By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The University of Oklahoma School of Dance will hold auditions for its annual Saturday Youth Program on Sunday, August 26. This intensive master class series, taught by School of Dance faculty, offers dance classes in classical ballet and modern dance to students ages 10-18.
The Saturday Youth Program will take place beginning September 8 concluding November 17 at OU’s state-of-the-art dance facilities housed within the OU Arts District on OU’s Norman campus.
The fall semester tuition is $190 per division.
The OU School of Dance Saturday Youth Program provides additional study for the young dancer between the ages of 10 and 18 who is currently training in modern and/or ballet technique. Class sizes are limited in order for the OU School of Dance faculty to provide “caring and focused instruction” for all Saturday Youth participants.
In past years select advanced students have been chosen to perform in several Oklahoma Festival Ballet productions presented by the School of Dance. Many students from the Saturday Youth Program have also been accepted to summer intensive programs at dance companies across the country.
OU School of Dance Youth Program Coordinator Rebecca Herrin feels the program is a wonderful training supplement for dedicated dance students.
“We find that students enrolled in the Saturday Youth Class demonstrate notable progress due to the opportunity to supplement their local classes by working with other dedicated young dancers in an atmosphere that is disciplined, challenging and exciting,” said Herrin.
The University of Oklahoma’s program in dance was founded in 1963 by Yvonne Choteau and Miguel Terekhov, former principal dancers with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. What had been a department became the School of Dance in 1998, with Mary Margaret Holt as Director.
In July 2017, the School of Dance welcomed Michael Bearden as the school’s third director in the program’s 54 year history. Undergraduate and graduate dance majors, along with general education students, total approximately 1000 enrollees in dance classes per semester.
The School of Dance’s state-of-the-art facility in the Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center was completed in 2005. The Saturday Youth Program was created over 20 years ago as a community outreach effort by Mary Margaret Holt, Dean of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts.