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Department of Theatre and Dance

SC Summer Dance Conservatory

SC Summer Dance Conservatory

The South Carolina Summer Dance Conservatory attracts dancers from around the world to study and perform with some of the greatest teachers of our time. Columbia’s reputation for Southern hospitality, along with the unequaled caliber of instruction, makes the SC Summer Dance Conservatory a wonderful place for learning, growth and camaraderie.

2018 South Carolina Summer Conservatory

July 8-27, 2018 Ballet and Contemporary Intensives
August 6-10, 2018 Jazz Intensive


Still Accepting Registrations for All 2018 Programs

Now in our 31st year, we continue to offer personal attention, state of the art facilities, a professional atmosphere, and exciting performance opportunities.  The Conservatory prides itself on offering two professional intensives: one 3-week intensive for the serious ballet student and one 3-week intensive for the serious contemporary student. Students who attend have the extraordinary opportunity to study a variety of dance styles with world-renowned instructors and showcase their work in a fully-produced dance concert of classical and contemporary repertory.

South Carolina Summer Dance Conservatory is open to students aged 11 years and older.

Ballet Intensive

The Ballet Intensive is designed for students pursuing excellence in ballet technique and artistry. The curriculum includes ballet, pointe, variations, pas de deux, character, jazz, contemporary, musical theatre and repertory. Live or Video Audition is required to be considered

Contemporary Intensive

The Contemporary Intensive is designed for students pursuing excellence in contemporary training. The curriculum includes contemporary, ballet technique, jazz, musical theatre, hip hop, conditioning for dance and repertory. Live or Video Audition is required to be considered.


Jazz Intensive

The Jazz Intensive is designed for students pursuing excellence in jazz and commercial dance training. The curriculum includes jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, conditioning, musical theatre, and more. This one week intensive requires a Live or Video Audition to be considered.


The Conservatory Experience

Auditions are required for admission in to the conservatory. Beginning in January, we begin our National Ballet Audition Tour. Please contact Susan Dabney Hancock at or call 803-777-7264 for details about tour stops and dates.


Beginning in January, we begin our National Ballet Audition Tour.  Video auditions are also acceptable.

For ballet, your video should be no longer than five minutes and should include class barre, centre and pointe.  See audition application form for more details.

Your Jazz and Contemporary Intensive audition video should be no longer than 5 minutes and should include a solo of your choosing. Solo should display technique, strength, and performance ability.

See audition applications for more details.

Non-Residential Students

Non-residential students (commuters) are required to participate in all scheduled classes and rehearsals. Lunch is provided. Commuting students may also pay additional fees to attend planned outside activities.


An essential part of the student dancer’s development and training is performance experience. At the culmination of the three week intensive, students have the opportunity to perform classical repertoire and newly choreographed works in-studio or at one of our state-of-the-art performance halls. Friends and family members are cordially invited to attend this event. Given the limited capacity, no more than 4 guests per dancer, please.

 The 2018 SC Summer Dance Conservatory final performance will be held:

Friday, July 27th

Drayton Hall Theatre
1214 College Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Residence and Activities


Conservatory students study and are housed on the beautiful historic campus of the University of South Carolina. The dormitories are air conditioned and are within walking distances of the dance studios and Drayton Hall Theatre. All meals are provided and are included in the housing fee. In addition to professional housing staff, the Conservatory provides counselors who ensure the student’s safety 24 hours a day.

Residential students are required to participate in all field trips unless they are signed out by an authorized parent or guardian. Non-residential Commuter students are required to participate in all schedule classes and rehearsals. Lunch is provided. Commuters may attend field trips and other activities for an additional fee.


In the evenings, students have free time as well as planned, supervised activities. In the past we’ve had guest lecturers visit with the students to discuss relevant topics such as: nutrition, health, dance history, and pointe shoes. We’ve also organized outings to tour USC’s beautiful historic campus.

Students enjoy chaperoned field trips on the weekends. Past trips have included Spirit of Lake Murray Cruise, Carowinds Theme Park, Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens, the SC State Museum, historic Charleston, Maxcy Gregg Pool, and live performances at Town Theatre.

Disclaimer: The above information applies only to the 3-week Ballet and Contemporary Intensives.