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University of South Carolina

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Anyone with information on where this year's graduating class is going after leaving U of SC, please share. If this placement is within a company, please also share at what level: corp, trainee, teaching, switch to contemporary,etc.

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  • 1 year later...
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Did anyone attend the audition this past weekend? Any new updates on this program? Seems like they have an "up and coming program" with state of the art facilities, and a strong ballet faculty. Would appeciate hearing about this program from anyone with knowledge about it.

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My daughter and I just returned from a visit to USC and the dance facilities. The 3 new studios are spacious with great flooring. We were able to observe a rehearsal for their next show which will include dancers from New York (who of course were not there) led by Stacey Calvert. The dancers were lovely and there seemed to be a nice feeling of camaraderie among them. Ms. Calvert appeared to be a strong teacher who gave corrections in a nice manner, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves...lots of smiles and an occasional laugh when something did not go quite right. My daughter attended the South Carolina Summer Dance Conservatory program in 2008 and had Ms. Calvert as an instructor then; she reported liking her teaching style.

We also met briefly with Susan Anderson and she gave us some information about auditions. She stated that generally they take about 25 dancers each year out of approximately 100 who audition (last year it was 17, this year closer to 30 but apparently that is a bit unusual), and that they look for strong classical ballet training. The auditions are for a ballet major, contemporary major or dance education major and there is very little changing of majors allowed once a student is accepted. The audition process also includes an interview. Professor Anderson also stated that many dance majors receive scholarships which helps to bring tuition down to almost in-state tuition levels as the majority of dance majors are not from South Carolina. She also said she encourages double majors within the arts and sciences department.

All in all, we really liked the campus and the dance department seemed like it would be a good fit for my DD.

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My dd is finishing her freshman year as a ballet major at USC. She is enjoying her dance classes, and has also taken advantage of the free classes available through the Dance Conservatory. She said that the director, Susan Anderson, told the students recently that they may accept fewer dancers as the program is becoming more popular... every year it seems there are more prospective students at the auditions, and they would like to increase the caliber as it grows. I believe there are currently around 90 or more dancers in the program.


Re: scholarships -- The current university policy is that out-of-state students who receive a departmental scholarship of $500/year or more can apply for a tuition reduction which will give them close to in-state rates. This can mean the difference between around $12K for the reduced tuition/fees (I'm not sure of the exact amount) to around $25K for regular out-of-state tuition/fees per year. It's my understanding that the dance department gives as many of these small scholarships to as many dancers as they can, with fewer large scholarships.


My dd is an unofficial double-major in math (she is taking required math classes, but hasn't officially declared). They encourage double majors within the college of arts & sciences because if a student has two majors in different colleges, they cannot receive credit for the same core classes in both colleges and they cannot use their dance classes to meet major requirements of the other major. (Or something very similar to that... it has been a long year since orientation!)

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  • 4 months later...
Is there any information regarding placement of graduates for this program?


I know a few went on to graduate programs for various things, but one girl in particular got an apprentice contract with NCDT.

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Univ of South Carolina has a wonderful dance program with strong ballet and contemporary training, beautiful facilities, well respected faculty and many performance opportunities....and yet it seems to fly "under the radar" as a top program. DD danced professionally for 4 years, and then decided to pursue her degree. She is extremely happy with her decision to attend the University of South Carolina. Take a good look at this program...it has much to offer.

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I am currently attending this program as a Dance Performance major with a ballet concentration. I am extremely happy with my ballet teachers. We have a former NYC Balanchine ballet teacher and a former Boston Ballet classical teacher, and both give so much to this program. Somehow, I now find myself in love with the contemporary program here too, with the amazing contemporary professors of Wideman/Davis Dance. All are incredibly insightful, and willing to share their passion as well as their skills. Overall, I can't recommend this program enough. It is extremely well rounded with a great group of students. I also find the level and choices of academics to be an advantage over Conservatory type programs. Deciding to attend USC was one of the best decisions I have ever made! May I also mention school spirit here? There is nothing more fun than spending your Saturday at a University of South Carolina football game!

I hope your daughter has a great visit to the campus this weekend. Let me know if I can be of any assistance. Oh, and be sure to catch our show this weekend!

Edited by arabesque89
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Thanks for your reply, arabesque89! May I ask what year you are at USC? Are you from SC? We are from the upstate and won't be able to make the performance. DD is interested in also following a pre-med type path with the ballet concentration. Is this feasible? Thanks again!

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I am a junior at USC this year. No, I am not from around here, I am from the North. That is the wonderful thing about this dance program- people are from all over. The majority of us are double majoring, myself included. Most girls try to double major within the college of Arts and Sciences because it makes your life much easier. However, I do know a few girls 'dual' majoring, meaning they have a double major in two different colleges (which requires a completely different set of core requirements). It is not easy, but it can be done. Many students take an extra year so they can enjoy their final semester, take some classes they have always wanted to (since your other major counts as your elective credits), and yet they are still encouraged to perform with the dance program. In some cases girls realize they don't want to take dance any further and drop down to a ballet minor half way through, which means they still get to perform but don't have to complete as many requirements. This is what college is for- figuring out what you want to do! There are so many options, so if that is what your DD wants to major in, she can make it happen here. Wish you could stay for the performance, but if you have time to peek over at the Koger Center a little after 12:30 on Friday we will be taking class there on stage for our performance that evening. Wishing you safe travels and good luck!

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Well, we came away from the USC audition yesterday very impressed! Susan Anderson seems to be a ball of fire who is very passionate about the program and determined to get the best talent and make this program one of the tops in the country. DD absolutely loved both the ballet and contemporary classes (she applying with the emphasis on ballet). She said the flooring is amazing and felt like she could fly when they did jumps! What an unexpected turn this journey is taking!

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  • 4 weeks later...

My daughter is planning on auditioning in February. She is currently in a year round program. After college she wishes to pursue a career in professional dance. Does anyone have information on where previous dancers have gone after college?

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According to my DD at Univ of South Carolina:

I believe 2 or 3 at Georgia Ballet, a few at Columbia City Ballet, one at Atlanta Festival Ballet, one freelancing in NYC, one at Emotions Dance Company, multiple with teaching jobs.

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