Unit of competency details

CUACHR602A - Develop skills in dance notation (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUACHR602 - Develop skills in dance notationUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 20/Nov/2013

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

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 begin the process of acquiring skills in the highly specialised field of dance notation.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to dancers and choreographers whose performance and composition knowledge position them well for a move into the highly specialised field of dance notation.

At this level people are expected to apply wide-ranging, highly specialised technical, creative and conceptual skills to express ideas and perspectives. Work activities and learning are largely self-directed.

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. Explore differences in dance notation methods

1.1. Practise reading scores notated in Labanotation to become familiar with key aspects of the Labanotation system 

1.2. Practise reading scores that have been documented using Benesh Movement Notation to become familiar with key aspects of the Benesh system 

1.3. Explore features of other notation systems  to determine which system best suits own needs

1.4. Consider motif notation as a way of indicating the main aspects of movements but allowing performers latitude in the finer detail of how they perform movements

1.5. Explore shorthand  used in conjunction with different dance notation methods

1.6. Explore the range of software applications  used to notate dance

2. Undertake preliminary training in dance notation

2.1. Discuss with relevant personnel options  for developing dance notation skills

2.2. Consider whether a basic level of music notation skills should be developed as part of dance notation training

2.3. Consider whether to pursue training that goes beyond notation into other issues  associated with documenting dance

2.4. Select a training method and pursue it until required level of notation skills is achieved

2.5. Use notation skills to document short dance sequences for teaching purposes

2.6. Seek feedback on effectiveness and clarity of notation and continue refining skills

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • analytical and literacy skills to:
  • analyse information about dance notation and documentation from a variety of sources
  • observe and interpret human movements from an informed viewpoint
  • communication skills to:
  • participate in debate and discussion about dance notation issues
  • respond appropriately to feedback on own skill development
  • initiative and enterprise skills to devise the most effective way to notate dance sequences for specific purposes
  • planning and organisational skills to notate dance in a logical sequence
  • learning skills to improve own skills in dance notation
  • technology skills to access information from the internet.

Required knowledge 

  • well-developed knowledge of:
  • the range of ways in which dance notation is used
  • sources of information about dance notation
  • training available in dance notation
  • overview knowledge of:
  • common dance notation systems
  • copyright and intellectual property issues associated with notating dance
  • broader issues associated with documenting dance performances.

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:

  • discuss in an informed way the differences between various dance notation methods
  • acquire skills in notating dance
  • notate a short dance sequence using a selected method or shorthand.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to reference material related to dance notation
  • opportunities to practise notation skills.

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:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence
  • third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance
  • evaluation of dance sequences notated
  • verbal or written questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit
  • case studies and scenarios as a basis for discussion of issues and challenges that arise in the context of notating dance
  • direct observation of candidate notating a dance sequence.

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:

  • CUACHR601A Create choreography for stage and screen
  • CUAIND601A Work professionally in the creative arts industry
  • CUARES501A Refine conceptual understanding of 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.

Key aspects of the Labanotation system  include:

  • symbols are placed on a vertical staff which is read from bottom to top
  • position of symbol on the staff indicates the body part
  • shading indicates the level of the movement or gesture
  • length of the symbol indicates the timing of the movement
  • staff are divided into measures to match the measures of the music
  • symbols indicate size of steps.

Key aspects of the Benesh system  include:

  • notation written on a five line stave which is read from left to right and from top to bottom of the page
  • all body and limb positions are shown within the five-line stave
  • a series of frames is used to record positions
  • stave lines correspond to visually distinctive features of the body, such as:
  • head
  • shoulders
  • waist
  • knees
  • floor (feet)
  • three signs represent the position of the hands and feet in relation to the body:
  • in front
  • level
  • behind
  • movement lines indicate transitions from one position to another
  • rhythm and phrasing signs are shown above the stave
  • direction faced, location and paths of travel are shown below the stave.

Other notation systems  may include:

  • Sutton Movement Writing and Shorthand
  • Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation
  • Greenotation.

Software applications  include:

  • LabanReader
  • LabanLab
  • NotationMan.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • mentor
  • manager
  • dance teacher
  • dance studio manager
  • choreographer
  • dancer
  • dance society representative.

Options  may include:

  • face to face classes
  • through dance societies
  • distance mode, including online.

Issues  may include:

  • logistical, such as:
  • facilities
  • equipment
  • personnel
  • video formats
  • aesthetic, such as:
  • composition
  • spatial intent
  • technical (in relation to video recording), such as:
  • focus
  • exposure
  • white balance
  • camera movement
  • functional (in relation to video recording), such as:
  • stage grid
  • choreographic details
  • dancer’s perspective
  • costuming.

Unit Sector(s)

Performing arts - choreography

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.