Dance Program

Program Description

The Dance Program will enrich the lives of young performing artists in the field of dance by providing a learning environment that allows students to capitalize on their innate talent and passion for dance as an art form. The Dance Program provides the dance student with a well-rounded, comprehensive fine arts dance education that develops the student as an artist through opportunities to create, respond, and connect dance to personal and global experiences.

Dance styles will include, but not be limited to, ballet, jazz and contemporary dance. Rigorous daily training in dance technique allows students to further develop their physical capabilities. Performance skills and artistry are further developed through required participation in annual performances. Master classes with guest artists from professional companies and faculty from colleges and universities are provided to the dance students.

Students who are accepted will attend Maurice J. McDonough High School as freshmen at the start of the 2020-21 school year.  Transportation will be provided by CCPS.

Course Requirements
Dance 1, Dance 2, Dance 3, Dance 4 or Company. Each Course is a double period and 2 credits. Sample Schedule:

 9th Grade  10th Grade  11th Grade  12th Grade
 1   English Requirement   English Requirement   English Requirement   English Requirement
2   LSN Government   US History   World History   Financial Lit
 3   Math Requirement   Math Requirement   Math Requirement   Math Requirement
 4   Science Requirement   Science Requirement   Science Requirement   Technical Ed Requirement
 5   World Language   World Language   PE/Health (.5 credit each)   Elective
 6   Dance 1   Dance 2   Dance 3/Company   Dance 4/Company
 7   Dance 1   Dance 2   Dance 3/Company   Dance 4/Company


Students eligible to apply must meet the following qualifications:

  • Both the student and parent/guardian must be current residents of Charles County.
  • The student must be currently enrolled (SY 2019-20) as an eighth-grader in a Charles County Public Schools middle school, private school, or is homeschooled.
  • No formal dance instruction is required.

Application Process

  • Student completes the online application with all required information, including a 30-second video best showcasing talent that can be original choreography.  Video formats must be .mov (Apple) or .mp4 (Android) and can not exceed 100 MB in size.
  • Student and Parent/Guardian may attend an informational meeting on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at McDonough High School at 6 p.m, which will describe the audition process, course descriptions, and other aspects of the dance program in more detail.
  • Student attends an assessment on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at Maurice J. McDonough High School from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Depending on the number of applicants, additional assessment dates may be added.  Inclement weather date is Saturday, February 15, 2020, at Maurice J. McDonough High School from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Report Card copies. Report Cards for CCPS applicants will be pulled from Synergy at the end of the first semester. Non-CCPS applicants must bring a copy of their sixth- and seventh-grade report card, and a copy of their report card for the first semester of eighth grade to the assessment in February.

Online Application Only -  OPEN Nov. 25 at 8 a.m. through Dec. 20, 2019 until 3 p.m.
The application must be completed at one time, it cannot be saved and finished at a later time.  The last application submitted will be the official application.

The application is closed.


Admission decisions are made based on the following criteria

  • 70%  Student assessment
  • 15%  Academic performance in sixth and seventh grade, first semester of eighth grade and as it relates to the program
  • 10%  Application questions and video
  •   5%  Middle School Attendance - sixth grade, seventh grade, and first semester of eighth grade

Assessment Process

  • Prior to the Assessment
  • Day of the Assessment – February 8, 2020 McDonough High School
    • Arrival: Applicants should arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Students who arrive more than 10 minutes late may not be admitted into the assessment
    • Attire: Applicants should arrive wearing attire that is conducive to movement (e.g. leotard, footless or convertible tights, fitted white t-shirt, black dance pants).
      • Please, no jeans or restrictive clothing. 
      • Ballet slippers are the preferred footwear for parts of the assessment and will enhance the candidate’s ability to perform certain movements. Ballet slippers will be made available for students who need them on the day of the assessment.
      • Bare feet will also be required for parts of the movement experience.
      • Hair must be secured away from the neck and face. No loose jewelry (e.g. necklace, bracelet, hoop earrings) is to be worn for the assessment
    • Accompanying Adult: Parents are to drop off applicants and return at the conclusion of the assessment
    • Assessment Duration: 2.5 hours
    • Unforeseen Illness or Emergency: If the applicant cannot attend or complete the scheduled assessment  due to an unforeseen illness or emergency, please immediately contact 301-934-2944. Please leave a detailed voicemail if the call is not answered up by a live operator. Please be aware that assessments will not be rescheduled without documentation verifying the illness or emergency. 
    • Inclement Weather: In the event that school activities are canceled due to inclement weather, dance assessments will be postponed. Postponed assessments will occur on the designated inclement weather date. All emergency closing and cancellation information will be posted on the CCPS automated information line,301-934-7410 or 301-932-6655. Closings and cancellation announcements may also be made through local media. 
    • Letters of recommendation and portfolios are not accepted; applicants do not need to come prepared with choreography for the assessment
  • After the Assessment
    • Students will be notified if callbacks are required
    • Students will be notified in March if they are accepted into the program

Selection Process
Once the application process is closed, a committee will meet to determine a qualifying score for the program.  All students who meet the qualifying score will be considered a candidate for the program. Candidates will be randomly selected for acceptance and the others will put on the waitlist and offered a seat if it becomes available.

Acceptance Requirements
In March 2020, letters of acceptance will be mailed. The letter of acceptance will contain an acceptance/decline agreement. Within two weeks of receipt, the acceptance/decline agreement must be signed and returned with two proofs of legal Charles County residency.  If the acceptance agreement is not received within two weeks, Maurice J. McDonough High School will consider the acceptance as declined by the parent and the student. Click here for acceptable proofs of residency/domicile.


Click here for Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Have a question about the program or need assistance with the application?
Please contact Ms. Zohra Cherif at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 301-753-1755.