Founded in 1985, Theatre Arts, Inc. has continued to honor its core mission of supplying Oklahomans with performance education and opportunities. Within a 7,900-square-foot facility, students train tapping toes in more than 10 styles of dance—including tap, jazz, and hip-hop—and channel their inner thespian in acting classes or private lessons that focus on both improvisation and script work. Private instruction and classes also accommodate vocalists who receive personalized tips on stage presence from the faculty and practice harmonizing by singing duets with humming radiators. Numerous alumni have harnessed their training into careers, working locally and nationally on television and Broadway, and two—Lauren Nelson and Shawntel Smith—have gone on to become Miss America.
The façade of Eton Square 6 evokes the decade when it was founded, but the cinematic spectacles playing on each screen couldn't be more of-the-moment. Founded in the mid-'80s, a retro white-and-green triangle still towers above the theater's yellow sign while movie posters depict new releases and an essay on the future of “Back to the Future.”
Select Cinemas, the proprietors of RiverWalk Movies, believe that suburban moviegoers shouldn't have to go out of their way to catch Hollywood's latest offerings. They also believe that movie theaters can boost neighboring businesses, which is why everybody wins when they integrate themselves into communities. But movies matter most, and RiverWalk Movies has an edge on urban multiplexes. All eight of their screens are wall-to-wall. All auditoriums feature stadium, rocking-chair-style seating, which prevents neck craning when sitting behind Bigfoot, and digital surround sound fit for humans with 10 ears. RiverWalk also prides itself on its concessions, especially the popcorn, and offers free shows to satiate kids during summer vacations.
At the first annual Bubba's Bash, 2012 PGA Masters champion Bubba Watson curates a harmoniously philanthropic event devised to bring followers closer to Christ and raise funds for the Bubba Watson Medical Clinic in Kenya. The lineup of a dozen bands and speakers sports some of the biggest and most diverse acts in contemporary Christian music, including worship rap-rock sensation TobyMac. The MC has risen beyond his dc Talk apex to become one of the most successful faith-based rappers, racking up a Grammy for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album and several No. 1 hits such as "Made to Love" and "Lose My Soul."
The dual-purpose Center Stage & CheerAction facility combines an 1,800-square-foot harlequin-floor dance space with a 1,500-square-foot cheer suite to earn kids their tumbling and dance wings. Summer camps offer competition-grade gymnastics flooring for postschool entertainment such as the mini-tumblers camp, which harnesses youthful exuberance into a productive yield of handstands, cartwheels, backbends, and controlled levitation. Four-day camps feature prancing princesses, superhero hip-hop, musical theater, and a Harry Potter–themed string of activities and students of the stage can act, dance, and tumble their way through the three-day camp, which combines acrobatics with fewer wind-chapped activities such as water games, crafts, and snacks. The cheer camp gives chanters a venue for their newly acquired stunt and jump skills, offering performance time at a Tulsa Drillers Game and includes two complimentary tickets to the game.
The Belly Dance Academy of Tulsa operates under the inspirational and gyrational mind of Shadia Dahlal, a 30-year dancing veteran and the vice president of the National Association for Teacher Certification in Middle Eastern Dance. Inside her spacious 3,200-square-foot studio, Shadia and her enthusiastic instructors treat graceful guests with a comprehensive class structure and a custom-built floating floor—the same surface used by the Tulsa Ballet. On the floor, students with little to no prior dance experience can slink into character in either the level 1 belly-dance class, which teaches the basic fundamentals of tummy toning and shaking, or the burlesque class, a strip-free celebration adorned by an abundance of feathers, rhinestones, and other eye-drawing accessories. During intermediate and advanced classes, experienced students hone their hip whispering by learning choreography, stage presence, and how to perform in various venues. Regardless of level, each class provides one full hour of low-impact cardio and creative exploration.