The historic Constantine Theater was packed full of parents, grandparents and friends on May 13. Two performances by the students of the Dance Maker Performing Arts Academy brought more than 100 community members together.
Costumes for the Spring performance were bright and beautiful – as were the dancers wearing them. The younger age groups danced to songs from the popular children’s films “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Minions.”
“I am always, amazed at what Jenna can draw out of our students. She keeps the bar high, and they go for it,” said Randy Tinker Smith, co-owner of the Osage-owned and operated Dance Maker Performing Arts Academy. She said her favorite response from an audience member was “I didn’t think it would be so good.”
The older dancers performed a piece from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with bright pink and green fairy costumes. Elegance and grace captivated the audience.
“As a member of the Pawhuska community, I'm very thankful and appreciative that Randy Tinker Smith and Jenna Smith decided to open Dance Maker Performing Arts Academy in Pawhuska,” said Osage Nation Congressman Otto Hamilton. “It's neat to see the students excel every year. Lavender and Harrison's Hudgins daughter, Liliana, has been a student for years and now she's one of the top performers at the Academy.”
The performances included Jazz and Tap performances by the various age groups, including a group of four women.
“We are not just a dance school. It is our mission to raise strong (in mind and body) adults. The community has been a great support to us and we need them to be successful,” said Jenna Smith, co-owner of Dance Maker Performing Arts Academy, instructor and choreographer. “The children are willing to put in the work and it showed on that stage. We are so thankful for the Osage Foundation, Will and Anne Baker and all our scholarship donors who made this possible; and Osage Casinos for sponsoring the performance.”
Smith said she is busy choreographing an all-children’s “The Nutcracker” performance for Christmas. Lavender Hudgins, mother to one of the dancers, said each year the recitals get better and the community comes out more and more to support the students.
“It is so cool, as a parent, to see these children grow and find an inner confidence that they didn't know they had. Liliana loves ballet. She never got into softball or soccer. She wouldn't even try basketball, so for her, dance has taught her discipline, confidence and it also challenges her to do something she had never done before and frankly, something no one in her family had done before either,” she said. “We are so grateful for the opportunities to not only have a ballet studio but to have an excellent studio and an incredible group of teachers and staff who care about the students.”
For more on the Dance Maker Performing Arts Academy, contact (918) 704-4668 or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/dancemakeracademy/