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Kari Smith headshot

Kari Smith 


Assistant Professor


Kari Cherie Smith, a native of Nashville, has enjoyed teaching theatre and dance for over 18 years in the Middle Tennessee area. With a background in performance, dance, directing, education and choreography, Smith holds a Theatre and English Education degree from Lipscomb University and was a four-year member of the Vanderbilt dance team. She has a Master of Arts in Fine Arts and Theatre from Cumberland University.

Smith taught theatre, English, and dance at Centennial High School and Ravenwood High School for eleven years before pursuing her masters degree. During this time she also taught at several dance studios in the area, including Spotlight and Dancers E.D.G.E. as well as serving as an adjunct professor of Theatre and Dance at both Cumberland University and Trevecca University before coming to Lipscomb in 2013. Smith was the co-director of the Nashville High School Musical Theatre Awards for five years at Lipscomb, also known as the Spotlight Awards, which is a partnership between Lipscomb and TPAC to promote, celebrate, and encourage local high school theatre programs.

Smith now serves as a theatre and dance instructor at Lipscomb University, and she is the co-director of Lipscomb's Foundation Dance Theatre and the annual dance concert, Elevate. Smith also serves as the High School Director at Lipscomb Academy, and she is the founding director of the Lipscomb Academy School of Dance.

Smith has enjoyed performing, directing, choreographing and working as a teaching artist at many universities and theatre companies around town, including Nashville Children's Theatre, Blackbird Theater Company, Springhouse Theatre, Chaffin's Barn, and Towne Centre Theatre. Recent roles include Kathy Selden (“Singing in the Rain”), Nancy (“Oliver”), Sandra (“All Shook Up”), Adelaide (“Guys and Dolls”), Lois Lane/Bianca (“Kiss Me Kate”), Lola (“Damn Yankees”), Mae (“Pajama Game”), Tess (“Crazy for You”), Tessie Tura (“Gypsy”), and the Witch (“Into the Woods”).