Department of Dance Facts

Did you know this about the Southern Miss Department of Dance?


  • The department is nationally accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) since 1982.
  • The department offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Dance and our majors emphasize either Dance Education or Performance/Choreography.
  • The department has seven faculty members and 74 majors in 2013-2014.
  • The fall 2013 incoming class has 22 dancers.
  • The department functions at capacity. We are concerned with growing quality, not quantity.
  • The acceptance rate for Fall 2013 was 50%.
  • Overall, 73% of our majors are from out of state, and in 2013 63% of the incoming class was from out of state.
  • Our selective audition process allows the Department of Dance to offer in-state tuition to dance majors from out of state.
  • The department serves the Gulf South region.
  • 30% of our majors emphasize Dance Licensure; 70% emphasize performance/choreography.
  • We house the Repertory Dance Company (RDC), a professional calibre company for dance majors who are selected through audition.
  • All majors perform every semester through participation in RDC, RDC2 or the Freshman Company.
  • Professional guest artists regularly teach and set work in the department. These residencies are often supported by Partners for the Arts and state and national grants.
  • We produce at least seven concerts per year, including traditional concert dance, site specific dance and dance for film.
  • Our graduates teach K-12 in the public and private sector, perform with companies, attend renowned graduate schools and work in non-profit arenas.
  • The department’s mission statement captures who we are. It is this:

The mission of the Dance Department at The University of Southern Mississippi is to provide students with a comprehensive, individualized and rigorous study of dance. Through mentoring and attentive faculty-student interactions, we aim for our students to be skillful and knowledgeable performers, choreographers, licensed dance educators and advocates. Our graduates will experience dance as an artform and as a career path. We combine technique, dance theory courses, choreographic and performance opportunities, and teaching experiences to engage students in creative and critical thinking, preparing them to successfully participate in the field of dance with conviction and integrity. Just as we commit to our students, we are committed to bringing dance experiences to our community through performance and education.