The summer of 2016 I attended Oklahoma City Ballet’s summer intensive. It was a very good experience with its flaws. I went for two main reasons. To spend time with my grandparents in Oklahoma and to save money on an intensive. This intensive was the best option for me because I could stay with my grandparents and not have to pay for housing. I sent in an audition tape for OKCB and heard back very soon. I believe I heard back after about a week. One thing I really appreciated about OKCB is that they would always answer emails I had with questions before the intensive in a timely manner.
A day at OKCB was fairly busy, starting with either yoga or Pilates at nine, which was followed by technique. After class you would have pointe then a pretty long lunch break. The afternoon would then be followed by two either none ballet classes, partnering, choreography, or variations. I thoroughly enjoyed these afternoon classes because they introduced me to a lot of new aspects of dance. My first day at OKCB I took my first hip-hop class, which was just a great way to break the ice for a bunch of bunheads at their first day of a 3-6 week intensive. I also took my first partnering class at OKCB. That class was great. I had a really good partner and the staff went at such a good pace that pushed us newbies without overdoing it. I can honestly say that first partnering class gave me a whole new look and appreciation for ballet I had never had before.
Another thing that was “introduced” to me at OKCB was musical theater dancing. This was such a blast and a great way to have fun after a long day of ballet. To me it was basically jazz with more theatrics to it. The last new thing OKCB gave me a look at was choreographing. We got into groups where we had to work together to bring our visions together to form one piece. This class was so beneficial to me even as someone who may never be a choreographer because it made me think out of the box to explore what dance meant to me, more than you would by doing someone else’s choreography.
Another thing I loved about OKCB was the teachers. It was primarily company members teaching us and I enjoyed that a lot. Each teacher gave us such different perspectives and nuggets of knowledge from their differing trainings. None of them had the exact same education as the next, so they each brought a new thing to the table for us to think about in class. It was nice to have so much to soak up from so many different people.
The last thing I have to talk about is the environment of OKCB. This place felt very welcoming from the beginning. The moment I walked in and had placement class there was a girl five years older than me that talked to me and helped me relax in this brand new environment. That summarizes the atmosphere at OKCB pretty well. It definitely wasn’t big happy, perfect ballet family, but everyone was open. People were just willing to talk to one another and make things a little more comfortable. It was a subtle, but helpful warmth in the atmosphere. I will always be grateful for that girl who talked to me even though I was so young because while it didn’t seem like much it eased my first day nerves a lot.
I hope you enjoyed this little bit about Oklahoma City Ballet summer intensive. There is also so much more to this program, but I can’t write it all, so if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments. Moving on from the summer intensive theme, so check back Monday for the next post!