Academic‎ > ‎Curriculum Areas‎ > ‎


Te toi whakairo, ka ihiihi, ka wehiwehi, ka aweawe te ao katoa. Artistic excellence makes the world sit up in wonder. Dance is expressive movement that has intent, purpose, and form. In dance education, students integrate thinking, moving, and feeling. They explore and use dance elements, vocabularies, processes, and technologies to express personal, group, and cultural identities, to convey and interpret artistic ideas, and to strengthen social interaction. Students develop literacy in dance as they learn about, and develop skills in, performing, choreographing, and responding to a variety of genres from a range of historical and contemporary contexts - The New Zealand Curriculum

By participating in Dance at Ōtaki College students’ confidence and self esteem will be enhanced. They will be encouraged to engage their imagination, connect to their intuition, extend their knowledge, and seek innovative pathways to find solutions. Students will work both independently and collaboratively which will help them to access their own creative ideas and have the self-assurance to share them; hence building their interpersonal skills. Students will be supported to contribute their ideas, abilities, and energies to various local arts events and make links to the wider creative industries. This subject is primarily practical, with elements of theory woven throughout. It is full of fun and active learning and will contribute holistically to important life and learning skills

During the junior years (years 7-10) students will be introduced to the language of dance, performance etiquette, and participate in a range of performances. Senior Dance will continue to build on this prior learning, with students having opportunities to choreograph their own works and stage them:
  • Year 7/8: This is a 1/2 term course. Students will learn about the role of the audience and performer and are introduced to the language of dance. They will create dances in groups and perform them within the College. 
  • Year 9: Dance is combined with Drama as a half year option. Students spend one term focusing on dance during which they produce a group video and perform a flash mob. 
  • Year 10: Dance is combined with Drama as a half year option. Students spend one term focusing on dance during which they will perform a flash mob and freeze frame instillation to the wider community. This course is a pre-requisite for Level 1 Dance. 
  • Level 1, 2, 3 Dance: This is a multi-leveled course. Students will work with a hip hop expert, learn Maori dance, view and respond to a professional dance performance, perform a cultural dance, and choreograph either a solo or group dance. There will be a range of opportunities to perform to whanau and the community at large. At level 3 students will learn to take leadership roles. This is a relevant, exciting and innovative course. It will prepare you for tertiary study in the arts or areas of other creative industries. 
Students will be supported to develop the following key competencies (identified in the NZ curriculum):
  • Thinking – Students will develop their understanding of dance and learn to communicate and express their creative ideas through choreography and performance. 
  • Using language, symbols, and texts – Students will learn the language of dance and how to transfer elements and devices from verbal language into movement. 
  • Managing self – Dance will help students to order, structure, and make sense of chaos – turning it into creative energy. The students will be required to be self managing to achieve satisfying dance work. 
  • Relating to others - Dance students learn to relate more deeply and honestly to themselves through movement which will support them to build healthy relationships with others. 
  • Participating and contributing – Students will contibute their ideas and skills to group performances and participate in a range of community based performances. 
Dance is an approved UE subject and offers the opportunity to gain literacy credits. Evidence of prior dance learning for international students or those students transferring from another school is required. Admission is upon teacher discretion.




Click the following link to watch videos made by our Dance Students: Dance Videos