During all 114 years of OCU, the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management has remained among its most award-winning colleges.
As one of the highest-ranked dance schools in the nation, second only to Juilliard, the school’s graduates are skilled, as the prestige of their professors would imply.
In some cases the two become one in the same, as is the case with Vincent Sandoval, a graduate who returned to teach for the same school from which he graduated.
“I’m excited and thrilled to be back,” Sandoval said. “To be part of the dance school again and to come full circle is just great, especially knowing how the school has changed and grown over the years.”
Sandoval, a 1993 graduate, was readmitted as a guest artist-in-residence, where he is teaching dance classes in tap, jazz, contemporary partnering and theater dance.
Coming to OCU from the field, Sandoval applies practical, “real world” experience to create a comprehensive and thorough learning environment.
“He has a lot of knowledge that he’s bringing with him to the classroom,” said Emily Jones, dance universal sophomore. “He’s very forward-minded in the way he prepares us for auditions and for jobs.”
After leaving Oklahoma, Sandoval spent eight years in New York City, where he took a three-year position of dance captain in the first national Broadway tour of Fosse in 1999. He also worked in Radio City Music Hall, initially as a performer, but eventually climbing to the assistant choreography director position for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, where he worked with the Rockettes.
“Radio City Music Hall was the first big show that I did when I moved to New York,” Sandoval said.
“It was something like the second audition I had done, and I got picked up by them for eight or nine years.”
Rather than minimize his time in Oklahoma, Sandoval’s experience will enhance his return, enabling him to share stories from the battlefront of the entertainment industry and to better prepare the students. As far as Sandoval can tell, being true to his roots is sure to reward him in this exact way.
“I knew this school was special from the get-go,” Sandoval said. “If it wasn’t for this school and its faculty, I wouldn’t have been able to reach the successes that I have. It really prepared me for my long-term career.”