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School of Performing and Visual Arts

Auditions and Portfolio Reviews

The School of Performing and Visual Arts welcomes all applicants interested in our programs to showcase their talents via an audition and/or a portfolio review. 

Step 1: Apply to Southern Miss                                                                     APPLY

Admission to the School of Performing and Visual Arts requires acceptance to Southern Miss.

Step 2: Submit Audition and/or Portfolio Requirements
See dates and requirement/guidelines below for Art and Design, Dance, and Theatre.

Art and Design:

  • Application and portfolio reviews


  • Application and auditions
  • Audition not required for minor


  • Emphasis in Design and Technology: Application, portfolio review and interview
  • Acting: Application and audition:                  1) Monologues: 1-minute monologue;  2) Song: Singing is not required for audition (optional)
  • For Scholarships: Audition and/or interview at Curtain Up Welcome Day
Step 3: Attend an Audition and/or a Recruitment Event
You can partake in campus tours, demonstrations and so much more. Explore options per program below.

Art and Design

USM Art and Design Portfolio Reviews

Dates for Prospective Students

Southern Miss Art and Design’s largest recruitment event of the year Open House is an event much like our Open Studio but to far larger scale where students can partake in campus tours, demonstrations and so much more.


Southern Miss hosts two Black and Gold Days per semester where families and prospective students get to experience the best of Southern Miss after Black and Gold day, while meeting with faculty and staff and touring campus. 

Black & Gold Day


An event open to the public where families and prospective students can go behind the scenes and tour studio, shops and partake in demonstrations by both current students and faculty.




USM Dance Auditions

Audition Dates for Prospective Students


  • Saturday, October 19, 2019
  • Friday, November 15, 2019 (auditions will begin at 3:30 pm, immediately following High School Dance Day)
  • Friday, February 7, 2020 (auditions will begin at 3:30 pm, immediately following High School Dance Day)
  • Saturday, March 14, 2020


The 2019 Tennessee Dance Festival will take place at the Nashville Ballet on September 27-29 and our very own faculty member Kelly Lester will be attending the College Placement Auditions on September 28 held at Nashville Ballet. 

The Tennessee Association of Dance offers the opportunity to be seen in an audition class by representatives of several colleges from across the country at their annual Festival. Applicants must submit required materials on time, be registered for the Tennessee Dance Festival, and must participate in the audition class held during the Festival. If you did not register for the auditions—but are attending the Festival—connect with Kelly%20Lester.

Learn more


Are you a sophomore, junior or senior interested in majoring in dance after high school? 
High School Dance Day is your opportunity to see what dance at Southern Miss can offer you!



Audition Requirements and Guidelines

We are glad you are interested in majoring in dance at Southern Miss. All incoming dance majors must successfully audition for and be accepted into the dance program. An audition is not required to minor in dance. Please take a look at the FAQS for an overview of the audition day and information about your one-minute solo.

You will need to submit your audition application materials not later than one week prior to your audition date. 

You will need to submit your audition application materials not later than one week prior to your audition date. These materials include an audition application form and a résumé detailing your dance experiences to date.

Audition Form

Academic Performance Recommendation

Technique Skills Recommendation


Please mail all materials to:

Julie Hammond

The University of Southern Mississippi

School of Performing and Visual Arts

118 College Dr. Box 5056

Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Campus Map


If you are unable to attend an on-campus live audition, please read the following information. 

Make choices for this section that highlight their strengths as a dancer and allow us to see their passion and potential as a dancer. 

To apply for acceptance into the undergraduate BFA program in dance at the University of Southern Mississippi, you must audition as part of the application process. You may audition live at one of our scheduled audition dates or via a video link. Live auditions are preferred and include a ballet barre, several contemporary dance phrases, a showing of a one-minute performance piece, and an interview.

Online video auditions are an option for students who are unable to attend on-campus auditions for various reasons – departmental approval for this option is required. If approved, online applications for acceptance in dance include the following:


  •  Email video link to Sandra Whittington at Sandra.WhittingtonFREEMississippi
  •  All videos must be received no later stated University deadlines for undergraduate admissions
  • Applicant must wear a well-fitted dance attire where the body is fully visible.
  • Your video must be taped in a theatre or dance studio with good lighting and the recording must be in focus. Incomplete or poor quality videotapes may result in the student’s submission not being considered.

Video Content

  1. Introduction: Look at the camera and state the following information at the top of your audition video:  1) Name,  2) Where you are from,  3) Your goals in dance, 4) Why you would like to attend the University of Southern Mississippi dance program
  2. Dancing: No more than ten minutes in total length, this section can include combinations from dance classes, a performed dance piece, improvised movement, etc. Movement can be in any dance style, a variety of dance styles, and be self or instructor choreographed (or a combination of both). We encourage applicants to make choices for this section that highlight their strengths as a dancer and allow us to see their passion and potential as a dancer.


Please take a look at the FAQS for an overview of the audition day and information about your one-minute solo.


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.


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 C.D. or a mobile device capable of connecting to an auxiliary cord.


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.


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.)


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.


The audition will be over by 2 p.m. at the latest.


We do not allow parents to observe auditions. Usually parents “check out” Hattiesburg, go to the mall, etc.


You should wear a leotard and tights, and nothing distracting. The ballet barre requires ballet slippers and the modern is performed barefoot.


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.


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.


No, we only allow for one audition per auditionee.


Aside from the cost of getting to Hattiesburg and sending in your audition application, there is no cost.


It is strongly recommended that you attend one of our scheduled dates. In the case of extenuating circumstances, we will accept a video audition. The guidelines and instructions for submission of a video audition can be found under the 'Auditions' tab.


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'.


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!


USM Theatre Auditions

Dates for Prospective Students

The day begins after Black and Gold Day at the Curtain Up Welcome Day for incoming fall 2020 Scholarship.

Black & Gold Day



The day begins after Black and Gold Day and will include the following schedule of events:

  • Introduction to the program
  • Guided tours to prospective students and their families
  • Individual meetings with department faculty to learn more about programs of study
  • In groups, students will audition and/or interview.

 For this aspect of the day:

  • Actors should prepare a 1-minute monologue entirely of their choosing, from any genre, style or period.
  • Actors may follow their monologue with 16 bars of a song of their choosing (a cappella only please), but singing is not required for audition.
  • Designers, directors, dramaturgs and stage managers should provide their portfolios for a portfolio review and interview with departmental faculty.

**All participants are encouraged to provide resumes and other supporting documents that best represent their work.


Register for Curtain Up



Contact Us

School of Performing and Visual Arts

201E Theatre and Dance

Campus Hattiesburg

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