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Department of Theatre and Dance

  • Dancers in various poses in front of Gambrell Hall


In our department, undergraduates can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in dance with an emphasis in Performance and Choreography or Dance Education with K-12 Certification. A Dance Minor is also available. Additionally, we offer SC's only graduate degree in dance, the MA in Dance Studies.

Our experienced faculty strives to instill a sound foundation of guided practice in the disciplines and principles of classical ballet and contemporary dance.  The program has a long established specialty in ballet infused with the tradition of modern dance and the energy of cutting-edge contemporary dance.

Bachelor of Arts Program

Our undergraduate program combines a rigorous dance classroom and studio environment with the depth and breadth of an excellent liberal arts education. The dance program, founded by professor Susan E. Anderson, has established a long legacy of excellence. The program attracts highly motivated students from across the country and abroad, who are committed to rigorous development of their natural abilities through study combined with practice, leading to a life enriched by the art of dance.

The program maintains an active guest-artist program, bringing in professional directors, choreographers, actors, dancers and designers from all over the world to work with students. As a dance major, you will be exposed to performance, technique and pedagogical experiences that will support your transition into the professional dance environment and beyond. 

Adding Additional Competencies within Major

Along with core courses, you have the option of developing additional competencies in either Performance and Choreography or Dance Education K-12 Certification. All majors in both emphases study together in studio, performance, choreography and dance academic coursework. While Dance Education K-12 Certification students begin their dance education course work after completing the foundational courses, they continue studio and performance work with Performance and Choreography emphasis majors.  

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) 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 you 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 you the opportunity to gain a sound foundation of guided practice in the disciplines and principles of classical ballet, contemporary dance and jazz.  

Degree requirements include courses in ballet & contemporary technique, dance history, dance anatomy and kinesiology, performance, choreography, improvisation, and a senior capstone project. The Performance and Choreography emphasis also requires that students pursue a minor or cognate in another discipline outside of dance, allowing students to combine their interests and build upon their University experience. 

In addition to the core requirements, you 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 B.A. program also enables students to pursue elective subjects in their special areas of interest in other academic disciplines.

Admission for the B.A. in Dance with an emphasis in Performance and Choreography is dependent upon a qualifying dance audition in ballet and contemporary dance.  Students must meet University of South Carolina undergraduate admission requirements and academic standards. For information on these requirements, visit

In conjunction with the College of Education, the dance program at the University of South Carolina offers you 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.

Admission is dependent on an audition and interview with the Head of Dance Education. If accepted, you must fulfill professional education program requirements. Students must meet University of South Carolina undergraduate admission requirements and academic standards. For information on these requirements, visit

Support for Double Majors

Our curriculum allows flexibility for Performance and Choreography students who wish to supplement their dance degree with a major or minor in another field of study.  Your advisor can guide you in tailoring a course of study that allows you to meet the requirements of the dance program while pursuing other interests.

Dance Minor

The Dance Minor requires 18 hours of study. Auditions are not required for prospective dance minors.  Auditions are not required for prospective dance minors. All dance minors must complete the level I ballet and contemporary coursework before requesting approval to enroll in level II and III courses.

MA in Dance Studies

The Master of Arts in Dance Studies is a 36 semester-credit hour program designed for working professionals that consists of online coursework mixed with brief summer residencies, thus allowing participants to continue outside employment while advancing their education.  The program's accelerated coursework leads to degree completion in six semesters, including two summers of study. The MA in Dance Studies provides a broad-based curriculum that prepares students for future graduate study and creative and academic leadership in the profession.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.