Shellie C. Nielsen

Associate Professor

Shellie C. Nielsen received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in modern dance from the University of Utah, her Master of Arts in dance education from Teacher's College, Columbia University and her Certification in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis (CLMA) from the Integrated Movement Studies certification program at the University of Utah. As a professional dancer, she has performed with the Dayton Ballet Company, the Mercer Ballet Company, and various musical theater and summer stock companies. In 1987, Nielsen made a guest appearance with the Ririe/Woodbury Dance Company in Alwin Nikolais' lecture-demonstration presented at the 7th World Conference on Gifted and Talented Children. Most recently, she participated in Repertory Dance Theater's summer workshop performance at the Utah Arts Festival. As a multifaceted choreographer, Nielsen's works range from classical ballet, modern dance, opera, jazz, musical theatre and period dance forms. Most recently, she has been exploring Rudolf von Laban’s Space Harmony work in her choreography.

As a dance historian, Nielsen has studied Renaissance dance forms with Charles Garth and 19th-century ballroom dance with Elizabeth Aldrich. Her master's thesis, which examined the appearance of turnout in the social dances of the French Court during Louis XIII and Louis XIV reigns, sparked her interest in Baroque dance. She has been fortunate to study Baroque dance with Wendy Hilton, whose expertise encompasses the history, social context and choreographies for the Baroque dances in the French court, ballet and theatre. In April 2002, Nielsen was invited to present a lecture on Baroque dance for the Splendors of Versailles International Baroque Music Festival's Scholarly Symposium Series in Jackson, MS. She has presented educational workshops throughout the state and at Southern Miss on Baroque and other period dance forms.

Nielsen successfully wrote and received major grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Southern Arts Federation, the Task Force on Cultural Diversity, and the Hattiesburg Arts Council. These grants have helped fund dance residencies and community outreach programs with such prestigious companies as Doug Varone and Dancers, Shapiro and Smith Dance, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the Repertory Dance Theater, and Ballet Florida. Her next project brings in the internationally known Ririe/Woodbury Dance Company for a one-week residency in October 2011.

She is active in the university community as well as throughout the state. At Southern Miss, she served as Faculty Senate secretary for the academic year 1999-2000. Nielsen was a founding board member of the Mississippi Dance Association and has served on the Arts Commission's grant panel review committees and as a dance resource person. She is a member of the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education and Motus Humanus, a professional organization dedicated to the study of human movement in the tradition of movement theorist Rudolf Laban.

For the Southern Miss Dance program, Shellie currently teaches Modern and Ballet technique, Dance in Culture, Honors Dance Appreciation, Dance History II. After exploring intensive studies in Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Creative Systems Theory, and Touch and Observation Nielsen received her certification in the Integrated Movement Studies program and the right to use the professional title of CLMA. She now teaches Bartenieff Fundamentals and LMA for the Southern Miss Dance program. As a byproduct of this certification, she is further exploring the application of Touch and Repatterning for movement therapy.