School of Dance

High School Bulletin

School of Dance




The purpose of the School of Dance is to identify and prepare young, talented dancers for professional performing careers. Our rigorous and nurturing conservatory approach develops technically sound, artistically sensitive and stylistically versatile dancer-artists. Distinguished full-time faculty work closely with students and share their professional expertise through a unique and comprehensive curriculum. Visiting guest artists, choreographers and company residencies bring fresh perspectives on current trends in the field. Recognizing that performing is an integral component of dance training, the School of Dance offers regular performance opportunities and is committed to presenting world- class repertory in our concerts.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts awards the High School Diploma with concentrations in Ballet or Contemporary Dance. Both concentrations emphasize the strong fundamentals particular to each, while looking to the other discipline for cross training, collaboration and inspiration.



A. Admission

Admission to the School is based on talent and potential (as assessed in an audition before the arts faculty), academic transcripts, and personal references.

Ballet students must be at least thirteen years old and in the ninth grade to be admitted to the program. Contemporary students may begin in the tenth grade.

B. Required Physical and Mental Abilities

A student must demonstrate adherence to professional ethics and integrity necessary to work in a collaborative environment. Emotional stability, responsibility, and ethical performance of all assigned duties are necessary to succeed in the program. A successful dance student must be able to recognize when the support of professionals is necessary to maintain psychological and physical health.

Equally important, the student must be able to sustain a high level of physically challenging movement sequences for extended periods of time and execute a full range of body movements and elements of dance (including but not limited to, turning, jumping, balancing, falling, stretching, lifting, flexing and running) while responding to musical and visual cues.

In addition, a student must be able to:

  • View and reproduce sequences of classroom exercises and complicated choreography, which requires specific movements for the head, arms, hands, torso, legs and feet.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work precisely with live and recorded music.
  • Respond appropriately to verbal instructions and warnings to ensure the safety of the student and his/her fellow dancers.

  • Physically participate in solo, duet and group work that may include lifting and manipulating his or her own body, or that of another dancer, many times above the top of one’s head.

  • Maintain a healthy, toned and energized physique, one conducive to achieving the aesthetics necessary to express the art form through his/her body.

C. Class Placement

Ballet students are placed by the faculty at the beginning of each academic year into one of eight levels:

  • BL1 through BL6 – (BL stands for “Ballet Ladies”)
  • BG1 or BG2 – (BG stands for “Ballet Gentlemen”)

Levels are determined by age and technical proficiency.

All new Contemporary Dance students upon entering the program are placed into the M1 level (M stands for “Modern”) and normally advance each year through four levels (M1 through M4).

D. Adherence to Policies

At the beginning of the academic year, each student, regardless of age, and their parent or guardian, must sign a form indicating that they have read the Student Handbook and agree to abide by the School of Dance Policies .



A. Attendance and Participation 

The UNCSA School of Dance expects students to attend all classes, rehearsals, required meetings, and special events in which they are enrolled.

Excessive absences will impact grades, class placement, casting, eligibility for merit scholarships, and ultimately continuation in the program. Students who demonstrate an inability to attend class consistently will be required to schedule a meeting with the appropriate Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, and Dean of Dance to determine the students’ commitment to the program.

The School of Dance exempts absences deemed to contribute to the student’s development, that facilitate entrance into college or the professional workplace, or for school-related activities that are required of the student. To accommodate these activities while maintaining a standard or excellence, the School of Dance places a cap on the number exemptions a student may be granted in a given semester.

The School of Dance recognizes injury as being an occupational hazard and makes special accommodations for students to allow them to rehabilitate from injury without being penalized for being unable to participate fully in class.

Students unable to participate in at least 75 % of originally scheduled class sessions due to exemptions, prolonged illness and/or injury, are eligible to receive an INCOMPLETE or when necessary, be withdrawn from a course.

Graduating High School students unable to satisfactorily complete their arts courses due to “Withdrawals” or “Incompletes” may receive the high school diploma without a concentration in the arts. Students who cannot be present on the scheduled registration date must follow the High School Academic Program’s late registration policy.

See the Student Handbook for the complete Attendance Policies.

B. Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grades in the School of Dance are based on growth demonstrated in the areas of technical proficiency, artistic development, creative expression, professionalism and self-discipline. Students are expected to achieve and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.3 (C+) each semester.

See the Office of the Registrar Section of the Bulletin for the Grading System.

See the Institutional Policies Section of the Bulletin for detailed information about Minimum GPAs.

C. Probation and Non-Continuation

Failure to maintain minimum GPAs and/or adhere to all UNCSA and School of Dance policies and procedures will result in being place on probation. Students who fail to make sufficient progress to warrant removal from probationary status will be dismissed from the program.

See the Institutional Policies Section of the Bulletin for detailed information about Probation and Non-Continuation.