Skip to content

A NSW Government website

Welcome to the NSW Curriculum website

NSW Curriculum
NSW Education Standards Authority

7–10Dance 7–10 Syllabus

Record of changes
Implementation in 2026

Course overview

Organisation of Dance 7–10

Figure 1 is an overview of Dance 7–10 showing that knowledge, understanding and skills are built through engagement with the 3 practices: Performance, Composition and Appreciation which are the focus areas.

Focus areas and content groups of Dance 7–10.
Figure 1: The organisation of Dance 7–10

Image long description: Organisational diagram of Dance 7–10. The focus areas Performance, Composition and Appreciation are positioned vertically across the 3 content groups Context, The dancing body and Elements of dance connected by one line, intersecting them.

Focus areas

Dance is studied through the 3 practices:

Performance: the roles, responsibilities and practices of the performer in expressing and communicating intent in dance. It involves knowing how to dance and the application of technique(s) to dance performance of different styles and contexts.

Composition: the roles, responsibilities and practices of the composer in creating and structuring movement to communicate an idea and intent. It involves building a movement vocabulary in a personal style in response to different stimuli and the ability to refine the expression of an idea and intent.

Appreciation: the roles and responsibilities of the viewer in being able to describe, analyse and make informed judgements about dance works. It involves combining students’ previous engagement with performance and composition together with their understanding of context (artistic, cultural, social and personal) to appreciate dance works.

Content groups

The 3 content groups in each focus area are:


Context provides transparency and background knowledge. It provides the circumstances under which a dance work was made, performed, viewed, analysed and consequently appreciated. It is pivotal to the understanding of culture, traditions, conventions, roles and responsibilities across the 3 focus areas.

The dancing body

The dancer as the medium of expression and communication of idea and intent in dance in artistic, cultural, social and personal contexts.

Elements of dance

The tools (space, time and dynamics) used to perform, compose and appreciate dance works in artistic, cultural, social and personal contexts.

Course requirements

Dance may be studied as a 100-hour or a 200-hour course.

Students may commence the elective study of Dance at different points and may progress at different rates across Years 7–10.

Course numbers:

  • 200-hour elective: TBA
  • 100-hour elective: TBA
  • 200-hour Life Skills elective: TBA
  • 100-hour Life Skills elective: TBA

Exclusions: Students may not access Life Skills outcomes and other outcomes from the same subject.

Life Skills outcomes and content

Students with disability can access the syllabus outcomes and content in a range of ways. Decisions regarding curriculum options should be made in the context of collaborative curriculum planning.

Some students with intellectual disability may find the Years 7–10 Life Skills outcomes and content the most appropriate option to follow in Stage 4 and/or Stage 5. Before determining whether a student is eligible to undertake a course based on Life Skills outcomes and content, consideration should be given to other ways of assisting the student to engage with the Stage 4 and/or Stage 5 outcomes, or prior stage outcomes if appropriate. This assistance may include a range of adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment activities.

Life Skills outcomes cannot be taught in combination with other outcomes from the same subject. Teachers select specific Life Skills outcomes to teach based on the needs, strengths, goals, interests and prior learning of each student. Students are required to demonstrate achievement of one or more Life Skills outcomes.

Protocols for collaborating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities and engaging with Cultural works

NESA is committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal communities and supporting teachers, schools and schooling sectors to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people.

In Dance, consideration of the dynamic and evolving Cultural Knowledges of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander dance works, practices or practitioners are informed by principles and protocols. Cultural Knowledge holders include Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples who have choreographed and performed dance works as well as Communities, families or people who own the Cultural Knowledges associated with the dance works.

Community roles, such as Elders, men and women, may influence how dance can be embodied and shared with audiences. In Dance, students should be taught respectful protocols for performing, composing and appreciating dance developed by or in collaboration with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander practitioners and local Communities. The sites or locations of customary and ceremonial Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performances hold Cultural significance.

Balance of content

The amount of content associated with a given outcome is not necessarily indicative of the amount of time spent engaging with the respective outcome. Teachers use formative and summative assessment to determine instructional priorities and the time needed for students to demonstrate expected outcomes.

The content groups are not intended to be hierarchical. They describe in more detail how the outcomes are to be interpreted and demonstrated, and the intended learning appropriate for the stage. In considering the intended learning, teachers make decisions about the sequence and emphasis to be given to particular groups of content based on the needs and abilities of their students.