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 an aggressive curriculum, our systematic approach ensures increases in technical, artistic, and intellectual scope.

Led by world-renowned instructors, the Dance program is based in classical ballet which is enhanced at the Sophomore and Junior levels with a strong modern/contemporary dance component. At the Senior level, students have the choice to either continue their ballet-focused program or change into a modern program. Both offer students a systematic and diverse curriculum that is physically demanding and rewarding. It is designed to educate and prepare students for entry into the post-secondary and professional dance world.


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 schools.
  • 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.
  • Additionally, students receive a nationally-recognized academic education, professional career guidance, and through this inclusive Dance Program, the support needed to care for and nurture developing dancers.

Through systematic training and progressive curriculum, this approach develops versatility, broadens our students’ knowledge of movement philosophies, vocabulary styles, and dynamic range, while gaining 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.

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    • Modern Dance Photo
    • Ballet Photo from Spring 2017 performance
    • Ballet lift photo

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


    Thank you for your interest in our Residential High School program. The application period for the 2019-2020 school year is now closed. However, student spaces for specific art areas may become available during the application and audition process. If you are interested in applying for the Residential High School, please contact the Office of Admissions at 864.282.3713 to learn more.

    All Residential High School applicants must–

    • Satisfy requirements for legal residency in South Carolina 
    • Have a 2.5 cumulative grade point average or higher 
    • Possess a high level of commitment, motivation, and maturity 

    Candidates may apply for up to two art areas, but may attend in only one. 

    If you already have an account from a previous year, then you can login using the same login credentials. If this is your first time applying, then you’ll need to create an account in our online application system. The application has several different components, and you don’t have to complete it in one sitting. Once you create an account, you can pick up where you left off at any time.

    Here’s what you’ll need to complete the online application.

    ID Photo

    A passport-style photo of yourself from the shoulders up. This will be used as your student ID photo if you are accepted.

    Teacher Recommendations

    You’ll complete a short online form on the application that will allow us request grades and attendance and send the appropriate recommendation forms to your teachers while you continue to work on your application. You’ll need names and email addresses for:

    • Student Record Form (usually completed by guidance counselor)
    • Arts Teacher Recommendation
    • Academic Teacher Recommendation
    • Homeschool Recommendation (if applicable)


    Dance Experience

    List any dance experiences or classes you have had. Please include any summer programs or workshops in which you have participated.

    Personal Essay

    500-800 words about why you would like to study dance at the Governor’s School. Upload your essay in Word or PDF format. Do not upload using the PAGES app.

    Dance Photo

    Recent photo in standard dance attire, facing front, demonstrating a tendu in 2nd position.

    Parent/Guardian Contact Information

    General contact information for individuals who have legal custody.

    Dance Application Options

    The Dance Department offers two admissions options for all dance programs:

    • Early Decision - applicants receive their decision before Thanksgiving
    • Regular Decision - applicants receive their decision by early April

    Students are strongly encouraged to apply and audition during Early Decision. Students who audition during Early Decision will receive priority for admissions. The majority of spaces for our dance programs are filled during Early Decision.

    Once all application materials are received, you will receive an email confirming your audition date. The Admissions Office will notify you if information is missing from your application. Incomplete applications cannot be processed.

    Audition locations fill up quickly, so please submit your completed application as early as possible.


    The Audition

    The audition process will demonstrate the applicant’s physical suitability for the everyday rigor of our Classical Ballet and Modern/Contemporary programs, technical aptitude, artistic potential, and ability to take direction.

    • Ballet Class – 1.5 hours
    • Modern Center Practice – 30 minutes
    • Solo Performance
      • Perform a solo showcasing your performing ability in Ballet, Modern, or Contemporary dance.
      • The solo should be a maximum of two minutes in length.
      • The solo may be from the classical repertoire or it may be original choreography by the student or a teacher.
      • You must provide a CD recording of the music for your performance. Please make sure your CD is readable by standard sound systems. (Support for iPod will not be provided.)
    The Interview

    A panel of dance professionals will conduct an individual interview with you to assess:

    • your future goals and aspirations
    • your commitment to successfully complete the dance program
    • your level of responsibility and potential as a student in a residential program
    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).

    Important Dates

    The Dance Department offers two admissions options for the high school program and the summer program – an Early Decision admissions option and a Regular Decision option.

    Early Decision Dance

    Applying for Early Decision is strongly encouraged. The majority of spaces for our dance programs are filled during Early Decision, and students who apply and audition during the Early Decision process will receive priority for admissions.

    Audition Registration and Application Deadlines
    • All Early Decision Dance applicants must audition on October 13, 14, or November 3 or 4, whether or not the application has been started.
    • November 9, 2018 - Completed application deadline to be considered for Early Decision Dance.
    Audition Dates

    All Dance applicants who wish to be considered for Early Decision must audition on one of the dates below.

    Early Decision Dance Auditions:

    • October 13, 2018 - SCGSAH Campus
    • October 14, 2018 - University of South Carolina
    • November 3, 2018 - SCGSAH Campus
    • November 4, 2018 - SCGSAH Campus
    Admission Decision Notification
    • Admission decisions for Early Decision Dance will be emailed by December 1, 2018.

    Note: Decision status will not be given over the phone. 


    Regular Decision Dance

    Please be aware that the majority of spaces in our Dance programs will be filled during the Early Decision Dance process.

    Application Deadline
    • January 4, 2019 - Regular Decision Dance application deadline 

    Teacher recommendations, grades and attendance must also be submitted by the deadline in order for your application to be considered complete and for your audition to be scheduled.

    Audition Dates

    Regular Decision Dance Auditions (space is limited):

    • February 2, 2019 - Charleston, College of Charleston
    • February 9, 2019 - Greenville, SCGSAH
    Admission Decision Notification
    • April 1, 2019 - Admission decisions emailed by this date for Regular Decision Dance. 

    Note: Decision status will not be given over the phone. 



    Application Fee: $50 for all applications submitted after November 30. For those in need of financial assistance, the Application Fee Waiver on the Submission Confirmation page of the application can be submitted instead of this fee.

    Tuition: Free 

    Residence Hall Fee: $150, non-refundable residence hall fee

    Meal Plan: $3,450 annual food services fee paid directly to Aramark Food Services. Payment plans are available.

    Financial aid is available for residents of South Carolina with validated financial need.

    Fees and Financial Aid