School of Dance
The University of Oklahoma
School of Dance
is considered one of the leading programs in the nation for training in ballet and modern dance techniques. Classes include beginning to advanced levels in ballet and modern dance technique, pointe, men’s class, composition, Pilates body conditioning, pantomime, ballet and modern dance repertoire, pas de deux, teaching methods, improvisation, choreography, and a complete series of courses in dance history. Live accompaniment is provided for all technique classes.
Our students come from across the United States, as well as around the world, and enjoy a wide spectrum of performance experiences including fall and spring productions in our home theatres. Additional performance opportunities come in the form of regional and international tours, operas, musicals, and interdisciplinary collaborations.
The School of Dance's History
In 1961, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo principals Miguel Terekhov and Yvonne Chouteau were invited to “teach a few classes" at the University of Oklahoma. Response to these classes was overwhelming and Terekhov was subsequently invited to develop the Department of Dance. In 1976, Kozaburo Yukihiro joined the department and worked with Terekhov to develop the curricula for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance.
The program quickly rose to national prominence and cemented a reputation for the strong performance capabilities and professionalism of its graduates. In recognition of its growth in national stature and rankings, the Department of Dance was elevated to the School of dance in 1998 under the direction of Mary Margaret Holt.
From its inception, the school has been performance-oriented and now boasts two active performing companies. Oklahoma Festival ballet has a repertoire of more than 50 ballets and Contemporary Dance Oklahoma performs a variety of original works. Both companies perform works from the national repertoire.
Our former students have established professional careers in dance with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Texas Ballet Theatre, Nashville Ballet, Ballet Austin, Alvin Ailey Ensemble, The Martha Graham Dance Ensemble, Pearl Lang Dance Theatre, Dance Kaleidoscope, Ballet Hispanico, the Rioult Dance Company, Oberlin Dance Collective, and Ballet West as well as in Broadway musicals and national touring companies. In addition to performance opportunities, the program has prepared graduates for careers in professional schools and colleges, choreographers, management, and arts administration.
The New York Times, POINTE magazine, Dance Teacher and Dance Magazine have given enthusiastic reviews to our performances and programs, and our companies have been honored by the American College Dance Festival. Over five decades after its establishment, the University of Oklahoma School of dance continues to grow and thrive and to offer its students the very best in educational and performance opportunities.