By: Roseanne McKee
Dance Maker Performing Arts Academy will hold two Open Houses on consecutive Sundays, March 30 and April 6, from 2-4 p.m. in Pawhuska at 200 Palmer Avenue. The academy is located just south of the police department in the building which previously housed the senior center.
The Open Houses will provide an opportunity for prospective students to learn the class schedule, the dress code, meet instructors and sign up while sharing light refreshments.
Evening and day classes will be available serving students from age three to adults, Dance Director Jenna Smith explained. Classes for younger students will meet once per week, while classes for older students may meet twice or more per week.
Ballet is not just for girls. Boys are also welcome and encouraged to sign up, she added.
Initially, only ballet classes will be offered, Smith said. Later, jazz and modern dance classes and other performing arts education instruction will be added: musical theater, drama and painting.
Smith, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Dance Performance from Oral Roberts University, is an accomplished artist and teacher. Smith has taught ballet at the Tulsa Ballet and the Jasinski Dance Academy for the past two years.
Smith began dancing when she was three, and began pre-professional ballet training in the sixth grade with Pavel Rotaru.
During her senior year of high school she studied with Prima Ballerina, Maniya Barredo, in Alpharetta, Ga., and attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts her freshman year of college as one of only eight accepted from across the U.S. into the college ballet program.
In 2012, Jenna choreographed Wahzhazhe: An Osage Ballet, which premiered in Tulsa, Bartlesville and at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the Native American in Washington, DC, in March of 2013.
Smith, who is Osage and Cherokee, said she sees the academy as a way of giving back to the community.
“Because of the great success of this ballet, the interest in ballet is very high,” Smith said. “We look forward to serving the people of Pawhuska and the surrounding communities at our performing arts academy.”