Combining disciplines at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute is easy on a ballroom dance floor

Great State
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

QUARTZ MT. STATE PARK, OKLAHOMA -- They are the very best high school students in Oklahoma, the best singers, the best players, dancers, actors, photographers and writers.

A lot of hard work goes into each of these disciplines, dedication and sacrifice too.

The orchestra along practices six hours every day at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute to perfect a symphony like Swan Lake or to dance it in a ballet.

But instructors Alee Reed and David Hyer are here to get students out of their own elements.

For the past several years they've come to teach ballroom dance lessons to writers like Sam Fugate and actors like Blake Simpson.

"I'm very inexperienced at dancing," admits Fugate

Simpson adds, "And we meet so many new people."

When you think about all the different art forms of movement, music, and drama, ball room dance includes elements of all of them.

Organizers at the Arts Institute thought the structure of a ballroom dance was one of the best ways to mix people here too.

Hyer continues to list the important aspects of learning his kind of dancing, "Etiquette, moving through space."

Reed says, "Whether they like it or not, and underneath they want to."

Alec Holland had already learned a little dancing in musical theater.

Writer Rebekah Ellis took a few lessons last year.

Some basic East Coast Swing steps come easy to these kids already steeped in music and dance.

It's the collaboration people here are really interested in, one way or another.

Hyer says, "They don't know until they get in there and they're like, 'yeah! We did it!'"

"Yes!" adds Reed. "Boom!"

The Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute's 2017 session is June 10 - 25.

For more information on the camp or performances go to

Don't Miss

4Warn Me Forecast

4Warn Me Weather // Quick Links:


Follow @KFOR on Twitter