Unit of competency details

CUADAN515 - Refine contemporary dance techniques (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to CUADAN505 - Refine contemporary dance technique 15/Apr/2021

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 16/Apr/2021


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  16/Apr/2021 
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Unit of competency

Modification History



Release 1

This version first released with CUA Creative Arts and Culture Training Package Version 5.0.


This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to add range, depth and increasing complexity to contemporary dance technique.

The unit applies to those who are dancers consolidating a career where complex contemporary dance technique is required in commercial, competitive or artistic settings. They usually perform as members of an ensemble, but some solo work can also be expected. At this level, they are challenging themselves with dance pieces and repertoire of increasing technical and physical complexity. While some supervision and guidance are provided, they are expected to be self-directed and display a high level of motivation and responsibility for themselves and others.

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

Unit Sector

Performing arts – Dance

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Apply own physical conditioning program

1.1 Set physical conditioning and dance performance development goals aimed at improving own contemporary dance technique

1.2 Identify risk factors that may inhibit achievement of goals and seek advice as required

1.3 Improve stamina, strength, flexibility and mobility using a variety of techniques according to physical conditioning goals

1.4 Perform warm-up and cool-down activities in conjunction with dance and physical activities according to safe dance practices

1.5 Discuss fatigue and personal limitations with required personnel when undertaking physical conditioning program as required

2. Practise complex contemporary dance techniques and adaptability skills

2.1 Practise performing new and complex movement sequences that demand different spatial orientations and changes in speed

2.2 Develop increasingly complex performance attributes according to own dance performance goals

2.3 Practise contemporary dance techniques, applying principles of alignment with power, flexibility, coordination and cardiovascular endurance during class

2.4 Show developed strength and complexity in footwork and floorwork according to requirements of complex movement sequences

2.5 Practise working with a partner, applying timing techniques for shifting weight and counterbalance

2.6 Refine improvisation skills in response to different stimuli using complex contemporary dance techniques and movement pathways

2.7 Incorporate choreographic skills into sections of class work

3. Present complex contemporary dance sequences

3.1 Practise contemporary dance repertoire in line with required rhythms and time signatures commonly used in contemporary dance

3.2 Present and execute group work, and contribute to group dynamic and cohesion

3.3 Execute extended sequences to right and left sides without prompting, according to requirements of dance repertoire

3.4 Incorporate unseen combinations into contemporary dance performances with speed and verve

3.5 Perform using own personal style, and demonstrate stylistic differences in variety of contemporary styles and approaches

3.6 Accomplish solo work with developing musical interpretation

3.7 Present sequences with a high level of stage presence and confidence

4. Review and develop expertise in contemporary dance technique

4.1 Seek and use feedback from others to develop strategies for improving own contemporary dance techniques and group work

4.2 View performances by industry practitioners and identify new ideas and trends that can be applied to own dance practice

4.3 Incorporate contemporary dance terminology, culture and movement philosophies into discussions with others, and practice and performance activities

Foundation Skills

This section describes those language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills that are essential to performance but not explicit in the performance criteria.




  • Analyses feedback, reviews personal goals and reflects on learning and performance
  • Identifies improvements from previous experience and viewing the performances of others

Oral communication

  • Obtains information by listening and questioning

Planning and organising

  • Adopts a methodical and disciplined approach to physical conditioning program and dance classes

Initiative and enterprise

  • Works creatively with music and dance
  • Develops new material for choreography


  • Follows industry accepted safe dance practices and injury-prevention strategies
  • Takes responsibility for own ongoing professional and career development


  • Works collaboratively to develop and improve dance techniques
  • Responds creatively and flexibly to other dancers while dancing together

Unit Mapping Information

Supersedes and is equivalent to CUADAN505 Refine contemporary dance technique.


Companion Volume Implementation Guide is found on VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=1db201d9-4006-4430-839f-382ef6b803d5


Assessment requirements

Modification History



Release 1

This version first released with CUA Creative Arts and Culture Training Package Version 5.0.

Performance Evidence

The candidate must demonstrate the ability to complete the tasks outlined in the elements, performance criteria and foundation skills of this unit, including evidence of the ability to:

  • perform at least three contemporary dance pieces, using at least two different contemporary dance styles.

In the course of the above, the candidate must:

  • perform complex combinations of contemporary dance technique using:
  • muscular strength and flexibility
  • alignment and extensions in highly difficult combinations
  • high level of coordination of limbs, torso and head
  • high level of spatial awareness in group movements
  • control and release of movement
  • use of breath
  • quality and breadth of movement
  • individual artistic qualities
  • torso contractions and releases
  • floorwork
  • isolation and energy placement techniques
  • combinations of spatial organisations with turns, balances and jumps of increasing difficulty and dynamic continuity
  • demonstrate professional work ethic, set clear personal goals and engage in self-assessment processes
  • follow injury-prevention techniques and safe dance practices
  • communicate mood, style and grace through dance
  • respond to different time signatures in music
  • use contemporary dance terminology when required.

Knowledge Evidence

The candidate must be able to demonstrate knowledge to complete the tasks outlined in the elements, performance criteria and foundation skills of this unit, including knowledge of:

  • genres, styles and philosophical nature of contemporary dance
  • contribution of influential choreographers
  • roles and hierarchy in auditions, rehearsals and performances for contemporary dance performers
  • principles relating to contemporary dance movements and techniques, including:
  • relationship with gravity
  • spatial awareness
  • use of breath
  • movement pathways
  • expanding and contracting
  • shifting weight
  • principles relating to safe dance practice and injury prevention:
  • spine articulation
  • foot engagement
  • bases of support, including feet, legs, hands, arms and torso
  • joint range of motion
  • differentiation of legs and pelvis
  • health and safety policies and procedures relevant to the dance environment
  • application of musical elements of time signatures, beat, tempo and syncopation to contemporary dance technique
  • contemporary dance history and lineage
  • method for choreographing complex contemporary dance routines, including ways of notating contemporary dance
  • strategies to respond to feedback and good practice to improve dance techniques.

Assessment Conditions

Skills in this unit must be demonstrated in a workplace or simulated environment where the conditions are typical of those in a working environment in this industry.

This includes access to:

  • dance studios with required flooring for performing contemporary dance
  • music or accompanists required to demonstrate the performance evidence.

Assessors of this unit must satisfy the requirements for assessors in applicable vocational education and training legislation, frameworks and/or standards.


Companion Volume Implementation Guide is found on VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=1db201d9-4006-4430-839f-382ef6b803d5