Dance and Arts Management
American Spirit Dance Company

The American Spirit Dance Company, founded and directed by Professor Jo Rowan, presents an annual holiday season extravaganza, Home for the Holidays – A Gift of American Dance, each December. In March, the American Spirit Dance Company presents the Spring Show, a Broadway-style revue featuring tap, jazz, and musical theatre-style dances. In April, specially selected dancers and arts management students form an American Spirit Touring Company to perform in domestic and international venues.

Jo Rowan, director of The American Spirit Dance Company and chairman of the Oklahoma City University Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management Department, began the American Spirit Dance Company for the purposes of celebrating America's unique contributions to dance through jazz, tap, and musical theatre and providing students with professional performance opportunities.

Since 1981, The American Spirit Dance Company has inspired audiences with pride in American dance with all its joy and optimism for life. The American Spirit is critically acclaimed in the United States and overseas and has become one of the premiere performing ensembles in central Oklahoma.

Over the years, the Oklahoma City University dance program with its outstanding faculty has achieved international stature as a leader in preparing dancers and managers for professional careers in the entertainment industry.

Former Oklahoma City University dance and arts management students may be found working from Oklahoma to Broadway and from Tokyo to the capitals of Europe. Former members of The American Spirit have appeared on Broadway in the following musicals:

42nd Street
9 to 5: The Musical
A Chorus Line
A Chrous Line
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Annie Get Your Gun
Anything Goes
Broadway Bares
Bullets Over Broadway
Civil War
Crazy for You
Dance of the Vampires
Epic Proportions
Face the Music 
Fascinating Rhythm
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Great American Mousical
Guys and Dolls
Hello Dolly 
In the Heights
Jerome Robbins’ Broadway
Kinky Boots
Kiss of the Spiderwoman
La Cage aux Folles
Mama Mia!
Motown the Musical
Music Man
My Fair Lady
Next to Normal 
Nice Work If You Can Get It
On the Town
Peter Pan
Phantom of the Opera 
Promises, Promises
Rock of Ages
Saturday Night Fever
Show Boat
Smokey Joe’s Café
Steel Pier
Sunset Blvd. 
The Addams Family
The Apple Tree
The Boy from Oz
The Boy from Oz  
The Drowsy Chaperone
The Producers
West Side Story
White Christmas
Will Roger's Follies
Young Frankenstein 
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Tournament of Roses Parade Performance

The American Spirit Dance Company had the distinct honor of ringing in 2007 with an internationally televised performance in the opening ceremonies of the Tournament of Roses Parade. The American Spirit Dancers performed with Oklahoma City University's own alumna, Kristin Chenoweth, in the opening number of the parade. The 35 students performed supported by 4 dance management and entertainment business majors serving as assistant stage managers. The performance marked the beginning of the official celebration of the 100th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood.

Flo-bert Awards Performance

Each year, the Flo-Bert Awards honors excellence in the world of tap dance. The American Spirit Dance Company was invited to perform in 1999, 2006, and 2008. On May 28, 2006, the tap awards ceremony in New York City honored Chairman Jo Rowan and Dean John Bedford.