OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The lights come up on a new kind of show at the Kirkpatrick Auditorium.

As in so many years past, the American Spirit Dance Company rehearses late into the evening to put the finishing touches on ‘Home for the Holidays’.

“It is a Broadway quality show,” insists Jo Rowan.

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Home for the Holidays performers on stage.

Longtime director and dance professor Rowan has been on this “turnip truck” many times before, but with no shows to put on last year, and the phantom of COVID still hanging in the air, this Christmas brings even more challenges.

“We lost one year last year,” she tells us. “Instead of having sophomores, juniors and seniors helping our freshmen, we now have sophomores and freshmen who’ve not had that experience.”

Pulling double and, sometimes, triple duty, that’s what these OCU students are faced with.

Every part has someone else who can step in.

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Home for the Holidays tech crew.

Every member of the tech crew has an understudy as well.

Unexpected Covid exposures and quarantines had already cost a day of rehearsal earlier in the week.

All this and finals week too.

The lobby on this rehearsal night was crammed with crammers working on other course work.

Looking back at her students, she says, smiling, “They’re trying to do their homework. They have exams at the end of the year besides this.”

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Home for the Holidays in motion.

So who has room for Christmas spirit?

Well, the audience for these shows comes through the door expecting it.

Jo Rowan and the very busy cast won’t have time to stop and smell the holly or decorate the tree until after these shows are wrapped.

“Yeah,” she chuckles. “I will probably sleep a bit.”

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Home for the Holidays

The Ann Lacy School of American Dance started their ‘Home for the Holidays’ show for 2021 on Thursday, December 9.

The already sold out shows will continue through the weekend.

For more information about the program or the School of Dance, go to www.okcu.edu/dance/performance/americanspirit or www.facebook.com/OKCUDance.