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Ballet Talk for Dancers

University of South Carolina

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My dd only learned of this program earlier this month. We are very interested and she has sent her application and we plan to attend the February audition. She attends a pre-pro school that has academics in the am and ballet all afternoon. She loves dance but would also continue on her strong academic track. Any students who could talk about how that goes. I know some school say they allow them to double major but make it next to impossible with class schedules. She is interested in a science heavy field of study since she one day plans on attending med school. Any one?

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  • kiwiwdancer


  • luvmiballerina


  • arabesque89


  • ProudMom


I did graduate from the University of South Carolina, though this was before they had a full time dance program I believe. I discovered ballet after college.


However, I did double major during my time there (Math and Physics - can't say enough good things about both departments).


The issue I had double majoring was class schedules senior year. Many upper level classes are offered in only one or two time slots in the smaller math and science major programs. If classes for both majors conflict you have issues. However, I was able to resolve these conflicts via a combination of independent studies and talking my way into equivalent first year graduate student classes. Coming in with some advance placement credit helps, as you have both Junior and Senior year to fit in those critical classes that may have scheduling conflicts.


The most helpful thing, in my opinion, is talking to the people in the department you wish to double major in. Don't just talk to the dance department. Your experience in Bio, Chem or Physics will be very different. Have they had dance double majors before? What experience do double majors in general have? The smaller the program often the more willing they are to work with you, and the department offices are very friendly. They want their students to be successful.

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  • 3 months later...

Does anyone have any recent information about males in the dance program at Univ. of SC? I'm interested in this down the road for DS

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  • 3 weeks later...

Can someone who is a current student or parent of a student in the ballet program tell me what a typical daily schedule looks like? How many classes each day are taken? Thanks!

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A typical day for dancers includes one to two academic core classes in the morning. The level of dance you're in depends on when your ballet class starts, so as an upperclassman I have my academics and then begin technique class around 12:30. After class we have rehearsals until 4:00 or 5:00 for our upcoming shows. Once rehearsal is over, many dancers attend a night class (depending on how many credit hours you are taking). Or some are just done for the day :) USC also schedules your dance academics in the morning before your ballet or contemporary classes start, so you don't have to miss your daily technique classes. I love it here. Amazing facilities, and strong backing from the University for our program. I danced professionally for 4 years before coming here, yet still find I am learning and growing as a dancer. Hope this helps!

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Thank you, arabesque89, for sharing! With only 3 days left to make the final decision, it appears at this point that DD will indeed be attending USC next fall. We are meeting with a Capstone Scholar student tomorrow to show us around campus a bit so that DD doesn't go in completely blind! She didn't have a chance to tour when she attended her audition.

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arabesque89...Thank you! May I ask what made you decide to attend college? Do you hope/plan to dance professionally after graduation? If these questions are too personal, I'll understand.I also noticed many college ballet programs offer pointe classes two or three times a week. In DD's pre-pro program she has technique 6 days per week and pointe 5 days per week. She is concerned going from pointe class almost daily to 2 or 3 times per week. What is your opinion on this? Do the rehearsals take the place of pointe classes and that's where pointe work is done? Are rehearsals constant trhoughout the semester? Thanks for any information you can provide. Much appreciated!

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Hi Luvmiballerina and kiwidancer.....am only the mom here. Just thought I'd let you know that this is finals week at Univ. of South Carolina, so responses may be a bit delayed! =) Always willing to share info from the parent perspective. Feel free to PM me, too.

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Luvmiballerina- So excited for both of you! I have loved every minute of attending USC. Your daughter has made a great choice!


Kiwiwdancer- I am planning on auditioning for companies after I graduate, but I might shift my focus from classical ballet companies to companies with a more contemporary focus. I still need my daily ballet classes, but I am looking for something a little more outside-the-box now.


Pointe work is, in my opinion, the most difficult thing to keep up with. USC only has pointe classes a few times a week. However, we put our pointe shoes on for every technique class, so I personally feel like I’ve become stronger and received more pointe work than anywhere else. It’s okay if there is not a designated pointe class, but that is with the assumption she will get her pointe work from somewhere else (i.e. class or rehearsal or partnering). Of course, this is just my personal opinion!


At this time in the semester, rehearsals are taking the place of pointe class for those in the performance. People not in the performance take a pointe class instead. However, next semester I believe they changed the schedule so everyone takes pointe class a few times a week before rehearsal.

At USC rehearsals go from the start of the semester until the performance at the end of the semester. The performance usually happens 1-2 weeks before finals, which is perfect! You still attend technique classes but your afternoon time frees up considerably so you have more time to study. Which I should probably being doing right now :) I’m more than happy to help with any other USC Dance questions you have, and I hope this cleared a few things up for you!

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luvmiballerina...Congrats to your DD. Looking forward to hearing about your DD's continued journey! Sounds like she is in the right place! :toot:

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Thank you for your thoughts and information, very thorough, much appreciated. Sounds like a very good program. DD would like to audition here for 2104-2015 year. How many students are in the program?

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  • 1 month later...

We attended orientation last week and DD was the only dance major at her orientation. She had a theatre guy who helped her register for classes. After we got home and looked closely at her schedule, we realized she had only registered for one section of ballet III. No problem, we logged on and registered her for the 2nd section on Tues/Thurs. Then we also realized she hadn't registered for pointe classes. Here is the problem...the pointe class schedule overlaps with the dance company schedule, so the system won't let us register for it. Does anyone know how this is handled?


I am also concerned about how DD is going to eat lunch every day. Her dance classes start at 10:50 M and W, and 10:05 Tu and Th. It doesn't look like there is time to make it to one of the cafeterias in between since the dance studios are so far away from the main part of campus. What do most dancers do about lunch? I know DD does not function well if she isn't able to fuel her body properly!


Thanks for any info!

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