Unit of competency details

CUADLT401A - Document dance (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUADLT401 - Document danceUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 20/Nov/2013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 document dance sequences using basic dance notation methodologies and basic video recording and editing techniques.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to those who are engaged in researching aspects of dance culture. They could be documenting dance sequences or dance productions in the context of dance teaching, improving their own dance technique, devising dance sequences or preserving information about performances for historical or cultural purposes.

Work is usually undertaken under some supervision, though autonomy and judgement can be expected since people are sometimes expected to coordinate wide-ranging documentation projects.

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. Prepare to document dance sequences

1.1. Discuss with relevant personnel  the reasons  for documenting dance sequences and the range of components  to be documented

1.2. Clarify elements  of dance sequences that need special emphasis in documentation

1.3. Organise materials and resources  required to document dance sequences

2. Apply basic notation skills

2.1. Agree on the form of basic written notation  to be used

2.2. Practise using the symbols  and terminology associated with agreed notation method

2.3. Notate aspects of dance sequences in line with requirements

2.4. Notate aspects of music  as required

2.5. Review notation with relevant personnel to identify adjustments  that need to be made

2.6. Finalise notation and submit to relevant personnel as required by agreed deadline

3. Record dance sequences

3.1. Set up basic recording equipment and accessories  to accommodate  angles, perspectives and sound quality required for documentation purposes

3.2. Coordinate recording of dance sequences and any commentary required

3.3. Review recordings progressively and request repetition of sequences as required

3.4. Interact with dancers and others involved in the recording process in ways that engender goodwill, trust and respect

3.5. Ensure that all activities are carried out with due regard to safety considerations 

4. Finalise documentation

4.1. View raw footage of recordings with relevant personnel to determine editing requirements

4.2. Use standard features  of basic digital imaging and video editing software  to produce first cut of video clips

4.3. Review first cut with relevant personnel and incorporate feedback and suggestions into final version as required

4.4. Output files in the required format  and ensure that backup copies are made according to enterprise procedures

4.5. Check that documentation material  meets requirements and submit complete package to relevant personnel within agreed timeframe

4.6. Use feedback from relevant personnel and self-reflection to identify ways to improve documentation process

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • clarify written and verbal instructions and specifications regarding dance documentation requirements
  • discuss dance documentation issues with a range of people
  • give and receive feedback on work in progress
  • initiative and enterprise skills to:
  • analyse dance movements for notation purposes
  • devise concepts for video recordings that meet documentation needs
  • anticipate and deal with issues that arise in the context of filming dance sequences
  • learning skills to improve basic dance notation skills through practice
  • literacy skills to:
  • read simple dance notation
  • use basic dance notation techniques
  • planning and organising skills to plan and implement all aspects of dance documentation projects
  • teamwork skills to work collaboratively with dancers and others involved in the recording of dance sequences
  • technology skills to:
  • set up and operate basic video recording equipment
  • edit video footage using a range of standard features in basic digital editing software
  • manipulate digital images using standard digital imaging software.

Required knowledge 

  • well-developed knowledge of:
  • principles underlying dance movements and techniques, such as:
  • relationship with gravity
  • spatial awareness
  • successional movement
  • folding
  • extending
  • rotating
  • shifting weight
  • dance terminology
  • overview knowledge of:
  • theories of dance analysis
  • dance styles and genres, and conventions relevant to analysis
  • staging elements of live productions
  • choreographic process
  • range of methods for notating dance
  • OHS issues related to:
  • using video recording equipment to document dance
  • working for periods of time on computers.

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:

  • notate a short dance sequence using symbols and terminology relevant to the dance style and selected notation method
  • produce a video clip of a dance sequence that:
  • meets specified documentation requirements
  • demonstrates competency in basic:
  • video recording and editing techniques
  • digital image manipulation
  • work collaboratively with others.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • dance notation reference materials
  • video recording and editing equipment and facilities.

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 notation prepared
  • 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 documenting dance
  • review of video clips produced.
  • direct observation of candidate coordinating recording of dance sequences.

