Welcome to The OCU Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management Online Newsletter
Welcome to the Dance Performance Newsletter!
Here you'll find posts and information from our faculty and dean, along with links to other exciting events and news from the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management.
If you prefer to keep track of the newsletter via RSS feeds (such as Google Reader), you can click on the "Posts" button in the right hand column under "Subscribe to our Dance Performance Newsletter." Please note that since we do not allow responses to the articles we post, clicking on the "All Comments" button won't get you anything. It's included by default, and there's no way to get rid of it.
Check back often -- you never know what exciting things will pop up next.
Scroll down to read the latest articles about the Dance Program at Oklahoma City University!
Thursday, May 1, 2014
This past weekend, 12 OCU students traveled to Baltimore, Maryland for a very special tribute dance concert. The concert honored Amanda Starz, an Ann Lacy School student and dancer that we lost due to a car accident when she was performing in "TEXAS A Musical Drama" in August, 2013. To provide a little bit of the backstory, Amanda attended a private, all-girls high school in Baltimore and suffered the loss of her best friend Erin when she was only 14 years old. Erin's family constructed a theater in her honor, and donors were able to purchase seats to help with the construction process. The theater was never finished, and upon Amanda's passing, her family saw a wonderful opportunity to finish the construction and provide a place here on earth where Amanda and Erin could be honored together. The stage was dedicated on Saturday, April 26th with a performance incorporating some of Amanda's closest friends at OCU and back home in Baltimore.
12 students traveled to Baltimore for the performance, and those who were unable to travel participated in the making of a video which was also shown for the dedication. Senior dance performance majors Robyn Bonin and Ali McCurdy coordinated this video effort alongside dance performance alumna Ashlyn Adams and her husband Peter.
Shayna Swanson, a senior dance management major, discussed one of the pieces that was performed titled "Work Me Down Now." In the variety show culminating the end of the "TEXAS A Musical Drama" season, Amanda had choreographed a large production number to this same song, and friends saw it fitting that they re-produce the number and perform it on Amanda's stage.
Students were thrilled to participate in the opening of Amanda's stage and to be able support her family in this dedication performance. It was a special weekend for all who attended, and demonstrated how the love and support of the OCU family reaches far beyond Oklahoma.
We've certainly had a busy last few weeks here at the Ann Lacy School! With load-in, tech, and production of the Spring Show, departure of students across the US for Spring Break, and Spring Audition Day, the Gaylord Center has been abuzz with activity!
This year's Spring Show was a splendid achievement. With numbers ranging from fierce rhythm tap and Spanish-inspired jazz to heartfelt ballet sequences and a West Side Story suite, the audiences' energetic reactions and overwhelming social media support proved to make this year's production successful. With a wonderful production crew and talented company of dancers, the Ann Lacy School pulled together as a family for a successfulshow.
Shortly after the show ended on Saturday evening, students began travelling across the US for Spring Break adventures. Many Ann Lacy students traveled to New York City for the renowned OCUNYC program, taking classes from a star-studded group of managers, casting directors, choreographers, and vocal coaches. Hosted by OCU and made possible gifts from Ann Lacy, this program allows students to take an insider's view of what life in the Big Apple might be like after graduation. Taking classes from these professionals, they are given a chance to hone their skills and take away valuable advice as part of their well-rounded education.
Junior dance performance major Melody Riley stated that her favorite part about OCUNYC this year was the Headshot Forum: "We got individual attention, focusing on what was good and what we could improve in our headshots, and we were able to connect with OCU alums on a personal level. I also loved the 'All About Commercials' class where we got to pretend we were being cast in a commercial! It really helped me understand what casting directors might be looking for in a commercial call."
As students began classes again after Spring Break, preparations for the Spring Dance Admission and Scholarship Audition Day began. This past weekend, we were excited to host many potential students for the audition, and it was an exciting reminder of the new faces we might be seeing in the fall!
Coming up this week is a Moving Light Board Experience for interested students, providing an extracurricular opportunity to learn about a professional moving light system! Check back for an update next week!
Interested in what our Ann Lacy school students pursue after graduation, dancing their dreams in venues from cruise ships to the Great White Way? Well this weekend, senior students will be auditioning for both The Muny and Stiletto Entertainment!
