Agency: Full creative ownership of every choice made. Whatever those choices might be, they are determined by the performer themselves, inspired and supported by the material.

Assessment Criteria: What the examiner is looking for in the performance.

Attainment Descriptors: How Mountview defines the qualities of the performance on the day of the assessment.

Breath within Movement: Also known as phrasing, this is the way in which the energy is distributed in the execution of a movement phrase.  

Creative Links: These links can be sung or danced or spoken, with or without music, to create one seamless piece of work. 

Dynamics (sung): The change of vocal volume, including silence and rest.  

Elevation: The body’s propulsion into the air away from the supporting surface, such as in a leap, hop, or jump.  

Exam duration: This is the maximum time allocated for the total exam, including introduction, changing footwear and collecting props. We advise the performer ensures there is time allowed for the Reflection task otherwise this will be curtailed. The duration can be divided between the separate performance task options, creating a mix of longer and shorter performance elements according to the performer’s choice, so long as enough time is afforded each task to fully explore the material in performance.

Existing coupling: In the context of Monologue into Song this refers to moments in existing shows where a monologue is written which then moves into a song, for example the monologue from A Chorus Line which precedes the song ‘Nothing.   

Explosive/Implosive: The energy of the impact of performance whether it radiates outwards from the performer or inwards.  

Facilitator: The person who will be cueing and controlling the music. They will have rehearsed with the performer prior to the exam. They will be in attendance for the performance task part of the exam only, and for the Redirection, if required, at Level Three.   

Heavy/Light: The relationship between gravity and the physical core.   

Impulse/Impact: The motivation for movement or speech or song (impulse) and the effect on the performance (impact).   

Inflection: Use of tone, pace and pitch in order to convey a particular or more precise meaning of a word.  

Integrated movement: There is an emotional connection with the music and the story and this is expressed through the physical language of the body. This could be as simple as an arm raised at a certain moment, the turn of a head, a contraction of the stomach muscles, a step to an imagined scene partner or as much as a dynamic sequence of moves in a dance break. We invite the performer to work to their strengths and to consider that there is always some movement, even in stillness. Even stillness is active if there is purpose and intention.   

Intonation: The vocal modulation or the ‘up and down’ vocal delivery of a phrase on the rise and fall of natural speech.   

Learning Outcomes: Skills and knowledge acquired by the performer when preparing and performing the assessment.  

Level Focus: These indicate what we anticipate performers might explore at each Level within the three disciplines. There is more guidance by Grade within the Dance Level Focus in order to better support performers in the absence of any script to be prepared or score to be sung.

Motif: When used in reference to dance, this is a sequence of moves which repeat and evolve.  

Musicality: The quality of connection between the technical skills of singing or dancing with music, to create character and story.  

Original or existing (in the context of Text task): Performers can create a story from scratch, from their own imagination, or they can retell an existing story. Although the task is delivered from memory, we are not asking for learning by rote from storybooks but rather to remember the order of the narrative and to conjure the world and characters of that writing.

Pitch: The quality that makes it possible to judge sounds as ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ in relation to musical melodies, also relates to how a performer uses their individual vocal range.    

Purpose and Intention: Introduced at Level Two, underpinning all three skills. This phrase supports characterisation within a specific scenario; why is the character there (purpose) and what do they want (intention).  

Release: Contracting and relaxing, or releasing, the core.  

Rigour: Control, presence and commitment within the live setting and evidenced stagecraft. 

Suspension: Suspended movement is expressed when two opposing forces are even. It is the moment after a strong expenditure of energy is exerted and the dancer is suspended at the peak of the movement before succumbing to gravity.  

Swing: Sustained and supported gesture or the combination of suspension, release and catch. Catch is the relishing of the final moments from an impulsive and strong movement before it dissolves. 

Timbre: The quality of the vocal sound such as light, flat, smooth, smoky, breathy, rough.  

Tuning: The extent to which a song is in tune. 

Turning: One or multiple spins or rotation.

Subscribe to updates and exam news