‘En Pointe’ fundraiser benefits Dance Maker

Roseanne McKee
This $700 Sugar Plum Fairy costume was purchased with funds donated by Marlene Mosely to last year’s Dance Maker Academy fundraiser. Proceeds from the Oct. 13 western-themed fundraiser this year will be used in part to purchase costumes, which will be used each year for the Nutracker Ballet production. Roseanne McKee/Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Dance Maker Academy is scheduled to hold “En Pointe,” a western-style fundraiser barbecue dinner, dance, silent/live auction at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 in the Osage County Ag Building at the county fairgrounds in Pawhuska.

The evening will begin with dinner followed by a live/silent auction at 7 p.m., and dancing. Mark Chamberlain and the Whiskey Poet Society will perform.

Tickets are $35 per person. For tickets, call 918-607-3044 or stop by Sister’s Attic and The Buckin’ Flamingo on Main Street in Pawhuska, or Dance Maker Academy after 4 p.m. at 400 Palmer Ave. in Pawhuska.

“Last year we produced our first Nutcracker Ballet,” ballet director Randy Tinker Smith said. “The Pawhuska community came together to support us, and we were able to purchase 112 costumes, props and staging. This year we will be adding the snow scene and will need 20 additional costumes, a snow machine and two new backdrops.”

“Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to purchase needed costumes and stage backdrops for the Nutcracker production that we can use year after year,” Smith said.

Dance Maker Academy’s Nutcracker Ballet is an all-children’s ballet with the exception of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker, which are performed by adult members of the academy. For this year’s performance, 43 local children auditioned and were cast.

Dance Maker, a non-profit organization, offers classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and Pilates for children and adults.

Jenna Smith, the director of Dance, is a classically trained ballet dancer with a bachelor’s degree in Dance from Oral Roberts University.

Randy Smith expressed appreciation to the Osage Nation Foundation, which funded scholarships for 98 students to attend the academy’s summer ballet and inaugural drama camp.

For three days of the Summer Ballet Intensive, Principal Dancer Miki Kawamura and Soloist Walker Martin, both of the Oklahoma City Ballet, travelled to Dance Maker to teach ballet, pointe and partnering classes to the students. This project was supported in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Oklahoma and the National Endowment for the Arts

Randy Smith opened the academy to train a new generation of dancers in previously underserved, rural Osage County. She is a recipient of a $10,000 Dreamstarter grant from Billy Mills and Running Strong for American Indian Youth. She has invested all of the grant funds into efforts to bring dance into the local public school system. Her dream is for all the children in her community to have the opportunity to experience dance following in the footsteps of ballerinas Maria and Marjorie Tallchief, Osages who reached national and international prominence in ballet.

To donate or learn more about the schedule of classes visit their website at www.dancemaker.net or call them at 918-704-4668.