one 30 credit module from Teaching Safe Dance Practice or Dancing Research. You can also choose to study Teaching Safe Dance Practice and Dancing Research together in your final year.

Alternatively, through discussion with your Personal Tutor, toward the end of Year 2 you can either transfer to BA Dance Performance or access one of two exit awards: BA Dance Practices (Choreography) or BA Dance Practices (Dance Science).

Year 1 and Year 2 modules (all exit awards)

  • Year 1 (all exit awards)

    • The Emerging Dance Artist (120 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you with a sound foundation from which to develop. By positioning you at the centre of the learning experience, it lays the fundamentals of effective working practices encompassing a range of core areas such as dance techniques, choreographic processes and dance-making, contextualisation of current and past practices, cultural identities, collaboration and independent working. You will explore the interrelationship between these components through a portfolio of learning themes that
      provide lineage and currency to the landscape of dance today.

  • Year 2 (all exit awards)

    • Theorising Performance and Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module develops key academic frameworks of methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives for analysis and interrogation of dance practices and dance works. The module also introduces 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 Performance (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Through practical work you will explore various dance techniques, enhance your technical and artistic abilities and develop knowledge and understanding of technique and performance. You will learn and perform dance works ranging from twentieth century repertoire to current creations in order to develop an understanding of the principles, methods and processes embedded in dance works and performance.

    • 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 different approaches to framing, presenting and disseminating 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 modules for BA Dance Practices (Choreography)

  • Year 3

    • Applied Professional Practices (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module makes links with the wider dance profession, develops key skills and attributes and engages you in practice-based experiences. 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.

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

      This module will enhance your dance technical skills. Alongside the technical training, you will be encouraged to reflect how the techniques studied inform your artistic, creative, or educational growth and understanding of dance.

    • Collaborative Practices (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module enables you to develop research in collaboration with other disciplines; fostering independence and ambition in dance making through dialogue with other artists. You will develop knowledge and understanding of the range and diversity of inter-disciplinary practices. You will engage in the research, invention and planning of choreographic projects.

    • Choreographic Research Project (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module enables you to develop and manage an individually designed practice-as-research project. You will engage with scholarly discourse in the fields of arts research and develop critical thinking through practice. Synthesising current theory in relation to your own emerging artistic voice, the module will allow you to position your work within wider contemporary choreographic landscapes.

Year 3 modules for BA Dance Practices (Dance Science)

  • Year 3

    • Applied Professional Practices (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module makes links with the wider dance profession, develops key skills and attributes and engages you in practice-based experiences. 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.

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

      This module will enhance your dance technical skills. Alongside the technical training, you will be encouraged to reflect how the techniques studied inform your artistic, creative, or educational growth and understanding of dance.

    • Teaching Safe Dance Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you will enhance and extend your understanding of safe dance practices and be equipped with the skills to apply and demonstrate these from a practical teaching perspective.

    • Dance Science Project (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will allow you to develop knowledge, skills and methods required to research and present an individually chosen, designed and managed Dance Science related research project. You will be able to pursue a subject that interests you and engage with a topic in greater depth. The module will extend and develop your research skills.

Year 3 modules for BA Dance Practices

  • Year 3

    • Applied Professional Practices (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module makes links with the wider dance profession, develops key skills and attributes and engages you in practice-based experiences. 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.

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

      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.

    • Dance Techniques (Practices) (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will enhance your dance technical skills. Alongside the technical training, you will be encouraged to reflect how the techniques studied inform your artistic, creative, or educational growth and understanding of dance.

  • Year 3 - Choose one module from the following:

    • Directed Performance (30 credits) - Optional

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

    • Creative Performance (30 credits) - Optional

      Through engaging with a 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.

    • Collaborative Practices (30 credits) - Optional

      This module enables you to develop research in collaboration with other disciplines; fostering independence and ambition in dance making through dialogue with other artists. You will develop knowledge and understanding of the range and diversity of inter-disciplinary practices. You will engage in the research, invention and planning of choreographic projects.

  • Year 3 - AND choose one module from the following:

    • Teaching Safe Dance Practice (30 credits) - Optional

      In this module, you will enhance and extend your understanding of safe dance practices and be equipped with the skills to apply and demonstrate these from a practical teaching perspective.

    • Dancing Research (30 credits) - Optional

      In this module, you will have the opportunity to explore, in-depth, a dance-related topic of your choice. Emulating the research field, you will learn to articulate and present findings in written and oral form. Through participating in seminar sessions and one to one tutorials, you will develop key skills and processes embedded in the practice of academic research.

  • Year 3 - OR choose the following modules:

    • Teaching Safe Dance Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you will enhance and extend your understanding of safe dance practices and be equipped with the skills to apply and demonstrate these from a practical teaching perspective.

    • Dancing Research (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you will have the opportunity to explore, in-depth, a dance-related topic of your choice. Emulating the research field, you will learn to articulate and present findings in written and oral form. Through participating in seminar sessions and one to one tutorials, you will develop key skills and processes embedded in the practice of academic research.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. 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.

How is the BA Dance Practices taught?

The course involves daily practical work, taught by highly experienced professional artists, academics and technical support teams. You will participate in a range of dance techniques, workshops, collaborative creative processes, enterprise skills, performances, practice-as research, dance science and well-being. You will explore, investigate and interrogate a range of dance related practical and theoretical problems through a variety of modes. You will have the choice in your third year to keep with a portfolio of experience or, if wished, focus your pathway toward specific exit awards. You will immerse yourself in a supported environment learning with and from each other.

