South Carolina Summer Dance Conservatory


About Us

Now in our 34th year, we continue to offer personal attention, state-of-the-art facilities, a professional atmosphere, and exciting performance opportunities.  South Carolina Summer Dance Conservatory prides itself on offering three professional intensives: one 3-week intensive for the serious ballet student, one 3-week intensive for the serious contemporary student, and a one-week intensive for the serious jazz student. Dancers who attend our Ballet or Contemporary Intensive 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. Dancers who attend our Jazz Intensive will have the extraordinary opportunity to study a variety of dance styles with world-renowned instructors and showcase their work in an in-studio showcase performance.

Click here to read testimonials about our programs.



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.


Want to see us in action? Check out our gallery here!


Crosby-Miller School of Dance

International Ballet Academy

Southern Elite Dance Academy

Edge Performing Arts

Charlotte Ballet


2020 national audition tour calendar

SC Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities

The Studio

Metropolitan Ballet Theatre

Virginia National Ballet

Arkansas Academy of Dance

Dance Conservatory of Charleston



Susan Anderson

Susan Anderson, founder & artistic director

MFA, University of California at Irvine.  2011 SC Professor of the Year.  2009 Michael J. Mungo Distinguished Professor.  2009 Governor's Professor of the Year.

Professor Anderson is the founding director of the USC Dance Company, USC Dance Conservatory, and South Carolina Summer Dance Conservatory, which hosts international students and world-renowned faculty and choreographers.

Under her directorship, the dance program implemented a BA major in Dance Performance and Choreography in 2004, with concentrations in Ballet or Contemporary Dance.  Soon after, the program added an emphasis in Dance Education, a K-12 Teacher Certification program, in partnership with the College of Education.  Since this time, the dance program has become nationally recognized, earning distinction from Dance Magazine as one of the top three collegiate programs to consider for classical ballet study.  The program now has more than 65 course offerings and approximately 3,000 students enroll each year taking dance courses.

Some of Susan Anderson’s professional artistic works include the creation of over 200 ballets such as ScheherazadeOndineTaming of the ShrewPlant Dance with artist Blue Sky, The FirebirdPhantom of the NightCrown JewelsSylviaCarnival of the AnimalsPleasures of Paris, and The Young Man and Death. She has choreographed and taught master classes for Gus Giordano Dance Company in Chicago, the University of California, University of Buffalo, University of Georgia, Several Dancers Core in Atlanta, Murray State, Knoxville Dance Theatre, Loyola University, Inco Ballet in Colombia, South America and Stadtische Opera in Gera, Germany.

In 2009, she was named the Michael J. Mungo Distinguished Professor of the Year and Governor’s Professor of the Year.

In 2011, she was named SC Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation.

rhythm mccarthy

Rhythm McCarthy, Associate Director

BFA, Jacksonville University. MFA, Florida State University.

Rhythm McCarthy’s professional career includes work with North Carolina Dance Theatre, the California Ballet Company, Agnes DeMille, Valerie Bettis, Pauline Koner, Duncan Noble, Alwin Nikolais, Donlin Foreman, Anthony Morgan, and Ernestine Stodelle. Teaching and choreographic credits include residencies and guest artist positions with Florida State University, Jacksonville University, Missouri State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne, Austin Peay State University, University of Arkansas Little Rock, Coker College, and Imperial College in London, England.

Ms. McCarthy has directed/ choreographed over fifty shows for the musical stage including Once Upon a Mattress for the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at UALR. While at Missouri State University she received College and University Outstanding Teaching Awards and in 2008 was selected as a finalist for the national student nominated Inspire Integrity Award. She has taught ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance, and developed a premier touring program utilizing dance performance and movement studies to enhance literacy in public schools.

Ms. McCarthy’s paper on The Dance Educator’s Role in Preserving Diversity: Two University Programs was chosen for presentation at the 18th World Congress on Dance Research in Argos, Greece. The same organization invited her to present her choreographic work, Ozarks Folk Suite, for the 19th World Congress in Larnaca, Cyprus. She returned to the 20th World Congress in Athens, Greece to present a co-authored paper, From Tap to Toe, From Jig to Clog, From Salome to the Chocolate Nijinsky: How Vaudeville Taught America to Dance. Ms. McCarthy has given the opening keynote address at the International Dance in Education Congress in Bogota, Columbia, published articles in Pointe Magazine, and been awarded National Endowment of the Arts Initiative Grants.

Ms. McCarthy began her professional studies at North Carolina School of the Arts and holds degrees from Jacksonville University (BFA) and Florida State University (MFA). She serves as a Vice President on the National Board of Directors for the American College Dance Association. She is currently teaching at the University of South Carolina and is Professor Emeritus at Missouri State University.

ciera barrow

Ciera Barrow, Web designer

BA, University of South Carolina. MA, Savannah College of Art and Design.

Ciera was born in Asheville, North Carolina and fell in love with dance at three years old. She is an alumna of the University of South Carolina Dance Program, where she earned a B.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography and in Media Arts. She performed in numerous Balanchine pieces such as Who Cares? and Walpurgisnacht, classical works such as Sylvia, and in original pieces by choreographers such as Thaddeus Davis, Tanya Wideman-Davis, Kerri Lambert, and more.

Combining her love of dance and passion for arts administration, Ciera worked for the SC Summer Dance Conservatory for several years while earning her Master’s in Business Design and Arts Leadership from the Savannah College of Art & Design. She now lives in Denver, Colorado with her family, continues to dance professionally, and maintains the SCSDC website.


*At its own discretion, SC Summer Dance Conservatory reserves the right to cancel or modify classes and programs and make changes to instructors and staff at any time, with or without notice.