Prepare for a 21st Century dance career.

Both formal and forward thinking, the Dance Department offers a pre-professional training program reflective of the 21st Century. Through sound training and a diverse curriculum, our progressive and systematic approach increases the dancers' technical, artistic, and intellectual scope.

Led by world-renowned instructors, the Dance program (grades 10-12) is based in classical ballet, with the opportunity at junior and senior levels to continue with a classical ballet focus or to choose a modern/contemporary concentration. Both options offer students a systematic and diverse curriculum that is physically demanding and rewarding. They are designed to educate and prepare students for entry into the post-secondary and professional dance world.

Philosophy

Our mission is to nurture and maintain programs that are inclusive and reflective of a diverse and fluid global dance community with the goal of developing and educating successful, versatile, professional dancers.

  • The ballet program is based on long-established concepts and ideas taken from the Vaganova, Cecchetti, R.A.D., and Cuban school.
  • The Modern/Contemporary component exposes students to theoretical concepts that touch on principles based on the Graham, Horton, Limon, and Cunningham techniques.
  • Classical ballet and modern dance training is complemented with a diverse range of concert dance and dance related forms such as Variation, Partnering and Pas De Deux, Historical Dance, Character, Methodology, Movement Improvisation, Movement Composition, African based styles, Jazz, Pilates and Anatomy, Dance History, and Music for Dancers.
  • Support to care for, and nurture the developing dancer is provided with the department's priority on Health and Wellness. A 'Positivity' philosophy is implemented, and additional classes in Anatomy, Pilates, Yoga, Alexander technique, Stretch and Strength, Cross-Training for dancers and Dance Injury prevention are offered to support and address each student's uniqueness.
  • Additionally, professional career guidance, by our internationally recognized faculty, begins with a mentoring program at junior level, leading to audition preparation at senior level, that includes a resume, portfolio, the coaching of audition solos and, audition applications. 

Our mission and goals all play an integral role in developing our students' knowledge of movement philosophies, vocabulary, styles, and dynamic range; they gain confidence and maturity as performing artists and become better prepared for careers in dance.

When To Apply By Grade

Dance students may apply in the 9th or 10th grade to attend during their 10th through 12th-grade years. 

The Dance Department offers two admissions periods—an Early Decision Admissions period and a Regular Decision period. Students who apply and audition during the Early Decision period will receive priority for admissions.

See more details about the application and admissions process below.

Students in Ballet class
Modern Dance Performance

Application

How to Apply

You are strongly encouraged to apply during our Early Decision process in the fall. While we do hold auditions for Regular Decision in February, most of our spaces are filled during the Early Decision audition process.

On online application process, which includes demographic and arts information, must be completed to be considered for admission. The online application portal will be used to request recommendation and upload other required materials.

Apply Now

  • Early Decision Dance Deadline: October 18, 2021
  • Regular Decision Dance (priority deadline): January 7, 2022

Personal Essay

Essays will be uploaded to the online application.

Describe in 500-800 words why you want to study dance at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, where you see yourself 10 years from now, and how studying at the Governor's School will help you achieve your goal.

Upload the essay in Word or PDF format. Do not upload using the PAGES app.

Audition

Residential High School Dance auditions will be held in-person this year. Selected applicants will be invited to an audition made up of four parts: a ballet class, a modern class, a solo, and a brief personal interview. Standard dance attire is expected during the audition.

While submitting a video audition is an option, participating in an in-person audition is strongly recommended.

Early Decision Auditions

  • October 30, 2021 - Lowcountry
  • October 31, 2021 - Midlands
  • November 6, 2021 - Upstate

Regular Decision Auditions

  • Dates and locations TBD

Standard Dance Attire

Females:  Black leotards, convertible pink tights, ballet shoes. For the modern center practice, applicants must be barefoot (rolled up convertible tights).

Males:  Black t-shirts, dance belts, black convertible tights with black shoes. For the modern center practice, applicants must be barefoot (rolled up convertible tights).

Our graduates continue their dance education at the following trainee and university dance programs: