Dance program takes first steps at McDonough

Dance program takes first steps at McDonough

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) will launch a dance program at the start of the 2020-21 school year. Housed at Maurice J. McDonough High School, the program is open only to current CCPS eighth graders or eighth-grade students who plan to enroll in CCPS for the 2020-21 school year. Students accepted into the program will attend McDonough as freshmen at the start of the 2020-21 school year with transportation provided by CCPS.

The program will be rooted in ballet, modern and jazz with other dance styles introduced throughout the four years. To be considered for the program, students must complete an assessment that includes a 30-second video showcasing their talent and potential. The video can contain original choreography and applicants do not need any formal dance training to audition.

There are 15 spots available with a waitlist. If the number of qualified applicants is more than 15, up to 20 percent of the openings may be first filled with students who score at least 80 percent of the admission criteria and who score the highest on the assessments. The remaining seats will be filled using a random lottery from the remaining pool of applicants.

The application window is from 8 a.m. Nov. 25 to 3 p.m. Dec. 20. The application can be found at An information meeting is set for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at McDonough with assessments held Feb. 8 by appointment at the school. All assessments must be scheduled by Jan. 14.

“The dance program will enrich the lives of young performing artists in the field of dance. It is a learning environment that will allow students to explore their talent and passion for dancing as an art form,” said Tim Bodamer, a specialist in fine and performing arts for CCPS. “Students will take part in a well-rounded, comprehensive fine arts dance education that develops them as artists.”

An average day will include academic courses with the last two periods of the day dedicated to the dance program, which will take place in a renovated studio space at McDonough.

For more information, contact McDonough Vice Principal Cherif Zohra at or 301-753-1755, or go to

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,521 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.


The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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