BA (Hons) Commercial Dance for Stage & Screen

Bristol Zoo Gardens Conservation and Education Centre
remains open to students.

You will have private access to the zoo grounds during lectures, to carry out your observations and data collection, but as more animals are moved, this will gradually be carried out at the Wild Place Project. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

BA (Hons) Commercial Dance for Stage and Screen in partnership with ADA (Angels Dance Academy).

This degree is delivered and designed in partnership with internationally renowned, six-time world dance champions Angels Dance Academy (ADA). ADA is a proud Bristol-born dance academy and since its conception in the 1990s, ADA has competed both nationally and internationally, quickly becoming one of the UK's most famous dance academy. Today, ADA presents over 35 competitive teams, including an all male Hip Hop team and their flagship Dark Angels team with its own E4's docu-reality series 'Dark Angels'.

The intensive three-year BA (Hons) degree places practical performance and experimental projects at its core with opportunities to work as an ensemble and individual to create work for both stage and screen. As a Commercial Dance student, you will develop a range of performance skills led by dance lecturers, choreographers and the associate team from Angels Dance Academy. Our team of practising industry professionals will guide you through performance briefs, providing you with intrinsic technique and performer conditioning classes. Throughout the course, you will extend your knowledge of commercial dance styles and practices gaining first-hand experience in preparing and delivering performances, in a range of contexts. You will be encouraged to identify and develop your distinctive performance style and consider your place within the dance industry. Participating in live public performances and recorded screen projects is a vital feature of the course. Each year you will perform in multiple productions across our on-campus Olympus and Studio 22 theatres alongside touring venues and producing content for screen.

BIPA's practical training is supplemented with meaningful academic theory relevant to all areas of dance and performance. You will collaborate with others, follow independent lines of enquiry, and draw on the experiences of industry partners and your lecturers to develop your knowledge and abilities. With a delicate balance of assessments and content you will be supported to embark on a Dissertation or Practical Research Project, develop ideas relating to the context of dance over time, rehearse and perfect individual styles and critically engage in current debates within the industry.

This degree is for individuals who require an intensive training experience to prepare them for the competitive and fierce dance industry. We look for students with prior dance experience who can demonstrate a good level of physical fitness, dance technique and a strong ambition to progress as a dancer and practitioner. BIPA promotes encouragement and experimentation and champions a professional, collaborative and supportive training environment for all.

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Study Modules
Commercial Dance Technique

Versatility is a key attribute of the modern dancer. This module will extend your existing dance technique repertoire by exploring dance techniques specifically associated with the commercial dance industry. As strength and body conditioning is an integral aspect of a sustainable career in dance you will be supported to develop a safe and healthy approach to dance.

50% Practical 30 minutes or 2,250 words equivalent

50% Display, show or performance 30 minutes or 2,250 words equivalent

Digital Dance Brief

This module aims to enhance your understanding of screen work, providing the underpinning knowledge of the differences experienced when performing for the screen. You will also contextualise your work through research into the historical discourse of the commercial dance industry.

60% Display, show or performance 36 minutes or 2,700 words equivalent

40% Presentation 14 minutes or 1,800 words equivalent

Commercial Performance Project

Commercial dancers are expected to perform on both stage and screen. This module aims to develop your stage work through a choreographed performance. You will explore different genres and their application over time, collaborating with peers on an end of year show.

70% Display, show or performance 42 minutes or 3,150 words equivalent

30% Assignment 1,350 words or equivalent

Dance Technique

This module aims to develop your dance technique in appropriate styles to enable you to perform in a variety of contexts Ballet, Jazz and Tap will be the core dance styles taught but other styles may be introduced as appropriate.

50% Practical 30 minutes or 2,250 words equivalent

50% Display, show or performance 30 minutes or 2,250 words equivalent

Collaborative Performance

Collaboration and group performance are critical aspects of the commercial dancer’s repertoire. This module aims to enhance your collaborative skills whilst contextualising your understanding of the historical discourse of commercial dance and the impact this has for future dance work. Consideration of audience and stylistic choice will underpin the module design.

