Dance is back for courses starting in September 2021.

This course is a BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performance (Dance), which focuses on Dance units throughout the two years. The course will be studied as part of a Mixed Study programme and is equivalent to 1 A Level. 

Studying Dance allows you to develop your performance skills, as well as your technical understanding. Whether progressing on to the Performing Arts or other creative industries, you will gain invaluable skills in communication, adaptability, resilience and confidence. The Performing Arts department at Ashton have a long history of producing a wealth of performers, dancers, actors, singers and musicians over many years. When you join this Dance course, you join a department of passionate creatives, surrounded by students who share similar passions and interests.

While studying Dance, you will have many opportunities to attend theatre trips and workshops with visiting professionals. You may also meet many of our alumni that return to share their experience and run creative and technical sessions. 

The college is also home to Torque Youth Dance and students are encouraged to attend the Open Jazz class on a Wednesday evening, or even audition for the company.

Mandatory units

Group Performance Workshop
Developing Skills and Techniques for Performance

Optional units

Classical Ballet Technique
Jazz Dance Technique
Street Dance Technique
Contemporary Dance Technique
Healthy Dancer
Choreography for Live Performance
Improvisation
Movement in Performance

Other optional units

Musical Theatre Techniques 
Variety Performance

Course specific entry requirements

Dance is a phenomenon that will provide you with many skills, attributes, and a wide range of knowledge whilst boosting you cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. 

By studying dance, you learn teamwork, focus, and improvisational skills. Dance awakens new perceptions which help you learn and think in new ways. You develop your ability to express and communicate your ideas and are given the opportunity to make creative decisions and reflect on your work. 

This subject allows you to build confidence and develop your appreciation of other cultures by studying a range to dance styles and practitioners. The course focuses on developing your technical abilities as a dancer and ability to perform a range of dance styles, such as Jazz, Contemporary and Commercial, along with opportunities to explore other styles. 

We encourage theatre trips, workshops with visiting professionals and have a vast alumnus that return to share their experience and run creative and technical sessions for our students.  

We are also home to Torque Youth Dance, students are encouraged to attend the Open Jazz class on a Wednesday evening and audition for the company. 

This is a vocational course, so all five units will have a practical element, the written aspect of is coursework and task based - no external written exam. There is a practical Group Performance Workshop which is the only external assessment. Group Performance Workshop & Developing Skills and Techniques for Performance are the only two mandatory units so there is flexibility with some optional units. You must complete 5 units over 2 years.

Dance Performance is a new course that will start in September 2021. The Performing Arts has a long history of creating and working to produce successful dancers and performers of the future, who progress on to a wide range of destinations including university and employment within the creative industries.


Dance Alumni

Alex Boult

A in Dance (2016)

After finishing my A-Levels at Ashton-Sixth Form I went onto to train at the Creative Academy, gaining a first-class honours degree in Dance. After graduating I was then part of the world-renowned Jasmin Vardimon Company’s JV2, consisting of 14 professional dancers from around the world creating and performing Physical Theatre Contemporary works in a UK tour. Before studying Dance at ASFC I had little experience in Contemporary dance but knew it was a passion I was keen to develop. The depth of both physical and theoretical study within the course gave me a vast amount of knowledge and understanding and sparked a drive within me to pursue this as a career. Without the guidance of Tam and previous ASFC Dance course students I wouldn’t have considered Creative Academy and to pursue my dream career as a professional dancer to be an option. I feel this course is of huge value to anyone with the opportunity to partake in it, as not only did the constant support and constructive feedback develop me as an artist, I left with the confidence to pursue my dream career. Within the course my physical health felt much improved through both the study of the anatomy and diet which I then implemented to benefit my own wellbeing hugely, in addition to partaking in physical dance classes to build fitness, flexibility and stamina whilst breaking up a day of generally static classes. The Historical themes discussed within the course such as Minority oppression and the feminist movement to name a few, enriched my understanding of history greatly. I found the lessons on political issues and how this is displayed through movement to be completely invaluable.