Assessment

We use a diverse range of assessments, such as practical assessments of technical dance classes, performances, choreography, evaluative writing, essays, reflective journal, case studies, short critical reviews, oral presentations, and presentation of project outcomes via digital formats. Assessments may also involve self, peer or group approaches. This range of assessment strategies embraces diverse learning abilities, helping to empower you for your future continued development.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Interviews and auditions
  4. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

Students from across our Dance courses have produced some wonderful work on group and individual projects in recent years. Have a look below at some examples.

How can the BA Dance Practices 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 working both independently and with leading companies such as:

  • Akram Khan
  • Alter Ego
  • Amici Dance Theatre
  • C-12 Dance Theatre
  • Flawless
  • Stop Gap
  • Avant Garde
  • Boy Blue Entertainment
  • JV2
  • Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company
  • MCDC – Michaela Cisarikova Dance Company
  • Melody Squire – Sol Dans Company
  • Olympic 2012 opening and closing ceremonies (as choreographers and dancers)
  • Reside Dance Company
  • Ross McKim Ensemble Dance Company
  • Sia and Zayn dance music video
  • Uchenna Dance
  • Vocab Dance
  • Zoo Nation

The Resolutions season at the Place Theatre, London continues to feature numerous companies involving Middlesex graduates as choreographers and/or dancers.

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, Tanzplatform 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 Lowery Theatre, Creation Box, Move IT, Capezio, East London Dance, DanceXchange, Big Dance Bus, Arts Depot, The Place, One 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 Leva Kuniskis, Siobhan Davies Dance, Young Artists Advisory Group. Our graduates have also been selected for Young Choreographers South West and worked with Arts Council England (ACE) funded companies as part of GradLab at the Point. Some have even won ACE funding to tour their choreographic works.

There are other sectors you could go into with a Dance degree such as arts administration, the media industries, or the health, fitness and wellbeing industry. Graduates have attained posts at The Place, London Studio Centre, The Royal Ballet School and the Royal Academy of Dance, writing for leading dance journals in the UK, working within the health and fitness industry teaching Exercise to Music and coaching dance/sport related activities

You could further your education with postgraduate study. Many of our graduates progress to Masters level study and beyond, with annual progressions to MSc Dance Science and subsequent internships at Laban, while some hold managerial positions in NIDMS (National Institute of Dance Medicine & Science), One Dance UK and Dance Science lecturing posts at vocational schools. You could also progress into teaching with a high percentage of dance graduates becoming Head of Dance and other teaching posts across the country.

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 Dance Programmes

Anne started teaching dance at Middlesex University in 1994, previous to that she had a long career as a professional dancer with London Contemporary Dance Theatre (under the name Anne Went).

Read more about Anne's work.

Dr Astrid Bernkopf
Senior Lecturer in Dance Practices

Dr Bernkopf has danced as a professional ballet dancer in Austria, Germany, the Czech and Slovak Republics. She studied pedagogies of Ballet at the Academy of Performing arts in Prague. She studied for her PhD at the University of Surrey.

Angela Woodhouse
Senior lecturer in Dance Choreography

,Angela’s artistic practice is concerned with audience relations, performance installation, site specific work and interdisciplinary practice. Her most recent collaborative work will tour internationally in 2019/20.

Helen Kindred
Senior Lecturer in Dance

Helen is a dancer, choreographer and movement practitioner. She specialises in release-based techniques and improvisation and is currently undertaking her doctoral study. 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.

  • Jordan Franklin

    Dance Studies BA graduate

    Having had experience in the dance industry prior to coming to Middlesex University, the course was able to further my dance knowledge and skills a great deal. It gave me all the necessary tools to become stronger and more physically able in order to better my dance styles within and outside of contemporary dance. It also improved my professionalism, punctuality and organisation.

    After graduating I performed in Boy Blue Entertainment's production of Blak, Whyte, Gray at the Edinburgh International and Emancipation of Expressionism in the GCSE AQA Curriculum as shown on BBC2’s Darcy Bussell’s New Dance. In addition to my work as a performer and choreographer I have also taught dance in multiple countries and around the UK, something I was able to continue whilst studying.

  • Bethany Holmes

    Dance Studies BA graduate

    Choreographer Bethany Holmes talks about the inspiration behind her stunning final year dance piece, how she came to collaborate with a Music student, and what her time at Middlesex was like.

  • Cherilyn Albert

    Dance Studies BA graduate

    I am very grateful for the creative freedom I had whilst studying at Middlesex University. I was able to test my choreographic ideas and take risks, which has already benefited me since graduating. For example, I have presented a developed version of my 2nd year choreography at Resolution! at The Place. I collaborated with a designer of whom I connected with during my 3rd year collaboration project at Middlesex. I was very happy to be invited back to the Dance department to create a new work with 15 first years and alongside that I have been teaching dance to children across London. I am part of YAAG at Siobhan Davies Dance where I'm an advisor, panellist and a co-curator of their youth events. A lot of my time post graduation has been focusing on solidifying my company Instigate Unknown, doing research and development, workshops and performances. Aspirations for the future are being able to spend more time focusing on my company, applying for funding, hosting events and taking our works on tour.

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