Mary Margaret Holt

Director, School of Dance
Nichols Chair
Regents’ Professor of Dance (Ballet)
Artistic Director, Oklahoma Festival Ballet

Mary Margaret Holt’s training began with a Ford Foundation grant leading to an apprenticeship with the San Francisco Ballet at the age of fifteen. Two years later, she was awarded an additional Ford Foundation grant to study at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet, where she performed with the New York City Ballet.

In 1972, Holt joined the Houston Ballet as a soloist and danced a wide variety of solo and principal roles in the classical and contemporary repertoire. She also served as a guest artist and teacher with more than 20 ballet and opera companies across the United States.

Holt, who holds BFA and MFA degrees in dance from the University of Oklahoma, joined the dance faculty in 1980. She was appointed chair of the Department of Dance in 1990, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts in 1991 and interim dean of the College of Fine Arts in 1997. Under her leadership, the Department of Dance was elevated to the School of Dance in 1998.

Since coming to OU, Holt has taught every course in the ballet curriculum, has led Oklahoma Festival Ballet on five international tours (Taiwan in 1991, France in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2000) and has choreographed over 20 ballets, musicals and operas. Holt, who is listed in Who’s Who of American Women, has received two Associates’ Awards for Distinguished Teaching, the College of Fine Arts Distinguished Faculty Award and the Governor’s Arts in Education Award. She was appointed a Presidential Professor in 1997, a Regents’ Professor in 1998 and in 2000 was appointed John W. and Mary D. Nichols Professor of Dance.