Stiletto will be making a special visit to OCU for an in-house audition, and many students are traveling to St. Louis for auditions at The Muny. This jam-packed weekend is an example of the many opportunities students pursue during their final year at OCU. With almost four years of training under their belts, students plan auditions into every nook and cranny of their schedules and use the skills they have learned to gain employment.
There will be many more audition opportunities throughout the semester, but for today we say 'Break A Leg' to all those auditioning this weekend!
A cold front has certainly moved through Oklahoma this week as students bundle up to walk across campus for their activities, but rehearsals and classes in the Gaylord Center are busier than ever! The American Spirit Dance Company members continue to learn and perfect new pieces for the Spring Show, and tap, jazz, and ballet classes remain centers of activity.
On Thursday, January 23rd, the PEP Dancers entertained the crowd at the OCU basketball game. Performing at half-time and time-outs, these dancers are always a joy to watch and bring their energy and pizazz to the court! Next week on Wednesday night, the Spirit of Grace liturgical dancers will have their first rehearsal to learn choreography for events throughout the semester. These are sure to include chapel services and the Relay for Life Survivor's dinner among many others.
This past Saturday, several high school students joined the OCU dance faculty for a fun day of classes at the High School Dance Intensive. Each year, this event gives prospective students a chance to take class with the faculty here at the Ann Lacy school, see the magnificent facilities, and experience what a day of dance classes as an OCU student might look like! We were thrilled to have these students with us, and look forward to seeing many other prospective students' faces at the Spring Audition Day!
And finally, many dancers from the Ann Lacy School participated in auditions last week for the main stage musical "South Pacific," which will be presented at OCU this spring. Each semester, dancers have an opportunity to audition for and participate in these productions in conjunction with the Wanda Bass School of Music, and this semester's show is sure to be another hit. Tickets for the show can be bought online through the OCU box office or at the ticket office window in the Gaylord Center.
This past Friday at the Ann Lacy School, students were treated to an afternoon with a very special visitor: John O'Hurley! An actor, voice actor, television star, O'Hurley is most famous for his roles as J. Peterman on Seinfeld and host of the television game show Family Feud. He has also appeared on Dancing With the Stars, Broadway and the National Tour of Chicago as Billy Flynn, and many other productions.
While in Oklahoma City for the National Tour of Chicago, O'Hurley lent his wisdom and expertise to the OCU student audience and shared advice with aspiring entertainers. Students were free to ask him questions in the forum-type format, and his energy and enthusiasm filled the room where faculty and students alike gathered.
This unique and special visit is yet another example of the opportunities presented to dance and arts management students throughout the year. A "Q & A" session with a Broadway and television star, from the comfort of the Gaylord Center, certainly adds to the depth of experiences and education students receive throughout their four years at OCU.
Check out the photo below to see Mr. O'Hurley with our very own OCU dance and arts management Chairman Jo Rowan!
As Christmas break has come to a close, the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management is back in full swing! In this first few days alone we have held American Spirit Dance Company auditions, jazz, tap and ballet leveling, and four days of classes as students busily travel around campus!
Rehearsals for the highly anticipated Spring Show begin this week as choreographers and dancers prepare for the show. Auditions were also held for the PEP dancers and Spirit of Grace Liturgical dancers, who will begin rehearsals promptly as well. The spring semester is always full of exciting performance opportunities with the American Spirit Dance Company Spring Show, Relay for Life, basketball games, and spring musical at the theater school. Performers and audience members alike are sure to enjoy these opportunities!
Check back next week for an update on our special event happening this Friday. John O'Hurley is sharing his wisdom and experience with students and faculty alike and coming to talk at the Ann Lacy School! We're excited to have Mr. O'Hurley with us and can't wait for Friday afternoon!
The temperature has dropped in Oklahoma City, and it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! It's also beginning to sound a lot like Christmas as costume runs and rehearsals continue in the Gaylord Center for the Home for the Holidays Christmas Show! This week, members of the American Spirit Dance Company have danced in costume runs for the 1st and 2nd acts of the show, and management students have been prepping all of the technical elements for load-in on Monday morning. The buzz of activity in preparing for the show is certainly evident, and in only 3 weeks the magic will come alive onstage!
Buy your tickets today for the show at the OCU box office or online through the link below: