Meet the Artists

Current HDC Members

Kelly Ferris Lester is the Director for the Center for Faculty Development and Professor of Dance at USM, and she serves as President-Elect of the National Dance Education Organization. She began her professional dance career in Memphis, TN, where she co-founded and directed Metal Velvet Dance Project, and performed with Project: Motion and Playhouse on the Square. In New York State, Lester performed with BIODANCE, Kista Tucker Dance, and annually in the ImageMovementSound Festival. As a choreographer, Lester’s works have been performed in several American College Dance Association conferences, with a Gala selection in 2011 and 2016, RAD Fest (Kalamazoo, MI), the Dumbo Dance Festival (NYC), Alabama Dance Festival, the Brockport Alumni Showcase (NYC), and several Somatic Movement Conferences across the US and in Dunedin, New Zealand. Lester serves as trainer for Eastwest Somatics Institute of Yoga, Dance and Movement Studies.

Stacy Reischman Fletcher is the Director of the School of Performing and Visual Arts of the University of Southern Mississippi. She earned her BA degree in Theatre Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University. With Hub Dance Collective, she creates new ensemble dances for all performances. In 2011, Reischman Fletcher was awarded the USM Research Award for Creative Activity for her choreography of an evening length dance work, “Have You Passed Through this Night”. In 2013 she was awarded the Dance Teacher magazine Award in Higher Education. In 2015, she started the British Studies in Dance summer program which allows dance students to experience dance history, live performance and art in London and other parts of Europe. Reischman Fletcher describes her dances as sometimes dramatic, mostly musical and hopefully metaphorical.

Rebecca McArthur received her BFA in Performance and Choreography from the University of Southern Mississippi and her MFA in Performance and Choreography from the State University of New York, College at Brockport. McArthur has performed for Mariah Maloney Dance, James Hansen Dance, Treeline Dance Works and the South African company 13th Floor. Her choreography has been selected for the American Dance Guild Festival, and she has also produced work at Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research and other various festivals in New York City. McArthur had the honor of teaching in the dance department at USM from 2012-2018.

Lauren Soutullo Smith is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Southern Mississippi. She earned her B.F.A. at the University of Southern Mississippi, and her M.F.A. from the Florida State University’s School of Dance. With an interest in performance, she finds great joy in being able to dance as well as choreograph for Hub Dance Collective. Lauren has enjoyed dancing professionally for danceE in Birmingham AL, Staibdance in Atlanta GA, and currently with Hub Dance here in Hattiesburg. Alongside her company work, she has been a soloist at the Alabama Dance Festival and the Mississippi Dance Festival in recent years. She is grateful to be a full company member with HDC where she can share what she loves most.

Brianna Jahn, an Assistant Professor of Dance at The University of Southern Mississippi, earned her M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Arizona, her B.F.A. in Dance from SUNY Buffalo, and is a Professional Fletcher Pilates teacher. As a member of Hub Dance CollectiveConfiguration Dance TheatreConvergeDance Buffalo, and freelance artist Jahn has performed in and choreographed for numerous festivals/concerts in the U.S. and Mexico. An artist-educator who seeks to dismantle dance genre hierarchy, her creative interests lie in multidisciplinary and highly collaborative efforts, punctuated by periods of self-examination exploring choreographic portraiture. Recent choreographic works include Self Portrait no. 2 commissioned for the “When There Are Nine” artists reception in Canton, MI, celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, Guys and Dolls for Southern Miss Theatre, Venue, a tap piece created for Revelry’s Dance Gala, and SLIDE, a collaborative work in Mary McDonnell’s art exhibit of the same name. Jahn approaches movement creation, performance and teaching, from an expressive, yet anatomically sound perspective, informed by her research within the dance science community.

Candice Salyers is a dancer and multi-disciplinary artist. Her performance work has been presented in the US, UK, Estonia, Spain, Morocco, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic, and she was one of 10 US artists selected to participate in an international exchange between National Dance Project (US) and Culture Ireland (IE). She has spent 18 years designing site-specific performances in public landscapes and was recently awarded an artist residency in Acadia National Park. Her PhD research explored intersections of dance performance, feminist theories, and environmental philosophy, proposing that site-specific dance can contribute to unique ways of embodying ethical citizenship. Her current work also focuses on dance performance as humanitarian service. Dr. Salyers’s work has been honored with an Alma Bucovaz Award for Urban Service, a Choreographic Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Association of University Women, and a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for her forthcoming book. She was one of the first dancers invited to speak at the Society for European Philosophy, and her publications include contributions to Tanz, Bewegung, und SpiritualitätThe Journal of Environmental Philosophy, and the Journal of Performance and Mindfulness.

