The Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management has been getting its share of publicity during the last few months.
The school was named a top dance school by Dance Magazine last month.
Several other publications also named OCU as a top-tier dance program.
Students and faculty credit the success of the program to the professional training and commitment expected of everyone involved.
Tiffany Warford, professor of dance and OCU alumna, said the training she received at OCU prepared her for a career in Las Vegas and as a dance studio owner.
“Everything here prepared me for everything I did out there,” Warford said. “The shows we produce here can be more professional than the big shows in Las Vegas.”
Tanner Pflueger, dance performance sophomore, said his experience as a child in the Broadway show Billy Elliot is more valuable now as he receives training to be a professional dancer.
“It made me really respect all the things that go into putting on a show,” Pflueger said. “I didn’t understand all the work and preparation that is required.”
Dance students have been featured in several regional and professional shows before and during their time at OCU. Students have performed at Frontier City Amusement Park, in TEXAS the Musical, and at the Muny Theater in St. Louis.
Dance management students train in all styles of dance, as well as in business and marketing classes.
Jennifer Kinnenberg, dance management sophomore, said she plans to use her degree to create a traveling bridal show.
“I realized through the dance program how much of a management brain I have,” Kinnenburg said. “I wouldn’t have gotten here without this school. This place has really shaped me to see how successful I can be.”
The Ann Lacy School has a partnership with the Community Dance Center, a dance studio that is open to the public.
Students also are in change of enrollment, front desk responsibilities, and the technical aspects of the CDC recitals.
Gwynn Loud, dance pedagogy senior, said the dance program, and working in the CDC, helped affirm her desire to teach dance.
“I knew I wanted to make kids laugh in anything I do,” Loud said. “This program instills confidence in children that they might not have had the opportunity to develop.
“I’ve learned how to teach dance. You can put music on and dance around, but that’s not teaching someone.”