Unit of competency details

CUACHR501A - Create and perform complex dance pieces (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUACHR501 - Create and perform complex dance piecesUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 20/Nov/2013

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 06/Oct/2011

Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping

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, coordinate and perform complex dance pieces. It includes composing, staging, performing and evaluating complex solo or ensemble dance pieces.

Application of the Unit

Dancers and dance teachers required to create, perform, or teach others to perform complex dance pieces for formal presentation apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. At this level skills and knowledge could be applied to class work, rehearsal, audition, or performance situations.

Work would usually involve some collaboration and direction from others, though personal responsibility and autonomy are required to create dance pieces that reflect a choreographer’s individual style.

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 complex dance pieces

1.1. Clarify the intention  of dance pieces

1.2. Develop a plan that outlines how the intention will be expressed though movement elements 

1.3. Relate movement elements to dance style and include in dance plan

1.4. Incorporate intentions in the dance plan that use 3-D movement reality to combine a dance style with creative movements

1.5. Record choreographic ideas 

1.6. Include and initiate safe dance practices  in the plan and throughout conception, rehearsal and performance

2. Develop work of high compositional standard

2.1. Create choreography incorporating other artists or art forms

2.2. Manipulate own ideas and movement elements to produce a well-crafted dance piece of high compositional standard 

2.3. Demonstrate own appropriate movement ideas and movement styles to express ideas and intentions

2.4. Apply dance notation  skills to document, analyse and reconstruct choreography

2.5. Reveal an emerging distinctive approach to and treatment of movement materials

2.6. Devise, rehearse and edit dance piece for formal presentation 

3. Create production elements to enhance dance pieces

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

3.2. Prepare performance space to allow for well-defined entrance, exit and audience orientation

3.3. Ensure that dancers, dancing, costumes, props and effects combine to create a mood, a creative experience and audience affect

4. Present complex dance pieces in a formal setting

4.1. Contribute to the presentation of finished works in the role of choreographer or dancer

4.2. Provide clear direction, feedback and encouragement to other dancers and technicians

4.3. Maintain content, phrasing and flow throughout dance pieces

4.4. Explore the potential integration of projections in choreography or the use of video as the presentation format for choreography

4.5. Articulate choreographic processes in journal or essay formats

5. Evaluate complex dance pieces

5.1. Review the dance-creation process  against criteria in consultation with relevant personnel  to improve and modify pieces

5.2. Document and record dance reviews

5.3. Use reflection skills to review, self-evaluate and apply information to future work

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication and interpersonal skills to:
  • work collaboratively and in integrated ways with relevant personnel
  • provide direction and feedback to others
  • 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 that expresses one’s distinctive approach
  • translate a choreographic plan into a well-crafted and executed performance
  • follow through with own individual style or idea
  • learning and self-management skills to:
  • improve dance choreography skills through experimentation and practice
  • notate choreography in order to document, analyse and reproduce it
  • monitor, evaluate and revise own performance as well as that of others
  • planning skills to develop a choreographic plan
  • technical skills to:
  • translate intention into a choreographic plan that includes a variety of dance forms and structures
  • apply choreographic devices when arranging movement
  • apply elements of movement to dance creation
  • manipulate elements of movement
  • develop a distinctive approach to and treatment of movement materials
  • collaborate with other art forms to create original work
  • manipulate structural material, such as:
  • theme
  • variation
  • AB
  • ABA
  • rondo
  • incorporate a number of staging elements into dance pieces, such as:
  • audio
  • lighting
  • costuming, make-up and hair
  • set and prop design.

Required knowledge 

  • fundamental elements of composition and choreographic tasks and analysis
  • choreographic devices and structures
  • dance as a form of communication
  • choreographic concepts, such as:
  • collage
  • cycles
  • sequencing
  • narrative themes
  • transitions
  • issues and challenges that arise in the context of composing dance
  • 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 document a complex solo or group dance piece of a high compositional standard that:
  • combines one dance style with creative movements
  • incorporates other artists or dance forms
  • organise the performance of a complex group dance piece
  • evaluate the dance-creation process, including documenting the evaluation
  • collaborate with others involved in the choreographic and performance process.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

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

  • sprung floor
  • tarkett
  • 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 practice and 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 practice sessions
  • case studies and scenarios as a basis for discussing components of the composition process
  • portfolios, journals or other documentation and notation that demonstrate the reflective processes used in dance composition.

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
  • CUADLT401A Document dance
  • CUADLT402A Explore the relationship between music and 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
  • representation of a particular dance style or theme.

Movement elements  may include:

  • shape
  • space
  • dynamics
  • time.

Choreographic ideas  may include:

  • musical score
  • costumes
  • props
  • staging
  • performance space
  • lighting.

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.

High compositional standard  may include:

  • mixture of the various components of choreography, such as:
  • movement
  • form
  • phrasing
  • structuring
  • stylisation
  • abstraction combined with one’s own style and expressive affect.

Notation  may include:

  • shorthand
  • pictures
  • diagrams
  • graphics
  • using computer notation software specific to dance.

Presentation  may include:

  • feedback discussion
  • video replays
  • journal entries
  • choreographic showings
  • drawings or diagrams
  • visual and audiovisual stimuli and reference
  • performance venues
  • projections or a screen dance format.

Dance-creation process  may include:

  • creativity
  • effectiveness
  • inspiration
  • audience response.

Relevant personnel  may include:

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

Unit Sector(s)

Performing arts - choreography

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.