Julie Hammond White

Associate Professor and Director of Dance Education

Julie White (B.F.A, M.F.A) is an Associate Professor, Director of Dance Education, and a K12 Licensure Supervisor at the University of Southern Mississippi.  In her youth, White trained with BalletMet of Columbus, performing in such ballets as Les Sylphides, Serenade, Swan Lake, and annually in the Nutcracker, most notably in the role of Clara. In the summers, she trained at North Carolina School for the Arts and with the Louisville Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.  She earned her B.F.A. in Performance from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois where she was awarded a talent scholarship and was also the only undergraduate student who taught non-major department dance classes.  Her significant teachers at U of I were Doug Varone, Becky Netl-Fiol, Renee Wadleigh, Marcus Shulkind, and Jan Erkert.  She danced many times in graduate works by Kathleen Hermesdorf, Kathleen Fisher, and Sheldon Smith.  After graduation, she performed and produced choreography in Chicago at Links Hall and other performance venues with U of I alums and other emerging artists.  She then returned to Ohio and worked in marketing/managing/sales for Helene Curtis for several years before attending The Ohio State University where she earned her M.F.A. in Choreography.  She was awarded a Fellowship Scholarship – given to one applicant annually based on scholarship and strength of application and scholarship – which was granted renewal each year she was in the program.  At OSU, White studied with Susan Hadley, Melanie Bales, Karen Eliot, Susan Van Pelt, Vicki Blaine, Karen Bell, John Giffin, Bebe Miller, Victoria Uris, Lucy Venable, and Ron Brown.  Through an additional year of study, she earned her K12 Ohio Dance Education Licensure.  The fall after earning her terminal degree in dance, she moved to Dayton, Ohio and worked to establish a dance education program at Stivers School for the Arts, a 6th – 12th grade magnet school.  Within a year, she had written dance education standards for the district and a course of study for the school that were aligned with the national standards.  She also had dance declared as an art instead of being aligned with physical education so that funding, as well as advocacy, efforts were more appropriately aligned.  Within five years, White had a dance faculty of ten working dance artists from across the state – including principal dancers with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, professors from The Ohio State University and Kenyon College, Rhythm in Shoes, and the Dayton Ballet to name a few --  that choreographed, taught, and auditioned her nearly 90 dance majors.  Six mainstage concerts occurred each year, including two that also toured into the K12 schools.  Students in the dance program were also now admitted through a rigorous audition process.  By 2002, students were receiving scholarships to esteemed summer and college dance programs, were being accepted into DCDC2 as apprentices, were granted permission to restage notated historic dances from Labanotated score, and were leading the school as scholar/artists in their overall accomplishments.  In 2004, White was invited to come to Mississippi to write the curriculum for the dance education licensure program and work to establish it through accreditation, instruction, and course development.  After one year, she applied for and was selected for the tenure-track position at Southern Miss. 

At USM, White teaches all dance education courses, all levels of ballet, beginning and intermediate modern, directs both student dance companies, coordinates the majority of departmental outreach work including K12 performances and touring, and choreographs on both RDC and RDC2.  This fall, she begins her 14th year at Southern Miss.  Her main areas of research are arts assessment, curriculum development, outreach and community work, and “teaching teachers how to teach” in K12, higher education, and integrated and dance education classrooms and programs.  She has been repeatedly invited to present her work nationally at NDEO Conferences, regionally at ACDA conferences, and statewide as a curriculum track leader in dance at the Mississippi Gifted Child (MGAC), Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC), and Whole Schools Initiative Conferences (WSI).  She has worked extensively as an independent artist-in-residence in K12 schools throughout the Gulf South.  White is a dedicated advocate for the importance of movement in learning and the essential inclusion of artful instruction in education.  In 2016, she was appointed to the esteemed MAC Teaching Artist Roster, and was selected for a third year as a Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education granted artist-in-residence.  White is co-founder and education director for the Mississippi Dance Festival, co-founder and co-director of Camp Create, co-founder and lead instructor of “Saturday in the Studio” which offers interdisciplinary early childhood and K-6 classes for students and their parents in dance, and the creator of “Wiggle Genius” – a website for K12 classroom teachers that disseminates the many approaches to teaching academics artfully with dance.  In 2013, White was awarded the Southern Miss College of Arts & Letters “Teacher of the Year Award” and the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education “Excellence in Higher Education Award” for her contributions to, and accomplishments in, dance and education statewide and nationally.