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Focus on Dance - 2024

Student Choreography Show Back in Person

“We’re Back Again,” the 2023 student choreography show directed by Shadoe Brandt, associate professor of dance, and Alana Martin, instructor of dance, continued a rich tradition that has been showcasing OCU students’ leadership, talents and knowledge since 1984. In 2020, the show adapted to virtual platforms, challenging our students to explore new avenues of choreography and artistic expression. This year marks a significant milestone as “We’re Back Again” returned to a live stage for the first time in three years. Directors Brandt and Martin shared, “This show is a culmination of courses and a year’s worth of work, into which our students have poured their hearts and artistic souls. We are immensely proud of the dedication and creativity our students have poured into crafting such an incredible show. It was electrifying, witnessing their artistic brilliance shine on the live stage.”

Dancers in tap shoes and dancers in arabesque

School Holds Title Sponsorship at Rhee Gold Dance Conference and Soul Dance Conference

In July 2023, the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment played a prominent role as the title sponsor for two significant dance conferences: Rhee Gold’s Dance Teacher Life Conference and the Soul Dance Conference in Las Vegas. Executive Director Melanie Shelley, alongside dance chairs Tiffany Warford and Jessica Fay, represented OCU while emphasizing the institution’s commitment to the industry of dance and entertainment education. OCU’s sponsorship allowed for valuable presentations, enabling attendees to gain insights into the Ann Lacy School’s exceptional programs. Additionally, an OCU alumni reunion in Las Vegas provided an opportunity for alumni to reconnect and network, further strengthening the school’s community. OCU continues to be a driving force in advancing entertainment education and fostering professional connections in the industry.

2023 Outstanding Faculty Award Honors Tiffany van der Merwe

The Ann Lacy School’s artistic director, Tiffany van der Merwe, received the 2023 Outstanding Faculty Award. This esteemed accolade recognizes her exemplary contributions in teaching, scholarship and service to the university and community. Van der Merwe’s commencement address, titled “The Place in the Middle” featured an extraordinary performance by Ann Lacy School dancers. This unforgettable moment showcased commitment to excellence in both artistry and academia.

Woman with brown hair smiling
Tiffany van der Merwe

Star Dance Company Introduces Subset Group “Rep Company”   

The Ann Lacy School is proud to provide students with many performing opportunities, and one of the most exciting additions began last fall with the introduction of the Star Dance Company’s Rep Company. This dynamic company has expanded the school’s reach by gracing stages and events across the city, including the OCU Holiday Gala, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s Christmas Show, Dean Bedford & Jo Rowan Legacy Celebration, the OCU Blu Party and the Day of Peace Celebration, among others. The Star Dance Company’s Rep Company takes pride in connecting with its growing community and sharing the incredible talents that the Ann Lacy School has to offer.

Entertainment Business Major Kyle Crane Completes Savannah Banana Internship

Senior Entertainment Business major Kyle Crane’s summer internship with the Savannah Bananas, an exhibition professional baseball team, was a unique experience that began as a course project but turned into an opportunity. Inspired by his passion for sports, Crane chose to take the Savannah Bananas on a fictional tour for his entertainment business project. “While working on the project, I learned they were actually going on a national tour, so I contacted their tour director to gain information not found online,” recalled Crane. Remarkably, they created a summer internship tailored specifically for him: tour logistics intern and audio technician. His educational background at OCU played a crucial role in his success during the internship. “I was able to apply what I learned in my classes to actual projects I was working on with the Bananas,” he further explained.

Man smiling in front of Go Bananas banner
Kyle Crane
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