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.


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
    Spring Ballet Performance
    Ballet lift

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


    Apply Now!

    Dance Application Options

    Dance applicants have two application options: Early Decision and Regular Decision. We strongly urge you to view the Dance Application Options document below before starting your application.

    Update: The deadline for Early Decision Dance has been extended to October 23rd due to the challenges of COVID 19.

    Dance Application Options

    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.


    To request recommendations and other necessary forms, you will provide the names and email addresses of the arts teacher(s), academic teacher, school counselor/registrar and other individual for homeschool/virtual school recommendation (if applicable) on the application. 

    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

    Finished essays will be uploaded to the 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.

    Dance Photo

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

    Additional Dance Teachers

    List any additional dance teachers you may have had, both current and former. These teachers will not receive a Dance Recommendation form. This information is used to help us better understand your dance background.

    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.


    Early Decision Dance Auditions will be video submissions this year. Click below to learn more!

    Update: The deadline for Early Decision Dance has been extended to October 23rd due to the challenges of COVID 19.

      Audition Video Guidelines    Video Submission Guidelines

    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
    • October 23, 2020 - completed application deadline to be considered for Early Decision Dance
    Audition Dates

    All Early Decision Dance auditions for the 2021/22 school year will be done by video submission this year. These videos must be submitted by October 23, 2020.

    Admission Decision Notification
    • Admission decisions for Early Decision Dance will be emailed by November 30, 2020.

    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 6, 2021 - Regular Decision Dance 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:

    • January 30, 2021 - Upstate
    • February 6, 2021 - Lowcountry
    • February 20, 2021 - Midlands
    Admission Decision Notification
    • April 1, 2020 - 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: $3,575 annual food services fee paid directly to Aramark Food Services. Payment plans are available. Fees are based on previous year and are subject to change. 

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

    Fees and Financial Aid