Applications
Open in September 2022
Course length
3 years

Develop as a dance artist

This three-year degree course blends the study of dance practices, choreography, performance, contextual and professional studies, and dance science. A combination which develops you as a versatile artist with all the tools and skills for a prolific career in dance and the creative industries.

The course is fun and highly intensive, with studio-based classes, enhanced by a range of contextual studies that directly relate to the experience of performing, making, researching, and understanding dance. In addition, you will have access to unique performance and creative opportunities throughout the course.

The entire course is developed on principles of periodization. You will gain first-hand experience of this initiative, which aims to optimise performance, and physical and mental well-being in a dance context.

The highly focused and nurturing environment at LCDS allowed me to develop and expand my artistic practice as well as form friendships and collaborative relationships with my peers.

Emily Lue-Fong, BA graduate 2021

A dancer wearing a blue t-shirt, black shorts and white socks in standing in the studio. They are smiling and lean slightly to the side with bent knees, both elbows are bent and forearms pointing upwards. Behind them, another dancer in a black t-shirt, grey tracksuit bottoms and black socks stands on one leg and holds their foot with both hands.
Student dancing in our studio Credit: Camilla Greenwell 2021

You will be taught by exceptional teachers (many of whom are also practicing artists) and international guest choreographers. You have the opportunity to work with creative industries leading organisations such as: Wimbledon School of Art, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, National Centre for Circus arts, Sadler’s Wells, Victoria & Albert Museum and Central St Martins.

Along with your fellow students, you will be recognised and treated as an individual with your own unique needs and progression journey and quickly become part of a community where dance makers are inspiring and learning from each other.

Things you need to know

How do i apply?

Stage 1 – Online Application Form

First, you must complete our online application form where you input details about yourself, your educational and dance history, as well as a personal statement about why you want to join LCDS. We encourage you to complete your application form as early as possible as submissions will be viewed on a first come first served basis. Early submissions will be considered for the early Admission Workshop.

Stage 2 - Admission Workshop

If you meet the application requirements, you will be invited to an Admission Workshop (online or in person depending on your location), where we will set creative and improvisation tasks, as well as host a seminar-style discussion as a whole group. All details of what to expect from the Admission Workshop will be sent to you via email from our Admissions team.

Stage 3 – Interview

You will be interviewed by one of our faculty here at LCDS during your Admission Workshop. We will send you the questions prior to the interview so you will have time to prepare. After your interview, the Admissions Team will be in touch via email (approximately two weeks after your interview date) with an outcome.

If you need extra help, be that academic, financial or in other forms, please get in touch with the Admissions Team. This is part of our commitment to ensuring people from all backgrounds have access to dance education. We do not discriminate on grounds of age, sex, disability, ethnicity, or religion. We only think about your readiness for the course.

We also welcome applications from people with a disability. We encourage you to inform us of any access requirements you may have on the application form (for example relating to dyslexia, a physical or sensory impairment or mental health condition), and this will help us make any necessary, reasonable adjustments for the Admissions Workshop and during your time studying.

What will I learn each year?

YEAR ONE:

Develop reflective, technical, and critical skills through studio-based learning, lectures, and tutorials.

  • Daily, practical, studio-based classes in a variety of dance practices to develop technical ability.
  • Introduction to key artistic, political, and philosophical principles
  • Introduction to dance teaching skills
  • Work with guest artists to experience a variety of creative processes
  • Develop skills in media, screendance and site-specific work through collaborative performance-based projects
  • Experience principles of safe dance practice including methods to enhance dance performance, prevent injury and maintain your wellbeing

YEAR TWO:

Engage with the wider dance sector and explore your practices within different contexts.

  • Daily practical, studio-based classes in a variety of dance practices to further develop technical ability.
  • Learn from dance practitioners and artists
  • Develop collaborative skills within dance and other art forms
  • Develop and deepen your understanding of dance teaching in schools and communities

YEAR THREE:

Emphasis on developing personal artistic practice. Challenging and reinforcing critical problem solving and collaborative skills within dance.

  • Daily practical, studio-based classes in a variety of dance practices to further develop technical ability.
  • Creation of professional portfolios, CVs, showreels and other materials.
  • Performing opportunities within theatres, other sites and across different media.
  • Independent research year-long project.

The course is developed on principles of periodization. You will gain first-hand experience of this initiative, which aims to optimise performance, and physical and mental well-being in a dance context.

What classes will I take?

Dance Practices

You will be exposed to dance practices from various cultural backgrounds both physically and academically, exploring histories and cultural contexts.

