Dance Maker Performing Arts Academy to hold May 13 PerformancesDance Maker Performing Arts Academy will hold May 13 performances at the Constantine Theater on Main Street in Pawhuska at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The Osage Casinos is sponsoring these performances, which has enabled the academy to offer its tickets at a reduced rate of $2. Tickets will be available at the door.
The academy, owned by Jenna Smith, who is Osage, offers classes in ballet and tap for children and adults.
After opening in 2014 with 44 students, the academy has grown to an enrollment of 80 students.
Smith said: “This year, 32 children received scholarships from the Osage Nation Foundation.
“We also have eight boys in our Level I ballet class, funded by Will and Anne Baker, Jr.”
Smith thanked those who have funded the scholarships: Osage Nation Foundation, Will and Anne Baker, Jr., Jerry and Marlene Mosley, Jinx Guerren, Artists of Indian America, Inc., Robi Black, Casey Johnson and the Pawhuska Community Foundation.
Smith is a classically trained ballet dancer with a Bachelor’s degree in Dance from Oral Roberts University, and is the choreographer of Wahzhazhe, an Osage Ballet, which will be performed in Rolla, Missouri, on Sept. 8, at the unveiling of a bronze statue of an Osage family.
Smith opened the academy to train a new generation of dancers in previously underserved, rural Osage County. She is a recipient of a $10,000 Dreamstarter grant from Billy Mills and Running Strong for American Indian Youth. She has invested all of the grant funds into efforts to bring dance into the local public school system. Her dream is that all the children in her community be able to experience dance.
Smith is also working on another exciting project. She is preparing to present The Nutcracker Ballet in December at the Constantine Theater in Pawhuska.
Smith said: “We are producing Nutcracker as part of our passion for arts education in the school system. We would like to do multiple performances and bring every school-aged child to the Constantine to see the ballet.”
To donate or learn more about the schedule of classes visit their website at www.dancemaker.org or call them at 918-704-4668. For more about the Sept. 8 performance of the Osage Ballet, visit the Osage Ballet Facebook page.