Unit of competency details

CUADAN201A - Develop basic dance techniques (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUADAN201 - Develop basic dance techniquesUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 20/Nov/2013

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 06/Oct/2011


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 develop basic dance techniques and apply safe dance practices.

Application of the Unit

Persons with some practical experience in dance apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. They would normally perform as members of a group or ensemble and could be developing technique in dance styles, such as ballet, contemporary, jazz, ballroom, tap, cultural or street.

This unit concentrates on the development of basic dance techniques for a limited range of styles, suitable for young dancers at the commencement of their career. Skills are usually developed in a dance studio setting under the supervision of a teacher.

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 basic dance techniques

1.1. Identify principles and characteristics of a range of basic dance techniques 

1.2. Discuss with relevant personnel  the range of ways in which dance techniques can be used to create simple movement sequences

1.3. Identify relationship  between dance techniques and accompanying music 

1.4. Recognise that dance techniques are composed of a range of influences 

2. Participate in personal warm-up and class preparation

2.1. Select and wear appropriate practice clothing and footwear

2.2. Identify a variety of effective warm-up techniques 

2.3. Develop an appropriate warm-up strategy

2.4. Complete appropriate warm-up exercises

2.5. Apply safe dance practices  to prevent injury to self and others

3. Practise basic dance techniques

3.1. Apply correct posture and body alignment  appropriate to the dance technique and movement

3.2. Apply isolation and coordination of the upper and lower body within simple movement sequences

3.3. Apply locomotor  techniques in dance practice sessions

3.4. Apply falling, elevation and turning  techniques in dance practice sessions

3.5. Apply balance, flexibility, coordination, weight transfer and control and articulation of individual body parts in an integrated manner in a range of techniques

3.6. Seek feedback from relevant personnel to facilitate improvement in developing basic dance techniques

4. Develop combinations of dance techniques within specified exercises

4.1. Discuss with relevant personnel the combinations of dance exercises to determine the requirements of the exercise

4.2. Apply memory retention, control and finesse when combining dance techniques within an exercise

4.3. Incorporate musicality and phrasing into dance exercises

4.4. Seek feedback from relevant personnel to facilitate improvement in developing combinations of basic dance techniques

5. Participate in cool-down exercises

5.1. Identify a variety of effective cool-down techniques 

5.2. Develop an appropriate cool-down strategy

5.3. Complete appropriate cool-down exercises

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • discuss dance issues with colleagues in an appropriate way
  • respond appropriately to feedback on own skill development
  • initiative and enterprise skills to:
  • apply techniques of music to movement in dance forms
  • express rhythms in physical form
  • learning skills to:
  • develop and practise basic dance techniques
  • develop a movement memory
  • listening skills to:
  • maintain correct tempi in movement sequences
  • maintain musical sensitivity, awareness and phrasing in exercises and routines
  • literacy skills to interpret and clarify written or verbal instructions
  • planning and organising skills to:
  • prepare for dance classes
  • plan practice time
  • problem-solving skills to seek assistance when problems arise
  • self-management skills to:
  • arrive at classes on time
  • dress appropriately
  • observe dance discipline and follow direction
  • apply safe dance practices
  • teamwork skills to:
  • work collaboratively with others involved in dance classes
  • train with others as a member of a team under direction
  • work in a cohesive partnership with a peer, interpreting a dance style.

Required knowledge 

  • basic knowledge of OHS in the context of dance classes
  • well-developed knowledge of:
  • principles underlying dance movements and techniques, such as:
  • relationship with gravity
  • spatial awareness
  • successional movement
  • use of breath
  • folding
  • extending
  • rotating
  • shifting weight
  • anatomical foundations, including:
  • articulation of the spine
  • engagement of the feet
  • bases of support, including feet, legs, hands, arms and torso
  • range of motion of the joints
  • differentiation of the legs and pelvis
  • importance of healthy food choices in relation to wellbeing and injury prevention, including five food groups and recommended daily amounts
  • dance terminology
  • structure of a dance class.

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:

  • perform a range of dance movements within personal capabilities
  • identify a range of basic dance techniques
  • perform two dance sequences that demonstrate a mastery of basic dance techniques
  • respond appropriately to constructive feedback on own performance.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to appropriate dance class areas or spaces, including outdoor locations.

