First and foremost: we’ll guide you to become a better dancer.
And a degree, with its academic emphasis, will give you additional
career options—whether or not you pursue a performing
career. Many dance-related careers
require a college education - or really benefit from a college
education - including:
- dance instructor
- dance studio manager
- college or school teacher
of an arts organization
- fitness or athletic trainer
...and many others.
Just as dance classes will discipline your body, classes in the
College of Arts and Sciences will discipline your mind. Courses
in English, humanities, and social sciences will introduce you
to a world of ideas.
You will develop abilities in critical and creative thinking,
oral and written communication, research, abstract reasoning
and interpretative skills, in addition to rigorous practical
and theoretical training
The dance program offers a Bachelor of Arts with a focus in classical ballet and/or contemporary dance, in two emphases:
- Dance Performance and Choreography
- Dance Education K-12 Certification
Emphasis in Dance Performance and Choreography
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) with an emphasis in Performance and Choreography is designed for those who wish to obtain a broad undergraduate liberal arts experience and grow as an artist in a rigorous dance classroom and studio environment. It offers students a choice of dance studies that stress performance and choreography, and, at the same time, intellectual depth and scope. We offer a diverse repertory that offers performance and choreography students the opportunity to gain to instill a sound foundation of guided practice in the disciplines and principles of classical ballet, contemporary dance and jazz. The program has a long established specialty in ballet infused with the energy of cutting-edge contemporary dance. In addition to the core requirements, performance/choreography majors must fulfill performance requirements with the USC Dance Company and other performance options.
While the program of study in Dance stresses technical proficiency and academic understanding in dance, the BA degree program also enables students to pursue elective subjects in their special areas of interest in other academic disciplines.
Emphasis in Dance Education K-12 Certification
In conjunction with the College of Education, the dance program at the University of South Carolina offers students the opportunity to pursue South Carolina K-12 Teachers Certification in addition to pursuing a degree in dance. Pursuing a certification will qualify you to teach in a public or private school in the state of South Carolina and other states. The teacher certification program requires additional coursework, including a semester of student teaching.
Please see the Dance BA page in the University Academic Bulletin for more information on course work and credit hours.
Since 1976, the USC Dance Company has grown to become a renowned
performance dance ensemble, presenting ballet, modern and jazz
works as well as innovative dance concerts and contemporary works. Our repetoire runs the gamut from the treasured classical ballets of Marius Petipa and George Balanchine to the modern work of Twyla Tharp, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Lila York and Kevin O'Day. Recent performances include:
- Stars and Stripes by George Balanchine
- Mozartiana by George Balanchine
- Western Symphony by George Balanchine
- Deuce Coupe by Twyla Tharp
- Eight Jelly Rolls by Twyla Tharp
- Great Galloping Gottschalk by Lynne Taylor-Corbett
- Viola Alone by Kevin O'Day
- Diversion of Angels by Martha Graham
- Steps in the Street by Martha Graham
- Tensile Involvement by Alwin Nikolais
We regularly bring in well-known guest artists to stage major pieces or create work on our dancers. Recent guests include Chris Uchida, Lila York, Nathan Trice, Celia Rowlson-Hall and Helen Pickett. Original works by Thaddeus Davis and Tanya Wideman-Davis, of our resident professional dance company Wideman/Davis Dance, are also regularly created for (and with) our dancers. Students also have the opportunity to stage their own choreography in our Student Choreography Showcase performances.
A highlight of our performance season is our annual Ballet Stars of New York concert, which features principal dancers from the New York City Ballet performing alongside our student company. Past dancers include such luminaries as Wendy Whalen, Albert Evans, Sara Mearns, Charles Askegard and Jared Angle.
The USC Dance Program and Company just completed a year of of six performances including the awarding winning work Tensile Involvement by Alwin Nikolais, the work of guest choreographer Gianni Di Marco from the Boston Ballet, the world premiere of Japanese Butterfly by Amanda K. Miller from Forsythe Ballet, plus the innovative choreography of hip hop artists Saza Dimmick and Bboy House Magana. There were 18 original works by student choreographers performed. One of these works, choreographed by senior Caitlin McCormack, was selected to perform in the Southeastern Regional American College Dance Festival Gala. She is now a budding choreographer for Dance Augusta.
Many of our recently graduated seniors are now working in the world of dance with such companies as:
Georgia Ballet Theatre (Katie Walker, Katie Owerbach)
Dayton Contemporary Company (Taylor Ferguson)
Dance FX in Athens (Olivia Anderson)
Ballet Flemming in Philadelphia (Tricia Koch)
Emotions Dance Company in Orlando (Paige Maxwell and Charlotte Stewart)
North Carolina Dance Theatre internship (Caroline Poe)
Nashville Ballet (Amanda Hurst)
Graduate Schools in dance MFA or doctorate programs include:
University of California, Irvine (Ryan Thomas and McCree O'Kelly)
University of Utah (Cristian Gonzalez)
Florida State University (Rebecca Krumel)
Other dance majors who will enter graduate schools affliated with dance are
East Carolina University Doctorate program in Physical Therapy with a dance specialization (Hannah Parrish)
Campbell University Law School (Hillary Woodard)
Columbia College, Chicago, MA in Dance Therapy (Hannah Bailey)
USC Dance Company member Kayla Skolek majored with biology and has been accepted into Kent State College of Podiatrics in Ohio.
Rebecca Krumel was awarded the Top USC Libraries Undergraduate Research Award for her research in flamenco. Dance major Katherine Miles studied abroad in China. Students Kelsey Crum, Meredith Walker, and Tori White performed with professional contemporary dance company Unbound in Columbia.
In 2013, had 40 dance majors dancing on stage with the New York City Ballet for our 8th Annual Ballet Stars of New York performance and gala.
Of course, students must meet University admission requirements and academic standards. For information on these requirements, visit www.sc.edu/admissions.
Admission for the BA in Dance with an emphasis in Performance and Choreography is dependent upon a qualifying dance audition in ballet or contemporary dance (click link for more information).
Application for BA in Dance in Word format or Acrobat format can be downloaded here.
Admission for the BA in Dance with an emphasis in Dance Education K-12 Certification is also dependent on an audition, as well as a dance theory and content placement exam. If accepted, all dance majors with a emphasis in dance education must fulfill Professional Education Program requirements.
The University of South Carolina provides equal opportunity and affirmative action in education and employment for all qualified persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or veteran status.