ACD202 - Dance Making: Principles and Processes

Unit details


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Luigi Vescio

ACD101, ACP109 or ACD104

Incompatible with: Nil
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the trimester undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - on-campus unit enrolment:

2 x 1.5-hour practical experience (workshops) plus 1 x 2-hour seminar per week delivered weekly


This unit develops students’ abilities to create new and responsive contemporary dance through studying dance technique, choreography, and contemporary dance contexts. Practical classes in contemporary dance technique will build students’ understanding of transfer of weight, anatomical alignment, modulation of dynamics and complexity of rhythms and forms. Choreography workshops will explore individual physical motivation and imagination for movement creation and organisation. Readings will focus on the conditions, nature, and experiences of contemporary dance, particularly as these relate to significant choreographers from the twenty-first century and their approaches to dance making.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Embody contemporary dance principles including use of weight, space and time, appropriate anatomical alignment and functionality. 

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Develop skills in perceiving and executing the precise values embodied and communicated by the teacher in dance technique, while taking responsibility for personal development with an ethical regard for the social context of the classes.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO6: Self-management


Create choreographic studies by synthesising and transforming workshop experiences and information through physical problem solving. 

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO5: Problem solving

Retrieve and utilise relevant material from library databases, the internet and through the attendance of dance performances to undertake research in dance history and current practice.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO3: Digital literacy

GLO4: Critical thinking


Assessment Description Student
Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment1: On-going assessment in technique classes according to stated criteria Participation in
2 x 1.5-hour practicals
per week
35% Ongoing
Assessment 2: Choreographic works Creation of 2 choreographic works 35% Weeks 7 & 11
Assessment 3: Written critical reflective task 1200 words
or equivalent
30% Week 9

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Hurdle requirement

Students enrolled in this unit must participate in 2 practical, dance technique workshops per week, through which they will undertake the practical work for assessment task one.

These practical workshops will enable students to develop physical skills including: 

  • consistent control and articulation of different parts of the body,
  • understanding movement principles such as the use of weight and momentum,
  • developing musicality, rhythm and timing, differentiating different movement qualities, understanding safe dance practices, and;
  • participating in a process of learning prescribed movement vocabulary from an expert teacher.

The workshops aim to develop a shared appreciation amongst students of the capacities of the human body in dance and in a context in which dance is understood as an artform. This appreciation, and accompanying embodiment of physical skills, will form the creative grounding for choreographic explorations, creative tasks, and practical assessments that occur in this unit. The classes will enable all students to participate in the unit from a position of physical understanding, safety and personal confidence. They will also ask students to engage with standards and expectations as they exist in the professional context.

In order for students to develop physical strength and physically integrate their learning, students must participate consistently in these dance technique workshops. Therefore, students must attend at least 90% of their allotted classes (or make up classes at another time subject to availability). 

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via ACD202. Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

Fees and charges vary depending on the type of fee place you hold, your course, your commencement year, the units you choose to study and their study discipline, and your study load.

Tuition fees increase at the beginning of each calendar year and all fees quoted are in Australian dollars ($AUD). Tuition fees do not include textbooks, computer equipment or software, other equipment or costs such as mandatory checks, travel and stationery.

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