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Executive Director, Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment

About the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment

In 1981, Oklahoma City University founded an American musical theater dance program to educate and train performers for careers in the American entertainment industry. Professor Jo Rowan created this program to recognize the legitimacy of the American dance art forms of tap, jazz and theater dance, among others.

Alongside Dean John Bedford, Professor Rowan designed a degree which has been refined over the years to give thorough preparation to students wanting dance performance careers in the American entertainment industry through the Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance Performance degree.

The school went on to create three other degree programs. The Bachelor of Science in Dance Management prepares students to function in both an artistic and administrative function with a strong curriculum in dance and arts management. The Bachelor of Science in American Dance Teacher provides students with a foundation in studio management and pedagogy through practical teaching application. The Bachelor of Science in Entertainment Business degree allows students to tailor a portion of the curriculum through a choice of specialty tracks to support their personal career objectives. The tracks include Sports Entertainment, Event Planning, Entertainment Marketing, Entertainment Tour Manager, Fashion Event Planner, Film Business, Church Arts Program Manager, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Political Events Manager, Entertainment Pre-Law, and Venue Management.

Dance classes in the school give equal importance to tap, jazz, and ballet to form solid dance and movement background and allow for the versatility needed in the entertainment industry. Students auditioning to the program with an interest in performance, management or teaching spend two years in a Dance Universal track creating a solid and informed core education before applying for a more focused degree track.


  • Named a "Best College Dance Program" in the USA by
  • College Magazine's Top 5 dance school in the country
  • Professional partnerships for performing arts include Oklahoma Children's Theatre, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City Ballet
  • "The best preparatory dance program in the nation" - K.C. Patrick, former editor of Dance Magazine

Watch video of student performance to “Torn” choreographed by Professor Kelli Stevens here

Watch a promotional video celebrating our partnership with Stagestep here

About Oklahoma City University

Established in 1904, Oklahoma City University (OCU) is a coeducational, urban private university that occupies 104 park-like acres in the heart of Oklahoma City. The university is affiliated with The United Methodist Church and offers a wide variety of degrees in liberal arts, performing arts, health sciences, and business, with more than 70 undergraduate majors and 20 graduate degrees, as well as a J.D. degree through the Oklahoma City University School of Law. OCU enrolls more than 1,700 undergraduate students and 600 graduate students from 46 states and 43 countries. To learn more,

OCU Accolades

  • Chronicle of Higher Education's "Great Colleges to Work For" list multiple years.
  • Ranked #28 in the Regional Universities West category by U.S. News & World Report “2019 Best Colleges” edition.
  • Consistently ranked as a top-tier, master's-level university by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Ranked one of the top colleges in the U.S. in The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings
  • Listed in Forbes magazine’s “Best Christian Colleges” and “100 Best College Buys.”
  • Made the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Campus USA list more than once.


Oklahoma City University prepares all learners to Create, Lead, and Serve. OCU provides a diverse, inclusive culture committed to producing graduates who think critically and innovatively, communicate effectively, and use their knowledge and talents to make a local and global impact.

Oklahoma City University is committed to an education that:

  • Provides students with the skills and confidence to adapt to and excel in a complex and dynamic world.
  • Invests continually in its students, staff, faculty, alumni, and programming to enrich academic and co-curricular offerings.
  • Fosters partnerships within and beyond the university to enrich lifelong learning.
  • Develops informed global citizens ready to engage with their communities and contribute to the world.
  • Develops graduates who are ethical, highly employable professionals.
  • Honors its United Methodist history and tradition of scholarship and service.


Oklahoma City University will be an innovative academic institution with local impact and global reach and reputation. By providing a student-focused learning environment and an inclusive, values-centered culture that engages the community and the world, Oklahoma City University will be a university of choice for talented and high-potential students, faculty, and staff.

OCU Core Values

Integrity: We hold ourselves and each other accountable to do the right thing in all circumstances.

Respect: We honor the worth of all by treating ourselves and others with dignity and kindness.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: We strive to understand and embrace our differences. We take purposeful action to foster a welcoming and supportive environment for all.

Collaboration: We intentionally pursue our common goals with a genuine spirit of community.

United Methodist Affiliation

While the university is affiliated with The United Methodist Church, the university’s government and management are vested in its independent, self-perpetuating board of trustees. The university bylaws provide for an executive committee, the members of which include the chairperson and the vice chairperson of the board, the treasurer of the university, the resident Bishop for the Oklahoma Area of the United Methodist Church, and the chairs of certain standing trustee committees. The current board of trustee membership may be viewed here.

University Strategic Goals

During the 2017-2018 academic year, the university’s strategic planning leadership team engaged in a collaborative and participatory strategic planning process to develop measurable tactics for each approved strategic focus area, with the goal of moving the university forward toward the year 2023. President Evans, appointed in 2021, has indicated the university will undertake a comprehensive strategic planning process beginning in 2022.


Dr. Kenneth R. Evans was appointed the 19th president of Oklahoma City University on July 1, 2021 after serving as president of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, for eight years and as dean of the Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma for six years.

Dr. Evans holds a doctorate from the University of Colorado; a master of business administration degree from California State University-Sacramento; and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Davis. His research has been published in marketing and business academic journals and he has received national and international recognition for his contributions. Evans has been recognized for his work in the design and implementation of interactive learning experiences and graduate education.

The president reports to the board of trustees. OCU has a 46-member board led by chairperson Paul McLaughlin. View a full list of university trustees.

Dr. Michelle Kiec was named provost and vice president for academic affairs in the spring of 2022 and began her appointment on July 5, 2022. Kiec previously served as interim vice provost for Extended and Lifelong Learning and dean of graduate studies as Kutztown University, in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. She served various roles at Kutztown since 2012, including acting dean of the College of Education and dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Dr. Kiec holds master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees in clarinet from the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University. She earned a pair of undergraduate degrees from the University at Buffalo – bachelor of music in music performance and bachelor of arts in German. Kiec maintains an active research and creative agenda as a clarinetist, and advocates for newly composed classical music, a role she puts into practice as she performs chamber music in various ensembles. She is a frequent conference presenter on topics including leadership planning and collaboration, student success programming, curriculum design and faculty development.

Faculty & Staff

The university has a full-time faculty of 204 members as of the fall of 2021. To complement the university’s faculty, there are 319 full-time and part-time staff positions (non-faculty). The university staff is focused on supporting the educational endeavors of the institution in an employee-friendly environment.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Oklahoma City University is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and intentionally inclusive community. The University seeks and creates opportunities for each person to examine their own beliefs, values, and cultures so that, as a community, it can fully embrace the experience, ideas, perspectives, and traditions of all who come to learn and work here. The intention is to champion an environment where everyone collaborates to make OCU a place where people from all identities, backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences are embraced, validated, and supported. OCU recognizes that its students, staff, faculty, and community all benefit from and engage in its best learning, research, and community engagement when everyone is learning from and with each other. Campus diversity is an important part of strong liberal arts education and continues to work toward building a community that is inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible for all students, faculty, staff, and community members. This work is ongoing, and the dean’s council will be a key contributor as OCU works toward such a community through critical dialogue and action.