The mission of the dance program at The University of Southern Mississippi is to integrate theoretical and practical aspects of dance in a way that is meaningful to our students' lives. By providing a myriad of diverse perspectives to the study of contemporary and traditional forms of dance, and by engaging the students in holistic and comprehensive approaches to the study of dance, the Southern Miss program--its faculty, courses, and opportunities--prepares the students for successful participation in the field of dance.
The Southern Miss dance major program was the first program in Mississippi to offer the professional B.F.A. degree in dance. It is the only program in the five-state region that offers a dance education K-12 emphasis and is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), which is recognized by the United States Department of Education.
The challenging and intensive four-year dance major program is grounded in a comprehensive curriculum of dance technique (ballet and modern), choreography and performance. The dance education emphasis is designed to provide students with the credentials necessary to teach dance in the Mississippi public school system. Course offerings include dance appreciation, dance in cultural context, 20th century dance forms, improvisation, composition, rhythmic analysis and accompaniment, music analysis and resources, methods of teaching K-12, labanotation, junior choreographic project, senior choreographic research project, dance repertory, dance production, modern, ballet, and jazz.
Southern Miss students may elect to minor in dance by participating in a selected course of study within the dance major curriculum.
Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, MS, population approximately 52,000. The dance program is housed in the Theatre and Dance Building on the western side of the campus. The building is 70,000 square feet and houses all of the Theatre and Dance Department’s classrooms, studios, theatres, conference room, departmental library, offices, and shops. There are two dance studios: Studio 115 (2,733 square feet), which converts into a theatre and Studio 117 (1,800 square feet). There are six full-time faculty members with a consistent enrollment of 60 to 65 students a year.