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Teaching the right steps: It took a husband and wife team to make OCU the top college in ‘showbiz’

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- They don't have a great deal of time.

Rehearsals are tight for a reason.

Students at the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment have a Broadway Revue this weekend, but, then again, that's show business, and Jo Rowan ought to know.

"It's all about being able to say, 'yes' if somebody asks you, 'can you do this'," she says.

Rowan is a presence at nearly every rehearsal as is her husband Dean John Bedford.

When they arrived at Oklahoma City University back in the early 80's the dance program had a few students, nothing special.

But Jo and John had another tune to play.

They both had long professional resumes and put them to work teaching students not only the steps, but also how to get job after job in a competitive field, how to stand out in the best possible way.

Bedford recalls, "When we started this program we went to our friends and colleagues from our show business careers and said, 'what would you like to see in a student coming out of a serious program to prepare people for careers in the performing arts?' The answers started by describing character issues."

So they run the show here just like a regular show out in the world.

Dead Bedford makes sure students take business courses too.

Most of the rating agencies out there rank OCU as one of the top dance programs in the nation, if not the top.

It might be tough to get them sitting together and one desk for very long, but Jo and John make a formidable team.

"Our committee meetings last 24 hours a day," jokes Bedford.

What they've managed to build is a reputation for themselves, and, more importantly, their students who keep filling chorus lines and professional revues wherever you look.

For more information about the OCU Theater Dance School or their upcoming Broadway Revue go to www.okcu.edu/dance/home