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um...im from SC...i dont think there is a dance program...or if there is...i dont think its very good...


but ill ask my friend who attends USC Columbia and find out for you


much love,


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  • 1 year later...

University of South Carolina definitely has a ballet program that is growing. Will anyone with direct experience please speak about this program? It is one of the colleges on our list and we need more information regarding the quality of the training. Their Chair speaks wonderfully and there is a connection with ABT. Please comment.


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:flowers: endoftheline, we have dedicated threads for many colleges in this Forum. They are arranged alphabetically to make it (fairly) easy to locate them. We make a point of keeping things very organized and all information regarding each program corralled into their own thread. If there is a program we don't have listed in the index, please do start another thread. But if the program is listed, simply go to the end of the thread and "Add Reply". :)


When you have a chance, please stop by the Welcome forum to introduce yourself. Also take some time to review our Rules and Policies, visit all the various forums, drop in on discussions that interest you and pull up a chair!

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I'm from Columbia, SC (where this school is located). Actually, the connection is more with NYCB. The primary ballet instructor, Stacey Calvert, was a soloist with NYCB and each spring some of her friends from the company come down and give a performance as a fundraiser for the dance program. Wendy Wheelan has come down for the last couple of years, for instance, which has given me the incredible opportunity of seeing her dance in person from just a few rows away. Some of the school's dancers are given parts in these performances, which must be a thrill of a lifetime. They recently (a couple of years ago) added a major in dance to the program. I think they are trying really hard to raise the profile of the college of dance right now. It's probably a small program compared to many, but a couple of the dancers from the university I have seen perform are quite good. I believe there are two or three different peformances put on by the dance program each year, and it would probably be worth a visit to come see the university and try to catch one.

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  • 6 months later...

In our search for college options for our DD, we found a wonderful “fit” for her desire to pursue academics in college but continue dancing in a meaningful way, the University of South Carolina. Even though she is not interested in pursuing a professional career, she wanted a credible ballet based program that would afford her performing opportunities and the option to continue to dance during college. The University of South Carolina dance program turned out to be her program of first choice.


University of South Carolina has had a dance program for years, but it’s dance major is relatively new -- 3 years. Their program is growing by leaps and bounds in popularity. Department Chair is Susan Anderson and faculty members include former NYCB soloist Stacey Calvert and former Boston Ballet principal Kyra Strasberg. Program is very ballet based but also has a marvelous Martha Graham based modern component led by Miriam Barbosa.


Tons of performing opportunities at USC and dancers are cast on ability, not class standing. Current group of USC dancers were extremely welcoming and encouraging on both of our visits -- they look happy and healthy -- and are enthusiastic about the program. Performances are held in the gorgeous and relatively new Koger Center of the Arts. The community in Columbia supports the university dancers in a huge way - we attended what has become an annual benefit performance that features current dancers from the NYCB accompanied by USC dancers as corps and were amazed that so many from the community turned out in support.


Plans are underway for construction of a new Dance building, which hopefully will be completed in the next year or two and will be fabulous. The USC campus is beautiful, especially the Strom Thurmond Fitness & Wellness Center -- complete with huge outdoor pool and beach!


There are a number of scholarship opportunities for dancers admitted to the program, and the best is that even a relatively small scholarship carriers with it, for out of state students, a significant reduction to almost in-state levels Susan Anderson is very supportive of her dancers and works to ensure they are accorded similiar preferences extended to collegiate athletes. All and all, a program that has many options and possibilities.

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  • 3 months later...

I've recently started putting together the list of schools I plan on applying to for college. I'm a rising senior and University of South Carolina came up in a conversation with a friend and I've just become curious. Does anyone know how intense the schedule is for a dance major or how challenging it is? I'm looking for a challenging and serious ballet program that still offers modern and jazz. This school seems to fit the college campus experience that I'm looking for as well and I was curious about the intensity for students who plan on dancing professionally after college.

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  • 1 month later...

Hallie, I can provide a bit more information on the University of South Carolina dance program since I have a DD attending there as a freshman. DD is really enjoying the program and was pleasantly surprised at the caliber of dancers. She feels her adagio has improved already. She has technique/pointe every morning for 1 1/2 hours and then rehearsal in the afternoon. Because she is a double major (biology) she is not taking additional dance classes, ie. modern, jazz, but these are available. She thinks that USC has a ballet focused program, but that the modern and jazz components are strong too. Loves the instructors and finds the classes meaningful. The program is very performance driven, with shows already scheduled for October, November, and December. DD is thrilled that she was cast in a contemporary ballet piece for the October performance.


That being said, the intensity is no where near the level she experienced training with a big city professional ballet company school. During high school she trained at least 4 hours a day, 6 days a week. At USC she gets training and dance time, but has plenty of time for a full academic load and social activities (she recently joined a sorority). For her it is the best of both worlds and she feels she has made the right choice for her. Her goal is not to become a professional dancer, if it had been she probably would have sought post high school training opportunities with a professional company school.

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DON HO, thank you so much. It actually sounds like an amazing fit for me. Dance is important to me but I've always enjoyed setting time aside for a social life, especially in the prospect of a college life. As of now I do want to dance professionally but hopefully I can get the kind of intensity I'm looking for as a dance major still, or even other classes around Columbia. Thanks so much for your input!

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Glad to be of assistance. You may want to note that open house/audition weekends have been posted.

They are Saturday: November 8, 2008 or Saturday: January 31, 2009. I know construction of their new dance facility is scheduled for completion in early 2009, one more reason t consider USC.

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  • 1 month later...

If you're also looking for great jazz/contemporary training in Columbia, you should check out Columbia City Jazz. Dale Lam is the artistic director and a phenomenal teacher and choreographer. She also brings teachers and choreographers in throughout the year for master classes and has a short intensive in June. For more info Columbia City Jazz

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  • 5 months later...

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