Practices are explored from the African diaspora, South Asian dance and Euro-American influences and include:

Release-based work
Floor work
Popping
Flying Low and Passing Through
Gaga
Hip hop
Kathak based work
Cunningham based work
Ballet aimed at contemporary dancers
Improvisation
Contact improvisation
Partner work

Most classes are accompanied by live music.

Choreography

At The School, you will learn to broaden your perspective of what choreography is and develop tools to create work. You work with each other and people outside of LCDS, giving you the opportunity to collaborate with other art forms like design, music, or film.

Contextual Studies

Contextual Studies puts contemporary dance in context. It helps you to find your own voice and way of thinking about dance. It introduces you to debates from areas like; art theory, philosophy, cultural studies, and history, and considers contemporary dance within the broader cultural landscape. Contextual Studies gives you the skills to interpret dance and reflect critically on your dance practices.

Extra Curriculum

You can get involved with student led initiatives and societies like the Feminist Society, Ideas in Action (a platform for students' own creative work), the Eco Society, and a society to unite Black students across the whole Conservatoire for Dance and Drama.

Your voice is an essential part of LCDS life. You have the chance to become a year group representative, playing a vital role in shaping The School and your time here. There is also the opportunity to work as Teaching Assistants for the Centre for Advanced Training and Classes and Courses programmes, as well as become front of house staff in the Robin Howard Dance Theatre and in the library.

What is periodisation?

We have embarked on implementing periodisation principles into the undergraduate curriculum design, teaching delivery and student experience. With a goal to meet the typical periodisation aims of achieving peak performance at the required moments, reducing injury and fatigue, and improving student well-being, LCDS is also keen to place the students centrally in this process, so that they can learn how to periodise their own training to utilise in their future careers.

In addition to the traditional model of periodisation, where physical metrics are systematically planned and monitored, LCDS is exploring how to periodise the psychological load for students, with recent reflections shared at the 2021 IADMS Annual Conference.

Currently, LCDS undertakes prospective injury tracking alongside termly fitness testing and well-being monitoring. In addition, LCDS has engaged freelance dance educator and researcher Elsa Urmston to support the implementation of periodization principles in the curriculum and to lead associated research from psychological and educational perspectives. Elsa’s PhD research (at the University of Exeter Graduate School of Education, under the supervision of Associate Professor Kerry Chappell and Dr. Nicky Bremner) is hosted at LCDS and places a focus on the pedagogical approaches that are associated with the integration of periodization in vocational dance education.

Entry Requirements

During the Admission Workshop we will be looking for your ability to engage in creative processes, demonstrating imagination, resourcefulness, and adaptability. We also want to see if you understand dance in its wider context and a potential for development of technical capabilities and performance skills. The Workshops are designed to give you the best opportunity to demonstrate your individuality. This is your time to show us what kind of dance artist you want to be and to question whether London Contemporary Dance School is the right place for you.

Dance Experience

You will have experience in contemporary dance and/or other dance forms, including hip hop and associated styles, ballet, south Asian dance practices, and dances of the African diaspora. You might experience dance as a medium to express yourself and as a creative outlet.

You will be considering a career in the dance industry or more broadly the arts.

We look for:

  • Ability to engage in creative processes, demonstrating imagination, resourcefulness, and communication skills
  • Understanding of dance in its wider context, i.e. awareness of critical issues relevant to dance
  • Potential for development of technical capabilities and performance skills

Academic Requirements

  • Passes in two subjects at GCE Advanced Level (32 new UCAS tariff points/80 old UCAS tariff points normally, including one single award), plus 3 GCSEs in other subjects (Grade A-C) plus portfolio of work or relevant experience.
  • OR 1 subject at GCE Advanced level (16 new UCAS tariff points/40 old UCAS tariff points) and Foundation Diploma in Art and Design plus 3 GCSEs in other subjects (Grade A-C) plus portfolio of work or relevant experience.

English Language

English Language IELTS level 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking

Student Visas

If you are an overseas student, you might require a Student Visa to study with us.

Fees

£9,250 per year – UK Home Fee Status

£19,850 per year – Overseas Students

Find out more about our financial support for your studies.

Meet The Team

Here you can take a look through the profiles of the teachers you will be working alongside.

Watch

Watch some of our most recent videos; student interviews, A Day in the Life and a streamed class. A great way to find out about the course and what our students think.

Find out more about your health and wellbeing when you study with us, where you can live and funding available to you:

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the course, how to apply, living in London or anything else, we are here to help