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 skills in a classroom setting
  • 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 developing basic dance techniques
  • direct observation or video recording of candidate developing basic dance techniques in dance classes.

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:

  • CUADAN202A Incorporate artistic expression into basic dance performances
  • CUAPRF201A Prepare self for performances.

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.

Basic dance techniques  may relate to:

  • dance style, including:
  • ballet
  • bodyweather and butoh
  • contemporary
  • creative
  • cultural, such as:
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • African
  • belly dancing
  • Egyptian
  • Hungarian
  • Irish dance
  • Khmer
  • magical, mystical or spiritual dance
  • Pacific Islander
  • Polish
  • ritual or sacred
  • Russian
  • Scottish
  • Spanish
  • jazz
  • modern
  • social, such as:
  • foxtrot
  • quickstep
  • tango
  • Viennese waltz
  • waltz
  • Argentine tango
  • cha cha
  • jive
  • mambo
  • paso doble
  • rumba
  • salsa
  • street
  • tap
  • wheelchair dancing
  • alignment
  • focusing eyes and mind while performing
  • improvisation
  • isocentric and polycentric isolations
  • locomotor exercises and sequences, such as:
  • pirouettes
  • posés piqués
  • pencil turns
  • châinés
  • kicks
  • jumps and leaps
  • maintaining control in turning balances
  • maintaining rhythm and tempo
  • non-locomotor exercises and sequences, such as:
  • pliés
  • tendus
  • using arm lines appropriately and extensively
  • working at differing tempos
  • working on centre and off centre.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • choreographers
  • community members
  • fellow students
  • manager
  • mentors
  • representatives of dance societies
  • supervisor
  • teachers.

Relationship  between dance movement and accompanying music may relate to:

  • correct timing
  • phrasing.

Accompanying music  may include:

  • instrumental music
  • vocal music
  • traditional or folk music
  • contemporary or soundscapes
  • live or recorded music.

Influences  may include:

  • ballroom dancing
  • classical ballet
  • ethnic dance, such as:
  • African
  • Afro-American
  • Indian
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • dancers, choreographers and musicians, such as:
  • Isadora Duncan
  • Katherine Dunham
  • Doris Humphrey
  • Gene Kelly
  • Martha Graham
  • Pearl Primus
  • Bob Fosse
  • James Brown
  • musical theatre and Broadway shows
  • traditional jazz, such as:
  • jive
  • rock and roll
  • cakewalk
  • black bottom
  • charleston
  • jitter bug
  • boogie woogie
  • swing
  • urban folk, including:
  • acid
  • funk
  • hip-hop
  • rap
  • soul dance
  • techno
  • trance.

Warm-up techniques  may include:

  • barre and floor exercises
  • exercises for:
  • body conditioning and strength development
  • flexibility
  • isometric control
  • coordination improvement and enhancement exercises
  • muscle contraction and release
  • isolation and mobility of all body parts
  • slow and relevant stretching
  • slow and deep breathing.

Safe dance practices  may include:

  • correct execution of dance steps
  • appropriate clothing and footwear
  • doing exercises and performing routines on flooring appropriate to 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
  • nutrition and diet
  • 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.

Body alignment  refers to:

  • proper alignment of the torso, limbs, spine and shoulders, including:
  • ear over the shoulder over the hips
  • knee over the ankle.

Locomotor  techniques must include use of:

  • balance
  • control and articulation of a body parts in an integrated manner
  • coordination
  • flexibility
  • stamina
  • weight transfer.

Falling, elevation and turning  techniques must include use of:

  • balance
  • control and articulation of body parts in an integrated manner
  • coordination
  • flexibility
  • stamina
  • weight transfer.

Cool-down techniques  may include:

  • barre and floor exercises
  • exercises for:
  • body conditioning and strength development
  • flexibility
  • isometric control
  • coordination improvement and enhancement exercises
  • muscle contraction and release
  • isolation and mobility of all body parts
  • slow and relevant stretching
  • slow deep breathing.

Unit Sector(s)

Performing arts - dance

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.