module specification

AV4F59 - Contemporary and Urban Dance Forms 1 (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Contemporary and Urban Dance Forms 1
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 150
75 hours Guided independent study
75 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Reflective Essay 1,000 words
Practical Examination 70%   Presentation of practical studies in Contemporary and Urban Styles
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module enables learners to establish foundation skills, understanding of their body and knowledge of the principles of Contemporary and Urban Dance forms. It will focus on the understanding of anatomical principles and the core skills common to both genres such as the use of weight, grounding and the understanding of alignment.  It is designed to develop a solid foundation for technique and performance style in each distinct genre, with particular emphasis being placed on body awareness and injury prevention. The module will underpin the study and performance of dance technique across the range of modules.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

This module aims for the student to:

• Develop a foundation of technical understanding through regular technique classes and develop movement vocabulary relevant to Urban and Contemporary dance forms.
• Receive an introduction to the anatomical principles underpinning dance techniques contained in urban and selected contemporary techniques.
• Focus on areas such as alignment and safe practice.
• Develop evaluative skills in relation to own practice and the work of others; students develop their own body awareness and ability to self-assess their work. Through identification of individual strengths and weaknesses targets are set for improvement through specific conditioning and training programmes.
• Develop understanding of the discipline and etiquette of dance practice through both taught class and self –directed rehearsal.


Study throughout this module will be characterised by practical technique classes, in which individual feedback will help the student to assess their progress and aid their self-advancement. Classes will introduce the use of terminology and language associated to Urban and Contemporary forms.
All classes will be underpinned by a study of anatomical principles in the form of notes and demonstrations. Classes will be supplemented with work such as Body Conditioning/Pilates in order to assist the student’s own understanding of their body and develop core strength, stamina and flexibility. Through practical classes students will perform technical studies in each genre. Through practical work students will be introduced to an essay demonstrating research in relation to dance techniques, styles, practices and independent learning.

Learning and teaching

Studio classes will support the development of the underpinning principles of Urban and Contemporary techniques, thereby increasing the individuals understanding of their own body. Research based tasks will develop the students wider knowledge of aspects of technical training. Conditioning classes provided as part of the tutorial system support the work of the module.
There are opportunities for students to independently rehearse work in the studio with associated lecturers during the week, where they are also able to view their progress through video recordings, which will be posted on the College Moodle system for independent and studio usage.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students will demonstrate the ability to:

• Apply the foundations of the technique and vocabulary present in Urban and Contemporary dance forms.
•  Apply anatomical principles underlying Urban and Contemporary forms to classwork and the performance of set technical studies taught by a tutor.
• Understand anatomical principles in relation to alignment, injury prevention and safe practice.
• Analyse and evaluate own technique and develop appropriate conditioning and training programmes to target areas of weakness.
• Demonstrate understanding of the demands of each genre through regular attendance at classes and the practice of work.

Assessment strategy

1 – Research essay demonstrating an understanding of the styles and principles for training within Urban and Contemporary forms. The essay will include research into dance styles, safe practice, studio etiquette and being an independent learner. 1,000 words Week 13 30%

2 – Presentation of practical work demonstrating awareness of safe practice within technique and/or style. Throughout the module students will be encouraged to evaluate their technique and progress and respond to feedback from tutors and peers. Students will be assessed on alignment, anatomical structure and design of the body, use of breath and weight. Week 14 70%



Dance UK (1999) Healthier Dancer fact sheets on fitness, warm-up/cool down, safe training and diet. London: Dance UK.

Franklin, Eric (2004) Conditioning for Dance: Training for Peak Performance in All Dance Forms, Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics.

Haas, Jacqui (2010) Dance Anatomy (Sports Anatomy), Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics.

Rajakumar, M. (2012) Hip Hop Dance (The American Dance Floor) Connecticut:Greenwood Press.