Lizzie Zrada

A in Dance (2016)

After finishing at ASFC, I went on to train as a dancer at Creative Academy and achieved a BA (Hons) in Dance. Studying A Level Dance at college expanded my knowledge of contemporary choreographers, which was especially important to me as it solidified my love for contemporary and taught me so much about the style I wanted to make a career from. Furthermore, it was a definite starting point in my plan to become a dancer, encompassing so many necessary physical and analytical skills – and I would not have had the opportunity for this development if it were not for Tams’ constant support, patience and guidance throughout my two years on A Level Dance.

Jordan Lennie

Studied Dance, Drama and Law

After studying at Ashton, Jordan went on to study Ballet and Contemporary Dance at the Rambert School in London. He is now the Co-Artistic Director of dance theatre company, Panic Lab.

Charlotte Piddington

Dance at Ashton 2010-2012

Since leaving Ashton sixth form college I have followed my passion completely! I went on to study Dance Performance and Teaching at UCLAN where I found a real sense of passion for teaching which led me to start my own small dance school. Following in the steps of Tam I then went onto study for my PGCE at Staffordshire university. Although I did not do my placement at ASFC Tam gave me amazing advice and a glowing recommendation. After graduating I went on to coach dance and musical theatre in primary schools across Tameside which was A LOT of fun. We got to attend dance festivals, competitions and create our own showcase’s. I then found my dream job in 2018 teaching GCSE dance at a secondary school in Blackburn. Something I always dreamed of whilst studying at college. Alongside this I teach dance in a care home 1 morning a week and teach regular Zumba sessions 1 night a week. Tam would always challenge me throughout and she trusted me to create a lot of routines that we used in shows. Tamzin truly knows how to bring the best out in her students and she still inspires me today. I can’t express how important the arts are and how much it will prepare you for the real world. It’s hard work but absolutely worth every minute of it. Not only do you get to do your passion everyday but you learn the business and how it works, amazing choreographers which will inspire your creative abilities and how to make a cloth look like a flapper dress (HA). The subject had a massive impact on my confidence and belief and my technical skills. I studied BTEC Level 3 in Performing arts at Ashton sixth form. This combined dance, drama & music. Coming mainly from dance background studying this course gave me so many opportunities and different aspects of performing. It was so refreshing to be offered so many more styles of dance and given the opportunity to work with so many choreographers and artists in the industry. The teachers were all so approachable and mentored me throughout the course. I can honestly say they go the extra mile to make sure you achieve the best you possibly can! Tamzin gave up so many hours to help not just me but my classmates giving up weekends to make sure shows were up to scratch and support at nights if we were struggling! Pick the course & trust the process, you will be glad you did. I can honestly say even now that I have never met a teacher more passionate and will push you to reach your full potential!

Molly France

A* in Dance (2016)

After taking my gap year once leaving college and re-auditioning for drama schools, I was offered an unconditional place at my dream school at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to study Ba Hons Dance, from which I graduated in 2020 with First Class Honours. Tam is an excellent tutor who helps each student believe in themselves just as much as she believes in them, constantly pushing them to strive for better. A Level Dance gave me a base of knowledge both practically and theoretically, which I expanded during my further studies. It also helped me to realise my passion for dance, and cemented the idea that this is what I wanted to study further and eventually have a career in. The arts are important. Try living a day without any exposure to the arts - no Netflix, no Spotify, no TV or entertainment. People who are lucky enough to have a passion for the arts, understand what true commitment and work ethic mean. These skills are important for all aspects of life. I believe that dance and other artistic studies are highly misjudged in society, reducing it to a competitive industry to get into. Yes, it is - but especially now what careers are easy to get into? There are students all over the country studying a multitude of courses, do you believe there is less competition between law or psychology students? Dance is a universal language and allows you to explore the world with your career and has a multitude of avenues to explore. My advice is: if you are talented and passionate about dance, go for it. You only have one life and you have to follow any path that brings you joy.

Course Key Details

Course Type : Vocational (A-Level equivalent)
Exam Board : Pearson
Pass Rate : NA
Assessment : Mix of internal and external

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