“It’s been more of an opening,” said Kim, about the challenging classes.
“It’s pushed my limits, made me reach beyond them,” she said.
Norman North 17-year-old senior Arrie Ledesma said trying out the different dance genres during the classes have been rewarding.
“I think it keeps you opening up. Doing dance you have to be social at these things and get out of your shell,” Ledesma said. “You can’t be nervous. You just have to put yourself out there.”
Students danced each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in classes taught by various community members. During a break between classes and their public performances at 7:30 p.m., students watched professional dance companies, R.A.C.E. and Perpetual Motion Modern Dance Oklahoma, during private performances.
Hale said watching the dance companies perform was inspiring. Branch, Kim, Hale and Ledesma said they are all interested in pursuing dance professionally in the future.
UCO began hosting the festival in 2010, and this is the first time the event is being held off of the UCO campus.
The festival also offers the first juried event for the State Superintendent Excellence in the Arts Award for dance and is the only juried event for this award in Oklahoma, as stated in a Norman Public Schools news release.