Frequently Asked Questions
What is the audition day like?
You should arrive at 9:30 a.m. to check in. The audition starts at 10 a.m. and it will be structured like a class. We will start with a short ballet barre to look at alignment, strength, flexibility, coordination and your ability to pick up and execute combinations. Next, there will be modern center combinations and a rhythmic phrase; then, we will guide you through a structured improvisation. The audition class will be taught by dance faculty members and will give you a chance to experience what and how we teach. After the class, we will watch you perform a one-minute solo; then, you will get a chance to meet with a faculty member where we will interview you in small groups.
What should I have prepared in advance?
Your one-minute solo can be of any style you choose and can be choreographed by yourself or by someone else. In the solo, we are looking for your performance skills, and we are hoping that any nervousness you felt in the class will be overshadowed with your passion for dancing! Your solo should show you at your best.
You should bring your music, cued on a cassette or C.D.
What if I have no experience in modern dance? Should I even audition?
Many of our incoming students have little or no experience in modern dance: most dancers first experience modern dance in college. The majority of our majors come with experience in ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, even tap, show choir, etc. If you are accepted to our program, we teach you modern dance from the start. I think it is common to be intimidated by a style of dance with which you are less familiar, but that shouldn’t stop you from auditioning if you want to be a dance major.
What do I need to send you before the auditions?
Download, print and send the audition information form and a dance resume. The audition form will let us know to expect you and, combined with your resume, it will give us an idea of your dance training and goals before you arrive. We should receive all this material at least a week before your audition date. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, you should also send two letters of recommendation and an essay. (See below for more information on scholarships.)
Will I have a chance to talk to the dance faculty at the auditions?
Yes, we will divide you into small groups after the audition class and solo showings, and you will meet with a faculty member for an interview and to ask any questions you may have.
How long will the auditions last?
The audition will be over by 2 p.m. at the latest.
My parents are traveling with me. May they watch auditions?
We do not allow parents to observe auditions. Usually parents “check out” Hattiesburg, go to the mall, etc.
What do I wear?
You should wear a leotard and tights, and nothing distracting. The ballet barre requires ballet slippers and the modern is performed barefoot.
Where are the auditions on campus?
The auditions are held in Studio 115 in the Theatre and Dance Building. The Theatre and Dance Building is the most western building on campus and is one block north of Hardy Street on Ross Boulevard. Parking is not a problem on Saturday.
When will I know the result of my audition?
We will notify you after all of the audition dates have passed. You should receive a letter in the mail by the third week in April.
Can I re-audition if I feel I did not do well?
No, we only allow for one audition per auditionee.
Does auditioning cost any money?
Aside from the cost of getting to Hattiesburg and sending in your audition application, there is no cost.
What do I do if I cannot attend either audition date?
It is strongly recommended that you attend one of our scheduled dates. In the case of extenuating circumstances, we can invite you to campus on a Friday between February and April. Videotaped auditions are not accepted.
How do I apply for a scholarship?
In addition to the audition application form and your resume, you need to send in at least two letters of recommendation (download forms on the Audition page). These letters should address your skills as a dancer and student, and applicable character traits. At least one letter should be from a teacher, and we find that letters from dance instructors, employers, etc. are helpful. Also, please send an essay titled 'Why I Want to be a Dance Major at Southern Miss'.
Do you offer “full ride” scholarships?
Rarely. We prefer to use our scholarship money to benefit the most number of majors. Scholarships can range from $150 to $600 per academic year.
If you are not awarded a scholarship the first time you apply, you are able to reapply each year.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions. See you at your audition!