Katherine Moore is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Dance at the University of Southern Mississippi. As a movement and teaching artist, her work spans theaters, outdoor environments, galleries, and community spaces. Katherine’s artistic practice rests in the intersections between dance improvisation, site-based embodied research, and interdisciplinary social practice. After working for many years in New York City as a performer, choreographer, teacher, and arts administrator, Katherine received her MFA in Dance from the Ohio State University in 2019. She holds a BA in Dance from Hope College, and she is also a 200 hour certified Yoga teacher through the Perri Institute for Mind and Body.

Founding Members

Kelly Ferris Lester
Stacy Reischman Fletcher
Rebecca McArthur
Elizabeth Lentz-Hill
Meredith Early

2020 Guest Artists

Lauren Guynes Gulliet

Lauren Guynes Gulliet is a choreographer, performer, and educator based along the Gulf Coast. She holds a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Southern Mississippi, where she choreographed and performed as a member of the Repertory Dance Company. Lauren has been a company member of the Marigny Opera Ballet in New Orleans, LA for the past five years. She is also a resident guest artist with Hub Dance Collective in Hattiesburg, MS and has performed their works at RADFest in Kalamazoo, MI, Dixon Place and DUMBO Dance Festival in New York, and the Chicago Harvest Dance Festival. She has had the honor of performing Gretchen Erickson’s work at the Women in Dance Leadership Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Lauren serves as cofounder alongside Summer Baldwin of COAST DANCEfest in Ocean Springs, MS. Together their mission is to strengthen the connection of the community to dance through film, live performance, and collaboration with graphic visual artists.

Lindsay Hawkins

Lindsay Hawkins, M.F.A., originally from Columbus, Indiana, is an educator and choreographer. She is the Assistant Professor of Dance and Director of the dance program at Rockford University in Illinois, and has previously held faculty appointments at many universities in St. Louis. She earned her M.F.A. from the University of Arizona’s School of Dance and danced for twelve seasons with MADCO (Modern American Dance Co, St. Louis, MO) where she served as Assistant Rehearsal Director for many years. Lindsay maintains an active relationship choreographing works and re-staging past work for MADCO and its second company and has set commissioned work on universities and dance companies throughout the Midwest.

Kellis McSparrin Oldenburg

Kellis McSparrin Oldenburg is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher originally from Clinton, MS. She got her start in the performing arts as a three-year singer/dancer in Clinton High School’s Attache show choir. She continued her study of dance at the University of Southern Mississippi, and, in 2010, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. Following her undergraduate studies, she earned an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2012. Kellis is a former instructor of dance at Belhaven University and a current remote instructor at USM, teaching online Dance Appreciation. Kellis teaches at several New Orleans area studios, specializing in ballet, contemporary, jazz and musical theatre techniques. She is also a certified yoga instructor and has orchestrated her own freelance choreography and teaching business for the past twelve years. Kellis is heading into her sixth season with the Marigny Opera Ballet, where she serves as a dancer, choreographer and Rehearsal Director. During her time with the company, Kellis has had the opportunity to originate several roles, including Proserpina in the premiere of Orfeo (Oct. 2015) and Giselle in the premiere of Giselle Deslondes (Nov. 2016). She has also choreographed three works for the Marigny Opera Ballet in former seasons, two of which received awards for choreography at the Gambit Tribute to the Classical Arts in February of 2019 (outstanding short choreography- Tells, premiered in Jan. 2018, and outstanding full-length choreography- Follies of 1915, premiered Nov. 2018). Kellis and her husband Kirk live uptown in New Orleans, and they joyously welcomed their first child, Ryder, in December 2019.

2020 Interns

Jamison Carroll

Jamison Carroll was born and raised in Crystal Springs, MS where she began her dance journey. She studies at the University of Southern Mississippi and is working towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography. Jamison loves performing and has hopes to pursue life as a performer and teach dance on a collegiate level. She enjoys time with family and friends and is engaged with her community. Jamison is so excited to see her growth in dance at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Caulondra Davison

My name is Caulondra Davison, and I am from Mobile, Al. I am  currently a junior at USM majoring in Dance Education. Dance has made a major impact in my life and has been a part of me since the age of three years old. I am excited to be an intern with HDC this summer because I am very interested in the production elements of a show. After college, I plan to have my own dance company and/or studio, where I will have to know the logistics of owning a company and what it takes to run it successfully. This internship will serve me greatly by giving me the experience to work along side my professors and become skilled in the areas necessary to put on a show. I am very enthusiastic about what HDC has in store for me and am eager to learn new skills!

Jaylen Williams

(Information forthcoming)