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Dance Students Get Unique Learning Opportunity
Professional dancers from New York City took a side trip from their show tour last month to teach a master class for Oklahoma City University dance students. The associate artistic director of Ailey II and two of its dancers taught the class of 35 students in OCU’s Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management. Ailey II was in Oklahoma City for a show presented by Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc. “I have admired Alvin Ailey as a performer, teacher, choreographer and director since the ‘60s,” said Jo Rowan, chairwoman of OCU’s dance program. “I believe his company, the school and everyone connected to it are such world-renowned dancers that it is an honor to have them come to this campus. Our students were able to see the technique as it developed in class and as it developed on stage during the performance.” The master class was organized by OCU’s Fine Arts Institute (FAI). Roxanne Reed, FAI director, said the Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc. regularly partners with her institute on artistic educational outreach endeavors. “This rare chance for the dance students was not to be missed,” Reed said. “They were able to experience a contemporary modern dance class taught by members of the renowned Alvin Ailey School of Dance.” Dance student Warren Dixon graduated from the Alvin Ailey School program before coming to OCU, where he is continuing his studies as a graduate student in the master dance teacher program. Dixon attended the Ailey II master class. “As an observer, I thought the Ailey class was fun and exciting. Alvin Ailey has a 50-year history of modern and theatrical dance that seemed to be a perfect fit for OCU. The students seemed to be invigorated by the challenging and new expressive dance style,” he said. The students were provided tickets to see the company’s Ailey II program later that evening. The company has traveled to more than 30 cities in the U.S. and Canada during its current tour.