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Department of Theatre and Dance

USC Dance Conservatory

Classes and Attendance

Primary classes are available for children aged 3 to 6 with graded-level classes for intermediate and advanced students. Registration is usually in August and classes begin in September.

Primary Levels

Primary level classes introduce and practice essential motor and musical skills, basic ballet vocabulary, and prepare young dancers for more focused practice. Classes meet once per week.

  • Pre-Ballet: ages 3 and 4
  • Primary 5 and Primary 6: ages 5 and 6


Graded Levels

Graded-level placement is by audition only. Dancers begin serious study of ballet with a focus on essential technical skills, adding new vocabulary and developing artistry. Dancers with faculty approval begin the study of pointe work. Technique is required before all pointe classes.

Dancers in Levels 1-5 must attend the minimum number of classes per week in order to participate in the performance. Absences for any reason must be made up in order for dancers to maintain their level or advance. Classes need to be made up in a class below the dancer’s level. Dancers are welcome to attend supplemental classes below their level at no additional charge.

  • Level 1: Minimum study requirement two days weekly
  • Level 2: Minimum study requirement three days weekly
  • Level 3/4: Minimum study requirement for Level 3 is 4 days weekly, technique only. Minimum study requirement for Level 4 is five days weekly, two days of pre-pointe. Level 4 is combined with Level 5 on Saturday.
  • Level 5: Minimum study requirement six days weekly, three days of pointe. Contemporary generally offered once a week.
  • Level 6: Minimum study requirement is 6 days weekly, 3 days of pointe. Classes combined with Level 5 on Friday and Saturday. Contemporary offered on Saturday.
  • Level 5/6 Contemporary: An excellent supplement to ballet training, helping develop musicality, rhythm, speed, strength and flexibility. Class is in addition to the required number of ballet classes.


Attendance Awards

Each spring, the USC Dance Conservatory presents five Best Attendance Awards (one for each graded level). Dancers honored with this award have the most consistent attendance in their level, and in some cases take supplemental classes in lower levels as well. Their names are announced at our performances and we present them with a flower to celebrate their dedication.


Respect, Dedication and Service Scholarship

The USC Dance Conservatory offers one full tuition scholarship for the upcoming season to the student who most exemplifies the ideals of the conservatory, including:

  • Respect for the art of dance demonstrated through consistent attendance and timeliness for all classes and rehearsals, appropriate attire, and a positive attitude in the studio.
  • Dedication to improvement demonstrated by an excellent work ethic and acceptance and application of corrections.
  • Service in acting as a positive role model to others with the kindness and generosity suitable to a developing artist.

The scholarship recipient is honored at the spring performance.