Dance Your Way to Your BFA
In studying dance at USM you will experience dance as a technician, artist, performer, teacher and dance maker. We offer many performance opportunities for our majors, and all incoming students are guaranteed a performance opportunity in their first semester. You will be exposed to dance as an art form with a history of its own.
The Southern Miss British Studies in dance program is an outstanding opportunity for students to travel to the UK and experience live dance concerts, art and culture.
The University of Southern Mississippi is an accredited, institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance.
What Will I Learn?
Students learn diverse dance techniques, improvisation, composition, and choreography, performance, dance studies, dance history, teaching dance, music for dance, dance anatomy, dance and technology, and other electives.
Our degrees require an internship that serves the professional interest of individual students.
Upper-level coursework in dance choreography and a written thesis are the culminating projects for Performance and Choreography majors. Dance Licensure majors student teach in their final semester.
An individualized internship in the professional dance world is a requirement for all majors. Internships are developed in conjunction with the student’s adviser with the purpose of furthering the education and exposure to an area of professional interest for the student. Recent internship opportunities include participating in: USM’s British Studies Dance Program in London, the American Dance Festival, Mark Morris Dance Group’s winter intensive, the International Association of Black Dance conference, lead intern for the Mississippi Dance Festival, and choreographing for summer stock musical performances. Additional opportunities in dance education, dance therapy, arts administration, marketing, and more are available.
The dance program offers service awards to students who submit a successful application. Applications are accepted in the spring for the following academic year. Service awardees are assigned tasks within the dance program that include: collecting the mail, setting up the lobby display for concerts, cleaning out costume storage, coordinating the sale of USM dance t-shirts, assisting with duties for guest artist residencies, etc. These awards range from $100-$500.
Foundation Awards are our named scholarships chosen by the dance faculty. These awards range from $200-$1000. Faculty decides on these awards based on need and talent. Apply for Scholarships
Jim Clinton Award
This award is for summer study at a festival, conference or workshop. Students apply for this award in the spring semester. This award ranges from $200-$800.
Department Special Scholarships
Department Special Scholarships are awarded by the dance faculty for talented and needy students. These awards range from $1,500-$8,000. These scholarships are exclusive and competitive.
Outstanding This and That Awards
Outstanding This and That awards are faculty chosen awards to recognize the hard work of our majors. They include Outstanding Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Dance Educator, Service Awardee, Production, and Thesis. The Outstanding Freshman Award includes $100 deposited into your student account. These awards are announced at the department picnic at the end of the spring semester.
To apply for acceptance into the undergraduate BFA program in dance at Southern Miss, you must audition as part of the application process. If you are interested in auditioning for a scholarship you must submit an essay and two letters of recommendation along with the audition form.
All dance majors are eligible to audition for RDC beginning in the second semester of study as a dance major. However, students must maintain an unweighted 2.5 GPA in dance courses in the previous semester. Learn More
Faculty Feature: Julie White
Professor White has launched a new website geared towards training teachers to integrate dance into their curriculum. The website, Wiggle Genius, is the first of its kind with online tutorials presented by White.
- Dance Educator
- Arts Administrator
- Rachel Rizzuto, 2009
Company member with Mari Meade Dance Collective, dance writer with Dance Media Arts, independent choreographer
- Kellis McSparrin, 2010
Kellis McSparrin, 2010
- Tyler McCants, 2014
Performer with Gregory Hancock Dance, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Carrie (Culpepper) Brown, 2005
Dance educator, McComb, Mississippi. 2018 Arts Institute of Mississippi Award for Dance Education