BA (Hons) Dance: Urban Practice
Arts and Digital Industries
We cover hip-hop, club, social and popular dance styles, with contemporary techniques from across Europe, Africa and Asia. Whether it is popping or locking, contemporary or capoeira, afro-house or bharata natyam, our course continues to be the first of its kind to offer a degree in dance without borders or limitations.
You will have great opportunities to perform your work in our annual student led festival, studio sharings and external events. The dance team will support and guide you to develop your skills as a researcher, choreographer, performer and in events management whilst giving you networking opportunities from our varied and exciting industry links.
We help create dance all-rounders preparing you for a portfolio career in the arts. So you will theorise dance, create dance, collaborate in dance managing yourself and others and, well, you will discover and dance many various types of dance.
You’ll be taught by a team of multi-talented professionals, featuring skilled academics, specialist dancers and choreographers. You’ll learn to move and dance in ways you’ve never done before.
This is a unique, trailblazing course. We pioneered it, and it’s the only one in the UK to focus on urban dance styles from around the globe.
You’ll be able to perform in and help organise COLL!DE - one of Britain’s most vibrant and innovative annual student-led dance festivals.
Dance: Urban Practice, BA (Hons)
I chose UEL because its urban dance course is the only one of its kind in the UK. The most memorable thing has been seeing myself and others finding our own style and also progressing academically.
New UCAS Points
What you'll learn
One of the great attractions of our three-year course is its sheer variety in both study and practice.
Sometimes, you’ll combine both as you create and perform dance that communicates a response to political, cultural and aesthetic questions.
You’ll study a wide range of dance forms, such as hip-hop, club and funk styles, and international forms including capoeira, African contemporary, Afro-house, bharata natyam, kathak and kalaripayattu.
Each year, you’ll take modules in technique, choreography, professional development and research. There’ll be opportunities to focus on performance and choreography through film and video practice, and you will have the opportunity to collaborate with your music and theatre student colleagues.
In your final year, through our excellent links with partner organisations such as East London Dance, Breakin’ Convention and Stratford Circus, you’ll undertake a work placement.
In addition, thanks to our reputation, you’ll have numerous opportunities throughout the course to work with acclaimed professional artists, such as renowned choreographers Kenrick Sandy (Boy Blue) and Hofesh Shechter and top dancers such as house dance’s Clara Bajado and popping and locking master Fred ‘The Realness’ Folkes.
What you'll study and when
Moving Bodies, Exploring Space (core)
Locating Dance Cultures, Making Dance Cultures (core)
Reading the Body, Preparing the Body (core)
Screening Dance, Dance on Screen (core)
Thinking Bodies, Sharing Space (core)
Crossing Borders, Hybrid Forms (core)
Producing Dance, Staging Events (core)
Performing Bodies, Shaping Space (core)
Practicing Research, Researching Practice (core)
Placement: Dance in the Community, Working in the Community (core)
How you'll be assessed
We’ll assess you course through practical performances, rehearsals and dance technical developments. We assess theoretical work through essays, workbooks and journals that reflect on progress and performance. Second and third-year modules contribute to the final degree award classification.
In your final year, you’ll undertake a compulsory written dissertation and a placement with a dance organisation or company.
How you'll learn
You’ll learn as you dance. Our students land exciting opportunities, such as the chance in 2013 to perform for the Queen at the televised 60th anniversary Buckingham Palace concert.
Then there’s the opportunity to help organise, choreograph and perform in our acclaimed student-run festival COLL!DE - a wonderful day-long, international celebration of dance.
You’ll be taught by a team of professionals, featuring skilled academics, specialist dancers and choreographers.
They’re multi-talented, like Course Leader Carla Trim-Vamben. She’s a professional performer and researcher who has trained in contemporary, contemporary African and club dances such as waacking and has years of experience as a community dance practitioner teaching dance nationally and internationally.
We’re situated ideally in University Square Stratford, with its advanced performance studios and more than £750,000 of new specialist equipment, close to Stratford Circus, East London Dance and Theatre Royal Stratford East.
They’re among our partners, who work closely with us to offer professional development, performance viewings and workshops.
You’ll have the chance to take up work placements here in the UK as well as abroad.
One of our students worked with Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells - the international festival of hip-hop dance theatre.
Another has taken advantage of our ‘Going Global’ bursary to teach dance in Ghana as part of Awareness Through Dance - a charity focusing on dance’s power to be a medium for social change.
Your future career
The breadth of our course means you’ll graduate with a wide set of skills to equip you to be a true dance all-rounder.
Many of our graduates go on to enjoy what we call a ‘portfolio’ career, making a thriving living in varied areas such as teaching, choreography, performing and managing.
Through your work placements, dance management studies and your involvement in creating and staging community dance projects, you couldn’t be better prepared for the world of work.
Our graduates are working in teaching, dancing, advertising, marketing, design and arts administration. One graduate, Dani Harris-Walters, even became a TV star as runner-up on Sky TV’s Got to Dance series in 2014.
We’re proud to have helped shape the careers of our students, whether they’ve gone on to run their own companies, to work as dance administrators and managers, to deliver and teach workshops in communities and schools or to produce, choreograph and direct works for stage and screen.
The graduates who succeed on our course are innovative, confident and original. People like Brian Gillespie, who got his degree a couple of years back and now runs his own company, B-Hybrid Dance, in which he’s artistic director, choreographer and performer.