Unit of competency details

CUACHR402A - Create short dance pieces (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 06/Oct/2011

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUACHR402 - Create short dance piecesUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 20/Nov/2013

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100105 Dance  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100105 Dance  12/Apr/2012 
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Modification History




This version first released with CUA11 Live Performance Training Package version 1.0

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to create short dance pieces in dance styles, such as tap, jazz, contemporary, street and cultural forms of dance.

The context of performing and creating dance pieces, are covered in CUACHR401A Create and perform dance pieces.

Application of the Unit

Dance teachers and choreographers who are required to plan, compose and stage, but not perform in, short dance pieces apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. Dance pieces could be for dance school productions or other non-professional contexts.

Work is usually undertaken under some supervision, though autonomy and judgement can be expected given the nature of the creative process.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Plan and compose dance pieces

1.1. Clarify intention  of dance pieces  with relevant personnel 

1.2. Consider movement elements  and how they relate to dance styles when translating intention into a choreographic plan 

1.3. Agree on aspects of staging and performance  and notate these on plan

1.4. Ensure safe dance practices  are incorporated into the plan and followed at all times

2. Demonstrate choreography and prepare for staging performances

2.1. Ensure intentions in the dance plan are brought into 3-D reality

2.2. Demonstrate and express appropriate movement ideas and movement styles from the plan

2.3. Review and modify ideas and movement elements to produce well-crafted dance pieces

2.4. Ensure content, phrasing and flow maintain interest throughout dance pieces

2.5. Select appropriate music, costumes and props to enhance movement intention

2.6. Prepare performance space allowing for well-defined entrance, exit and audience orientation

2.7. Ensure the dancers, dancing and aspects of staging combine to create a mood, a creative experience and audience affect

3. Evaluate dance pieces

3.1. Review dance-creation process  through self-evaluation and in consultation with relevant personnel to improve and modify

3.2. Document the review process appropriately

3.3. Discuss strengths and weaknesses of dance pieces with relevant personnel and identify strategies for improving own techniques

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication and teamwork skills to:
  • work collaboratively and in integrated ways with others involved in performances
  • receive constructive feedback and apply it to future work
  • clarify an expressive intention
  • communicate intention to other dancers and technicians
  • initiative and creativity skills to:
  • develop new choreography
  • work creatively with others
  • translate a choreographic plan into a well-crafted and executed performance
  • follow through with own individual style or idea
  • learning skills to:
  • improve choreographic skills through experimentation and practice
  • evaluate and revise all aspects of a creative process
  • evaluate and revise own performance as well as that of others
  • literacy skills to:
  • document a choreographic plan for reflection and analysis
  • document self-evaluation and assessment appropriately
  • planning skills to:
  • develop a choreographic plan
  • reflect on and analyse choreographic structures and processes
  • technical skills to:
  • experiment with, improvise and refine choreographic plan
  • incorporate a number of staging elements, such as:
  • audio
  • lighting and vision systems
  • costuming, make-up and hair
  • set and prop design
  • stage markings.

Required knowledge 

  • creative process as it relates to choreography
  • elements of dance
  • choreographic devices and structures
  • dance as a form of communication
  • issues and challenges that arise in the context of composing dance
  • relevant musical styles
  • relevant dance vocabulary
  • history of choreography in relation to chosen dance styles
  • safe dance practices.

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • plan, develop and evaluate two short dance pieces using two different dance or creative movement styles
  • demonstrate the two short dance pieces to performers
  • produce performances of the two dance pieces to demonstrate elements of staging and intention
  • effectively document the evaluation of the dance-creation process
  • work effectively with others.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to a large dance studio or space, including:

  • sprung or tarkett floor
  • mirrors and curtains
  • audio requirements
  • lighting and vision system requirements
  • costuming, make-up and hair requirements
  • set and props requirements
  • video recording and playback equipment.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit: 

  • observation of demonstrating choreographic intent of the performance
  • verbal or written questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit
  • video recordings of performances or rehearsals
  • case studies and scenarios as a basis for discussing components of the creative process
  • portfolios, journals or other documentation and notation that demonstrate the reflective processes used in creating dance pieces.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy) and the needs of particular groups (e.g. people with disabilities and people who may have literacy or numeracy difficulties, such as speakers of languages other than English, remote communities and those with interrupted schooling).

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • CUACHR403A Develop skills in the craft of choreography
  • CUADAN402A Improvise an advanced dance sequence
  • CUADLT401A Document dance.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Intention  may include: 

  • dance piece as a form of expressive, collaborative or interactive communication
  • message to be conveyed through movements and effects
  • mood to be conveyed
  • creative experience intended for audience
  • expressive effect on audience
  • creative and expressive outcome for dancers.

Dance pieces  may be: 

  • solo
  • ensemble.

Relevant personnel  may include: 

  • teacher
  • performer
  • ensemble member
  • designer:
  • sound
  • lighting
  • costumes
  • make-up and hair
  • special effects
  • client
  • agent
  • conductor
  • tutor
  • mentor.

Movement elements  may refer to:

  • dynamics
  • forms, including:
  • binary
  • ternary
  • rondo
  • theme and variation
  • narrative
  • free-form
  • structures, including:
  • space
  • shape
  • group structures
  • group formations
  • dancer combinations
  • time.

Choreographic plan  may include:

  • dance style
  • dance form
  • movement elements of shape, space, dynamics and time
  • dance phrases and sequences
  • dance structures
  • choreographic devices, such as:
  • canon
  • motif
  • repetition
  • mirroring
  • addition
  • retrograde
  • inversion
  • accumulation.

Aspects of staging and performance  may relate to:

  • audience interaction
  • creating atmosphere and mood
  • costumes
  • accessories
  • hair
  • make-up
  • body paint
  • props
  • staging and venue size
  • performance space
  • lighting design
  • vision and sound systems
  • stage markings.

Safe dance practices  may include: 

  • understanding the body’s capabilities and limitations, including:
  • alignment
  • flexibility (mobility)
  • strength (stability)
  • cardiorespiratory endurance
  • muscular endurance
  • warm-up and cool-down activities, such as:
  • gentle stretches
  • aerobic exercises
  • anaerobic exercises
  • breathing exercises
  • doing exercises and performing routines on flooring appropriate to the genre and style of dance, such as:
  • sprung softwood
  • tarkett
  • sprung parquet
  • tongue and groove hardwood
  • resined for ballroom and Latin dance
  • non-slip for ballet
  • wood for tap and Spanish
  • correct execution of dance steps
  • appropriate clothing and footwear
  • nutrition and diet.

Dance-creation process  may include: 

  • creativity
  • effectiveness
  • inspiration
  • audience response.

Unit Sector(s)

Performing arts - choreography

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.

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