60% Display, show or performance 45 minutes or 3,300 words equivalent

40% Assignment 2,200 words or equivalent

Performance for Screen

This module aims to enhance your understanding of performance for screen and provide an opportunity to develop an awareness of branding, marketing and social media and how they can be used effectively to enhance your presence in an increasingly digital age.

60% Display, show or performance 45 minutes or 3,300 words equivalent

40% Professional Portfolio 2,200 words or equivalent

Performance for Screen

The aim of this module is to extend your dance technique and performance skills through specific dance classes and continuous rehearsal and repetition. A key aspect of this is the consolidation of appropriate dance vocabulary and terminology used within the dance industry. You will also continue to develop safe and professional working practices.

50% Practical 38 minutes or 2,750 word equivalent

50% Display, show or performance 38 minutes or 2,750 word equivalent

Workshop Leadership

This module aims to develop your understanding of how to apply a range of methodologies to your own workshop creation and develop additional resources to support the project aims. You will consider a range of related theory, leadership styles and influential thinkers which will facilitate a deeper understanding of the creative process of workshop design.

70% Practical 52 minutes or 3,850 words or equivalent

30% Assignment 1,650 words or equivalent

Digital Choreography

Digital Choreography is an emerging field which brings together dance and visual arts to create innovative and immersive experiences for both the performer and the audience. This module aims to ensure you have experience of working with VR and Motion Capture software to enhance your choreography and performance work.

50% Practical 45 minutes or 3,250 words equivalent

50% Display, show or performance 45 minutes or 3,250 words equivalent

Commercial Production and Performance

In this module you will be able to apply your dance technique to a major performance project. This will take the form of a full-scale production of a dance piece chosen by the tutor, either from established repertoire or a new composition. You will consider the demands and requirements made on a performer by the style, structure and context of the production.

50% Practical 45 minutes or 3,250 words equivalent

50% Display, show or performance 45 minutes or 3,250 words equivalent

Professional Practitioner

Upon entering the industry you will find that actors, theatre makers and dancers are expected to have a working knowledge of the mechanics of creating, preparing and producing performances to tour. This module aims to prepare you for the role(s) you may be expected to fill in order to have a successful career as an independent practitioner. As well as choosing appropriate texts or performances, you will be expected to research and choose venues, market to a target audience, fundraise if necessary and liaise with venue contacts to produce and deliver a touring performance.

70% Display, show or performance 63 minutes or 4,550 words equivalent

30% Portfolio 1,950 words or equivalent

Practical Research Project/ Dissertation

You will identify an area of practice, a practitioner or an equivalent negotiated aspect for research. This research is intended to be closely relevant to your own area of practice. You will, through negotiation with your dissertation supervisor, identify an appropriate topic of interest and undertake in depth research to produce either: 1. A formal written dissertation of 5,200 words. OR 2. An identified research project that would lead to a practical outcome (e.g. a performance) supported by a critical and evaluative text of 2,600 words. Both pieces will require a research proposal to be submitted in the first semester to help ensure the research design is appropriate and well researched.

20% Assignment 1,300 words or equivalent

80% Dissertation / Major Project 5,200 words or 2,600 words plus 10 minute performance

Course Video
Jack Maurice
Bristol Institute of Performing Arts Artistic Director | Learning Area Manager
*Programme subject to validation by the University of Gloucestershire
Applications for September 2024 entry open on September 5th 2023.
University Centre WISE
Bachelors Degree
Full-time Duration:
3 Years
Full-time Fee (Per Year):
Part-time Duration:
6 Years
Part-time Fee (Per Year):
UCAS Application Code:
UCAS Entry Tariff:
Entry Requirements

The minimum UCAS tariff points from a level 3 qualification, GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4. Entry via a successful audition. On receipt you may be invited for an interview. Mature students over 24 without the relevant qualifications will be required to demonstrate previous experience and evidence of academic ability.

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Course info last updated:
September 4, 2023
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