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
  • CUADLT301A Develop basic dance analysis skills
  • CUFDIG303A Produce and prepare photo images
  • CUSMLT303A Notate music.

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.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • manager
  • dance teacher
  • dance student
  • choreographer
  • performer
  • producer
  • director
  • wardrobe personnel
  • make-up artist
  • hair stylist
  • venue staff
  • camera operator
  • representatives of dance societies
  • sound recordist.

Reasons  may relate to:

  • creating a choreographic record
  • teaching dance
  • documenting all aspects of a production.

Components  may include:

  • dance movements
  • costumes
  • make-up
  • sets
  • props
  • music
  • use of silence
  • lighting
  • special effects.

Elements  may relate to:

  • effort, including:
  • time: when the movement occurs in a composition
  • weight: the intensity used to perform the movement
  • space: shows where and what path the movement follows
  • flow: how the movements are joined together
  • spatial elements, such as:
  • direction of movement in space
  • level, where movement or gestures occurs on high, medium or low level
  • shape, including symmetry and asymmetry
  • dynamics, such as:
  • rhythm: time and weight
  • duration: length of time to perform a movement
  • musical rhythms: association between musical notation and dance movements
  • body and body actions, such as:
  • body and body parts: the part of the body moving
  • step or locomotor movement: complete transference of weight
  • gesture, such as a movement that is not a step
  • relationship to others, including audience.

Materials and resources  may include:

  • reference material related to symbols and terminology used to document human movement
  • notation software
  • video editing software
  • computers
  • video recording equipment and accessories.

Written notation  may include:

  • various notation methods, including:
  • Labanotation
  • Benesh
  • DanceWriting
  • in-house custom method
  • motif notation
  • notation software.

Symbols  may relate to documenting:

  • direction of the movement, such as:
  • forward
  • backward
  • left forward diagonal
  • right forward diagonal
  • left side
  • right side
  • left backward diagonal
  • right backward diagonal
  • part of the body doing the movement
  • level of the movement, including:
  • low - bent leg
  • middle - straight leg
  • high - on the toes
  • length of time it takes to do the movement related to music notation.

Aspects of music notation  may relate to:

  • musical rhythms, including:
  • crotchet
  • quaver
  • semibreve
  • minim
  • time signatures, such as:
  • 3/4
  • 2/4
  • 6/8.

Adjustments  may relate to:

  • gaps in notation
  • legibility
  • misinterpretations
  • too much or too little emphasis on a particular element.

Recording equipment and accessories  may include:

  • camcorders
  • tripods
  • microphones
  • microphone stands
  • lights
  • mini DV tapes
  • DVDs
  • sound recording equipment
  • cables.

Ways to accommodate  may relate to:

  • mounting one or more cameras on tripods to film continuous long shots from different angles
  • using hand held cameras to film close-up shots
  • recording sound separately.

Safety considerations  relate to:

  • ensuring that the space is free of trip hazards
  • testing and tagging electrical equipment
  • running cables.

Standard features  may include:

  • cropping shots
  • changing the sequence of shots
  • juxtaposing long and close-up shots of the same movement
  • slowing or speeding up motion
  • inserting stills
  • panning and zooming stills
  • synchronising sound and vision when importing audio tracks
  • replacing audio from original footage with separate audio tracks, such as:
  • commentaries
  • sound effects
  • inserting captions and titles
  • inserting pre-programmed animation effects.

Software  may include:

  • Final Cut Pro
  • Pinnacle Studio
  • Adobe Premiere
  • Corel Video Studio Pro.

Formats  may include:

  • audio, including:
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • video, including:
  • AVI
  • MPEG
  • FLV
  • still images, including:
  • JPEG
  • TIFF
  • GIF.

Documentation material  may include:

  • notated dance sequences
  • music notation
  • video clips
  • raw footage
  • still images of, for example:
  • costumes
  • make-up
  • hairstyles
  • wigs
  • sets
  • props
  • written commentaries
  • copies of program notes
  • reviews
  • testimonials.

Unit Sector(s)

Performing arts - dance literacy

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.