Alana Martin, Theater Jazz
Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma City University’s Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment has been consistently rated by dance media as among the top dance programs in North America and has shared #1 and #2 ratings with Juilliard. OnStage, an internet media outlet, declared “In our opinion, no other college in the country is doing a better job of preparing versatile dancers for this industry than the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment at Oklahoma City University.”
Established by Chairman Jo Rowan and Dean John Bedford to educate, train, and prepare employable dancers, teachers, choreographers, and managers for the American entertainment industry, the Ann Lacy School offers four degree plans through the Dance and Arts Management Departments: Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance Performance (for those who cannot live without being on stage), Bachelor of Science in Dance Management (for those who want to maximize show business opportunities both onstage or off), Bachelor of Science in American Dance Pedagogy (for those who want to own and operate dance studios or manage dance academies), and Entertainment Business (for those who may or may not be dancers but want a wide range of career options in the entertainment industry).
The Ann Lacy School provides ten levels of instruction in Ballet (as used in musical theatre), Tap, and Jazz with students placed in levels appropriate to their accomplishment. Additional instruction is available in musical theatre dance and Broadway styles, commercial dance, rhythm tap, pointe, partnering, acting, and voice.
Dance academic courses include Musicals for Dancers, Dance Health, Dance History (general), American Dance History (focused on theatrical dance), multiple courses in Production and Management, Contracts and Management for Performers, multiple courses in Choreography, and multiple courses in Dance Pedagogy (teaching dance).
In addition to dance technique and academic courses, there is an extensive hands-on co-curricular program emphasizing preparation for competitive employability in a wide range of performing arts career options and resume-building experiences.
Performing opportunities include The American Spirit Dance Company with Broadway-style shows, The Spirit of Grace Liturgical Dancers for those who want to bring their dance artistry to worship services both on and off campus, Pep Dancers offering both choreographic and performance opportunities at home basketball games, and The Student Choreography Showcase offering advanced choreography students to create a show from beginning to final performance. Over the years, students have experienced both domestic and international tours, as either performers or tour company staff members.
Alumni have appeared on Broadway and National Tours including Hamilton, Disney’s Newsies, Cinderella, Cats, Rent, 42nd Street, Frozen, Bandstand, Beetlejuice, My Fair Lady, Wicked, White Christmas, On The Twentieth Century, Hello Dolly, Oklahoma!, Motown: The Musical , Rocky, Memphis, West Side Story, Bubbling Brown Sugar, A Chorus Line, 9 to 5 the Musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Amazing Grace, American Dance Machine, Annie Get Your Gun, Anything Goes, Bullets Over Broadway, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Chicago, Civil War, Crazy for You, Dance of the Vampires, Dracula the Musical, Dreams, Epic Proportions, Face the Music, Fascinating Rhythm, Follies, Fossie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Good Vibrations, Grease, Great American Mousical, Guys and Dolls, Gypsy, Hairspray, Holiday Inn, If/Then, In the Heights, Jekyll & Hyde, Jerome Robbins Broadway, Kinky Boots, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, La Cage aux Folles, Mama Mia!, Matilda, Nice Work If You Can Get It, On the Town, Peter Pan, Phantom of the Opera, Promises Promises, Ring of Fire, Rock of Ages, Rocky, Saturday Night Fever, Show Boat, Shuffle Along, Smokey Joe’s Café, South Pacific, Spamalot, Steel Pier, Sunset Boulevard, Sweet Smell of Success, Taboo, The Addams Family, The Apple Tree, The Boy from Oz, The Bridges of Madison County, The Light in the Piazza, The Little Mermaid, The Music Man, The Pajama Game, The Producers, Tommy, Will Rogers Follies, Young Frankenstein, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Disney’s Aladdin.
Many Ann Lacy School students have aspired to become Radio City Rockettes, with fifty succeeding in achieving their goal. Joining them have been eighteen men performing in Radio City shows, and two women performing in Radio City Spectaculars in the song and dance ensemble. Four graduates have held top positions in the artistic administration of the Rockettes, and two have served in tour management and education.
Many alumni can be found performing and managing all over the world at sea with Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Holland America Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises. Others can be found managing and performing at every Disney the park including Walt Disney World in Orlando, Disneyland in California, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Hong Kong, Disneyland Shanghai, Disneyland Tokyo and in featured films like Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical.
Alana Martin has had the privilege of being a Faculty member at Oklahoma City University in the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment for 20 years. There she teaches all levels and styles of Jazz and Theater Dance, a guest on pedagogy lecture panels, and also choreographs and directs for various companies. She has taught both nationally and internationally and her choreography has been televised as well as presented and seen on the national and international stage. Credits include Oklahoma Centennial Spectacular, Tournament of Roses Parade, Annie Oakley Opening Exhibit, OETA Gallery, Dance Masters of America, Friendship Thru Dance Tour, Hairspray, Rent, Legally Blonde, Kiss Me Kate, West Side Story, Urinetown, Secret Garden, Cinderella, and The Music Man. Alana is continually grateful to teach and share her passion of the art of dance with all the talented students she works with at OKCU that also continually inspire her.