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Performing Arts (Performance) Dance

Performing Arts

Key Facts

Level 5
Wakefield City Campus, Waterton Building
Start Date:
September, 2021
2 Years
Mode of Study:
Awarding Body:
UCAS code:
Institution Code:

Apply via UCAS


The Dance programme is designed to reflect current industry trends and allows learners to study a variety of dance techniques.

At Mechanics’ Performing Arts we deliver a full time Higher National Diploma in Dance that is designed to training performers, choreographers and dance practitioners at a higher level for those who wish to pursue a career within the dance industry. This course provides professional dance training in commercial, contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap, choreography, conditioning and community dance teaching. After this course many of our graduates convert this qualification by studying their own tailor made BA Hons Top Up course to achieve the BA Hons Degree in Performance Industries. 

We have close links to many areas of the industry and our graduates are now working all around the world in a variety of different employment areas including on cruises, professional dance companies, freelancing, dance teaching. Our students take part in industry led days where artists from across the industry, such as casting and talent agents, professional artists and our own graduates come and inform our students of current aspects needed for a successful career in today’s industry.

The units you'll study have been specially chosen to enable you to develop technical and performance skills, to achieve a sound knowledge of the industry and give you optimum scope for accessing further study or employment. Our students take part in a variety of internal and external projects with a termly performances to provide as many performance platforms as possible.

Performance platforms have included Phoenix Dance Theatre Platform, Fresh Dance Platform, Move it, Can You Dance and collaboration with professional dance artists, corporate businesses and commercial adverts. Your study will provide you with the opportunity to apply your experience in the studios to a diverse range of performance spaces such as community-based contexts, choreographic projects, and professional theatres.

Through practical classes you'll develop a wide range of dance performance techniques drawn from the work of world-renowned choreographers. You'll grow as technical dancers, experience a range of classes which will increase your strength, flexibility and versatility. Dancers undertake weekly conditioning classes to improve their dance fitness and develop new skills.

All projects and performances are linked to the performing arts industry to give a real flavour of working as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and theorist. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used to encourage and facilitate your creative and artistic development and bring together practice and theory. Independent and collaborative learning will be encouraged through use of practical workshops, interactive lectures, resource-based learning, individual and group work, tutorials, discussion, critiques, performances, and rehearsals.

Course Features
  • Brand new facilities
  • Industry-led workshops with professional practitioners

Course Structure

  • The Performing Arts Industry
  • Professional Development
  • Creative Research Project
  • Working in the Performing Arts
  • Contemporary Dance 1
  • Ballet 1
  • Tap Dance 1
  • Jazz Dance 1
  • Commercial Dance 1
  • Choreography 1
  • Performance Project
  • Creative Research Project
  • Working in the Performing Arts
  • Contemporary Dance 2
  • Ballet 2
  • Tap Dance 2
  • Jazz Dance 2
  • Commercial Dance 2
  • Choreography 2
  • Performance Project

Entry Requirements

64 UCAS tariff points from A Levels or a Level 3 Extended Diploma in a related subject.


An Access course.

GCSE Grade C or above in English Language (or equivalent qualification) is required.

A successful audition and interview.

Those with previous experience or learning that is relevant may be eligible via our APL process for accreditation towards this course.

All applicants are required to audition consisting of an interview and a dance class including a creative task. You will need to prepare a dance solo of your choice that showcases your ability and style. This should be 1 and 1/2 minutes in length.


Points Required

If you’re applying via UCAS, find out more about how your qualifications fit into the UCAS tariff.

Take a Tour

Waterton Building & Mechanic’s Theatre

Fees & Funding

£6,950 per year.

Course Costs Included in the fees

  • Induction week course activities
  • Teaching and technical instruction
  • Access to, and use of relevant workshops and equipment
  • Access to, and use of relevant equipment in studios, including computers
  • Materials used as part of timetabled workshop inductions
  • Access to, and use of recycled materials within workshop
  • Access to Academic Registry and Student Support
  • Access to Careers Advice
  • Access to the Library and associated resources
  • Some local study visits
  • Performance opportunities
  • Discounted entry at Theatre Royal Wakefield and a range of shops and venues around the City

Course Costs Not Included in the Fees

  • Equipment for your personal or private use
  • Dance wear uniform items. I.e. Leotards/Training wear, shoes and tights
  • Day-to-day items you may need as part of your personal, portable toolkit
  • Materials for producing your own work beyond inductions
  • Books for your personal or private use outside key course texts available in the Library
  • Study visits, unless specified
  • Course and personal equipment

We advise Performing Arts students to invest in a basic set of equipment to help get started on the course. Depending on your specialism this equipment will inevitably vary; for example, as a student of Performing Arts, you may give some thought to investing in a range of suitable movement wear, stationary and a USB stick. We would encourage you to give some consideration to this before starting your course with us, and your future Course Leader will be happy to advise you regarding any queries you may have before starting your course with us.

Because of the choice and diversity of materials for Performing Arts practice, it is not possible to generalise about the costs that you might incur. Course requirements will largely determine the amount which you need to budget. For theatre visits or visiting practitioners your costs will not normally exceed £200. You will be expected to contribute to the purchasing of costumes for which you will have ownership of, this will not normally exceed £50

You will be provided with a reading list, these titles are available in our college library. If you chose to purchase your own copies, you can buy used or new from websites such as Amazon.

The everyday costs of studying at University Centre at Wakefield College that apply to all students include:

  • Travel: costs associated with travelling to and from campus. This could be bus or train fares, costs associated with running a car including car parking charges.
  • Consumables: folders, pads, pens.
  • Printing/photocopying: most written assignments are submitted via Turnitin but there are occasions where you may be required to submit work in a printed format e.g. dissertation. There are on campus printing/photocopy facilities across college and binding and additional services in the college library.
  • Subsistence: the campus has food outlets where students can purchase meals, drinks and snacks. Water dispensers are available around the campus for students to refill reusable bottles at no cost.
Bursaries and scholarships

We have a strong commitment to widening access to higher education, and to help we have a range of bursaries and scholarships to support eligible students starting a higher education course with us in September. To find out more, email:

Other Financial Support

The government provides financial assistance to help pay for tuition fees and to help with living costs. To find out more, visit the website at:


Performing arts degrees combine creative talent with practical aspects of self-promotion and arts management. This mix of disciplines is good preparation for entering the world of performance. 

Job profile Dancer 

Job options

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

This course is recognised as a qualification in its own right or can be combined with a top-up degree to obtain a full honours degree like our BA (Hons) Performance Industries course. 

The HND was a fantastic course that I cannot fault and I feel prepared me adequately for employment within the industry. I am currently completing my Post Graduate Certificate in Education in Lifelong Learning at Wakefield College, this will be a 2 year part-time course allowing me to work alongside this and also apply for any dance teaching or performance opportunities that may arise. I am also currently working as a Choreographer.

Emma Jo Davis
HND Performing Arts (Performance) Dance