The new BTEC Higher National in Dance by Pearson

At a time when there are so many discussions (and disappointments) about funding cuts in the creative sector and hearing about more and more primary and secondary schools reducing their creative offer, there has never been a more vital time to highlight the importance of studying the creative arts.

Working across language, class and culture with an inclusivity that is inherent, Dance is all encompassing. Students who have studied Dance are equipped with a plethora of highly valued skills that are not only essential for a career in the creative field but transferable lifelong skills. Students that study Dance at Higher Education, are dedicated, disciplined, innovative, adaptable, reflective, analytical and have an innate sense of community.

BTEC is one of the worlds most recognised applied learning brands and the BTEC Higher Nationals (HNs) from Pearson are designed to help students secure the knowledge skills and behaviours needed to succeed in the workplace while also allowing space for development of higher education study skills, should students wish to progress to level 6 study. The ability to offer HNs in part-time mode is supportive of those learning in work, and the ability to certificate at HNC at level 4 and HND at level 5 supports a ladder of learning approach providing progression flexibility for those in work or with other commitments.

The BTEC Higher Nationals in Performing Arts have recently been redeveloped. During the development process, a wide range of educators, industry experts and students were consulted to help shape a qualification that could meet the needs and expectations of students aspiring to work in an international Performing Arts environment and one that is relevant for a dancer in today’s creative industry. Clear themes emerged during the consultation, resulting in the creation of a much needed Dance pathway, along with a Musical Theatre pathway with an equal focus on Dance, Music and Acting. Health and wellbeing are an embedded part of the core units for all performing arts students, along with a strong focus on developing the skills needed to work in the industry with all its complexities and variables including contracts, auditioning and marketing.

The new BTEC Higher Nationals in Dance see an expansion of dance units at both level 4 and level 5 and a new holistic approach to delivery and assessment, while ensuring the qualification has the flexibility to meet individual provider needs. Course providers can choose the core dance focus (Ballet, Jazz or Contemporary) and then select modules to design a programme that is fit for their purpose, whilst meeting relevant academic and industry standards. Some examples include The European House of Dance in Amsterdam, that has opened a brand new college using the HNs in Dance to train students in Urban Jazz, whilst the School of Ballet Theatre UK develops students for careers in professional ballet companies.
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