Rebecca Sleger McArthur

Assistant Professor

Rebecca McArthur is Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Southern Mississippi. She holds a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography also from the University of Southern Mississippi and a M.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography from The State University of New York, College at Brockport. McArthur is certified in the Laban-Bartenieff based Bill Evans Method of Dance Technique and is currently working on her certification in Pilates. McArthur is also a founding member of Hub Dance Collective, a modern dance company based in Hattiesburg, MS. Her area of expertise is in Ballet and Modern Technique.

After earning her B.F.A. in 2005, she joined the South African based performing arts company, 13th Floor. During her time performing with the company, she also served as a dance coordinator, taught ballet and modern technique classes, and created dance-based workshops for community outreach programs. McArthur toured with 13th Floor for 2 years before pursuing her M.F.A. from the College at Brockport.

While in Brockport, McArthur performed for James Hansen Dance, Mariah Maloney Dance, and Treeline Dance. James Hansen, artistic director and choreographer of James Hansen Dance, produced two works that McArthur played a key role in. He choreographed a solo on her called Tryst and an ensemble work called Lovely. McArthur toured with the company and performed at multiple venues, most notably at the 2011 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Inside/Out Series and the Mid-Atlantic Dance Exchange in Richmond, VA.

During this time, McArthur also performed with Mariah Maloney Dance. Mariah Maloney, artistic director and choreographer, is a former dancer for Trisha Brown. Maloney invited McArthur to perform her work entitled Vensters. As a part of this company, McArthur had the privilege to perform at venues such as Dance New Amsterdam in New York City, ACDA Northeast Regional Festival in University Park, PA and Hochstein Theatre in Rochester, NY.

McArthur continued her performance experience as a guest performer for the New York City based company, Treeline Dance. She had the privilege of performing Parade of Exaggerated Memories, choreographed by Jenny Showalter. This work was showcased in New York City and then later in Rochester, NY.

After accepting a teaching position at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2012, McArthur returned to Hattiesburg, MS and co-founded Hub Dance Collective alongside her colleagues. She has performed many works for this company since its inaugural performance in 2013. Likewise, McArthur has also choreographed for the company.

McArthur’s choreographic exploration involves multiple compositional methods. One of the methods she is researching is to develop a connection between the dancers that reflect a dependent interaction amongst them and creating a sense of community on stage. This exploration has led to many choreographic works over the years. Her work has been performed at many venues in New York City and Rochester, NY, Chicago, Mississippi, Florida, and internationally in Wales and South Africa.

While working on her graduate degree, McArthur had the opportunity to study under many well-respected and successful educators and artists. She studied under Bill Evans and dance historian Maura Keefe. She also took advantage of summer intensives learning from great choreographers like Doug Varone and from the company members of the Jose Limón Dance Company. Additionally, she took part in Anna Halprin’s final visit to New York City by taking part in her Life/Art Process workshop. While in graduate school, she had the honor of taking master classes with choreographers such as Kate Weare, Jonah Bokaer, Gallim Dance and Monica Bill Barnes, who set a site-specific work on McArthur and several other students in 2010 entitled Possible Weather.

In 2011 and 2012, McArthur was invited to the American Dance Guild Festival in New York City. For the 2011 festival she debuted a solo work called Babel. McArthur went on to show this work at the Rochester Contemporary Dance Collectives in Rochester, NY and Dance Movement Research in New York City, NY. Babel also became McArthur’s inspiration for her work entitled Intercede, which was an ensemble of 7 dancers. This piece explores the movement vocabulary that Babel exudes but also creates a connection and interconnectedness within the dancers on stage. This work was showcased in 2011 at Dance New Amsterdam (NYC), Dance Movement Research (NYC), Kid’s Café Festival (Brooklyn, NY), and the American College Dance Festival at Belhaven University in 2013.

In 2012, McArthur returned to the American Dance Guild Festival, held at the Alvin Ailey Theater in New York City, to debut her work entitled Heaps of Three. She later showcased the work as a part of Hub Dance Collective in 2013. Hub Dance Collective performed this work at the Harvest Dance Festival in Chicago, IL in 2015.

McArthur has gone on to choreograph many other works throughout her time at Southern Miss both on her students and for Hub Dance Collective. She enjoys creating works that allow her students to grow as dancers and dance artists. Her greatest passions involve the choreographic process and seeing her dancers make a personal connection to the movement and then witnessing them transfer that in how they perform and thereby inspire the audience member to relate and connect to the movement as well.  

Outside of dance, McArthur has visited Haiti, Nicaragua, and areas of South Africa to serve orphanages and communities in need of encouragement and outside assistance. She is also very involved in the Hattiesburg community, particularly through her faith community, Venue Church.