HND Professional Dance Performance


The HND Professional Dance Performance is an alternative route into the BA(hons) Dance.
The course is taught over two years and comprise units in a variety of subjects. An exit award of HNC Professional Dance Performance is also possible for students who withdraw after year 1.

Year 1 - Units Studied

Dance: Classical Ballet Techniques 1
Jazz Dance Techniques 1
Dance Technique for Commercial Dance Performance 1
Dance: Contemporary Dance Techniques 1
Dance: Choreographic Skills
Dance: An Introduction to Performance and Production
Dance: Anatomy and Injury Prevention for Dancers
Dance: Body Conditioning
Professional Dance Performance: Graded Unit 1


Year 2 - Units studied

Dance: Classical Ballet Techniques 2
Jazz Dance Techniques 2
Dance Technique for Commercial Performance 2
Dance: Contemporary Dance Techniques 2
Dance: Advanced Performance and Production
Audition and Portfolio for Dance
Dance: Contextual Studies
Dance Teaching Skills
Dance: Body Conditioning: Advanced
Professional Dance Performance: Graded Unit 2

Aims of the qualification
The Professional Dance Performance qualification has been designed to provide learners with the appropriate subject knowledge and practical technique to develop as a performer in the Dance Industry. The overall aim is for learners to develop dance technique, performance skills, choreographic skills for the Dance industry, self-discipline, professionalism, commitment, collaboration and creative thinking. The award structure and Unit content provides a coherent and progressive curriculum which creates and promotes effective articulation and transition into higher education or to industry employment.

General aims of the qualification are to:
• enable progression within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)
• enhance employment prospects and/or facilitate progression to Higher Education
• develop learners’ skills as dancers and performers
• develop communication and interpersonal skills
• develop skills in the creating of professional Dance choreography
• develop self-evaluative skills
• develop analytical skills
• develop the ability to work independently
• develop the confidence to perform to potential
• develop professional attitudes


Specific aims of the HND Professional Dance Performance are to:
• develop advanced dance performance.
• develop a thorough working knowledge of the processes involved in preparing for production and the ability to integrate advanced performance skills in production.
• develop the skill of working confidently with music to a professional level.
• develop co-operative team working skills.
• develop innovative and creative approaches to work in rehearsal and performance.
• develop adaptability.
• develop the ability to respond to direction to a professional level.
• develop exploration and development of a deeper awareness of the self.
• prepare learners to audition for employment and places at higher education establishments.
• provide learners with the knowledge and skills needed to promote themselves in the industry and to work as a freelance operator.
• develop creativity in professional Dance performance.
• develop individual style and presentation in professional Dance performance.

Graded Units
Performance skills are developed across the vast majority of Units in the mandatory section of the HNC/HND Professional Dance Performance framework, a number of which include the requirement for formal and informal demonstration of skills in front of an assessor and/or appropriate audience. This helps to develop learners as performers and develops their awareness of how to improve self-presentation, as well as building confidence.

Choreographic skills are integrated into the various mandatory dance technique and performance and production Units. The choreographic skills Unit has also been placed in the mandatory section of the framework. This is to ensure that learners have a full and broad understanding of the different types of choreographic work and design available within the field, and the techniques required to enable them to implement this through the Graded Unit and improve their overall understanding of professional Dance performance.

Self-evaluative skills are developed through an integrated approach to evaluation. This includes the use of personal progress records/log books which are monitored and assessed and aim to provide learners with the skills and disciplines necessary to identify areas of strength and weakness in their performance, and opportunities to produce strategies and targets for development and improvement.

Type of Graded Units
Both Graded Units are Project Based Graded Units as they allow learners to demonstrate their achievement of the principal aims of the Group Award in a manner which is appropriate to the discipline. The choice of practical assignments involves learners in planning, carrying out and evaluating a practical performance. New revisions made to the Graded Units offer fuller integration of the mandatory Units of the framework

Graded Unit 1
Graded Unit 1 maintains the audition brief with the project stage demonstrating the performance of one dance solo of two to three minutes in length, choreographed by the learner plus a group choreography for a minimum of two people, excluding the learner, which lasts three to five minutes in length.

Graded Unit 2
Graded Unit 2 maintains the audition brief with the project stage demonstrating the performance of two dance solos lasting two to three minutes in length, both choreographed by the learner.

Rationale for Graded Unit Assessments
The most common method of gaining employment as a dance performer is through audition and interview and this is also the case in articulation and progression to higher education.

As a dance performer it is important to be versatile, as it can require many different skills. In order to have the best possible chance of gaining employment, performers need competence in dance, performance, staging and choreographic knowledge and understanding of the aesthetics of entertainment dance and the effect of spectacle on the audience.

Entry Requirements

Entry to this qualification is at the discretion of Ballet West. The following information on prior knowledge, skills, experience or qualifications which would be suitable preparation for this qualification has been provided as guidance only.

Potential learners may demonstrate suitability for entry to the HNC/HND qualifications by possessing any of the following:

• Relevant Units from an appropriate SQA programme in Dance (SCQF level 6)
• Higher Dance Practice Course (C0ED 12)
• Higher Dance Course (SCQF level 6) — available from August 2014
• National Certificate(NC) in Dance (SCQF level 6) — available from August 2014
• Relevant industry experience
• Evidence of appropriate practical skills at audition


For entry onto first year HNC/HND, formal academic attainment will not in itself meet adequate course entry criteria. A more accurate prediction of overall learner attainment may be achieved through appraisal which may include an element of guidance. This will include a formal audition, in which candidates participate in a ballet class. The following attributes would be assessed at audition: posture/alignment, strength, stamina, flexibility, coordination, timing, musicality and the ability to pick up phrases and sequences. This enables an appropriately realistic assessment of suitability for the course.

A pre-entry guidance interview may also be carried out. A structured, adaptive interview process would allow the prospective learner to form a realistic perception of the course and its demands in terms of work load, content and assessment methods.