Module code: DAN1019

Module Overview

This module enables the student to explore and develop knowledge, understanding and technical skills in contemporary, release and classical somatic practices. This module will culminate in the presentation of an independent performance project which will demonstrate an embodied understanding of somatic principles at an elementary level. The student learning will be enhanced by the integration of theory into practice, peer and self-reflection, and the opportunities to work with internal and/or visiting practitioners.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: W543

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Practical, skills based and tutor lead group sessions in movement techniques including but not limited to contemporary, release, African, Asian and classical disciplines

  • Independent study

  • Tutorials

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Practical – Contemporary/ Release/Somatic/Classical techniques 50
Practical based assessment Practical – Contemporary/ Release/Somatic/Classical techniques 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • A developing embodiment and cognitive understanding of principles taught within the practice.

  • An ability to apply an elementary level of knowledge and technique within an independently led creative performance process.

  • Critical evaluation and self-reflection through participation in practical classes and online discussion forums via the Virtual Learning Environment (SurreyLearn).

  • Safe practice, professionalism and organisation within independent study leading to the performance project.

Thus, the summative assessments for this module consist of:

• Continual assessment in all movement disciplines in the following areas:-

  1. Engagement and progress in practical classes

  2. Embodiment of somatic principles and techniques

  3. Evidence of analysis and reflection through participation in discussion forums and journaling.

• Presentation of performance project, assessed in the following areas:-

  1. Evidence an elementary level of understanding of embodied techniques

  2. Evidence a developing ability to synthesise and fuse across styles and genres

  3. Evidence an understanding of musicality, rhythm, phrasing, relationship to space and structural process and performance elements

Formative assessment

Formative assessment will take place through practical classes throughout the module and through tutorials.


Formative feedback will be given in verbal form throughout all practical sessions. Summative written feedback following submission of formative assessment.

Module aims

  • Introduce the student to a physical understanding of dance and movement principles such as: Alignment, placement, posture, expression, breath and weight, spatial awareness, musicality, detailed awareness and sensitivity to movement material and apply these to an independently led performance context.
  • Develop the students' conceptual and embodied understandings of Contemporary dance approaches and movement styles such as, but not limited to: release technique, Cunningham, ballet and other progressive dance fusion forms approached from a somatic contemporary dance perspective.
  • Develop an elementary understanding of strategies for synthesizing and fusing dance styles from a range of contemporary dance genres and apply this within a choreographic and performance context.
  • Develop a robust and comprehensive understanding of safe practice in dance.
  • Develop effective strategies to engage with feedback, self-reflexive learning and appropriately apply these toward successful development and realisation of assessment.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Recognise the importance of a physically embodied understanding of dance and movement principles such as: alignment, placement, posture, breath and weight, expression, spatial awareness and musicality, style and form KCP
002 Transfer embodied learning into specific contemporary dance technique KCPT
003 Integrate embodied knowledge of movement principles and choreographic skills into a range of contemporary movement genres KCPT
004 Engage in safe practice CPT
005 Through self-reflection, communicate and evaluate the impact of embodied knowledge on the work of the dance practitioner KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Contemporary dance practical classes and somatic sessions

  • Independent study and group rehearsal sessions

  • Engagement with peer feedback through University VLE and class discussion forums

  • Viewing professional work to inform own artistic and creative development

  • Tutorials

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Other information

Under the three term structure that commences from academic year 2019/0 – this module’s delivery is year-long due to the teaching occurring in Teaching Blocks 1, 2 and 3.

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.