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.
Since 1948, Tulsa Opera has been thrilling its audiences with its vocalists' powerful renditions of classic operatic tales. Mozart's Don Giovanni thrashes between tragedy and comedy in its portrayal of the dashing and immoral title character, and baritone Christopher Feigum infuses the womanizing, casually murderous role with vigor and drama. Operaphiles can follow along with the Italian lyrics by peeking at the easily read English supertitles, which are projected above the stage by a benevolent, bilingual phantom.
"Masterpieces of Change" features the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra taking on the timeless music of Mozart and Berlioz. Guest conductor Ron Spigelman leads the hard-hitting orchestra through a performance of Symphony No. 41, the final symphony written by Tom Hulce–lookalike Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart before his death in 1791. Following Mozart's melodies is Hector Berlioz's extravagant Symphonie Fantastique, a noted piece of program music that tells the tale of a lovelorn artist. After the concert, stick around for the Meet the Musicians reception, where you can chat with the French-horn players, high-five the tuba players, and ask the conductor to sign your clarinet.
Bai Lan has been perfecting her dance technique for most of her life. At age 11, she was chosen to attend the prestigious National Ballet school of China, and she continued to dance professionally for more than 20 years, garnering awards at the International Ballet competition and the first Chinese ballet competition. She brings her years of classical ballet training, performance, and teaching methodology to her classes at Bai Lan Studio.
Here, students of all ages and fitness levels can master pirouettes and leaps in ballet, shuffle ball changes in tap, and freeform movements in modern-dance classes. In addition to classic dance classes, she offers fitness-based classes including Pilates, Zumba, and yoga to help patrons carve ballerina-like physiques petite enough to fit into jewelry boxes.
Jenks Dance Academy is hip-hop and ballet, it's tumbling and it's jazz...but it's never quiet. That's the common denominator in this otherwise versatile dance school. Regardless of genre, all classes are active, engaging, and led by professional dance instructors keen on keeping things quick-footed and interactive. Jenks welcomes boys and girls as young as 12 months old for classes and camps that incorporate fitness, creativity, and self-discipline. So whether your daughter's enrolled in the princess camp—a ballerina-focused dance camp with props such as wands and tiaras—or your kid's strutting their stuff with swagger in the superstars/hip-hop class, they'll be honing their flexibility and coordination, building physical strength, and building the self-confidence necessary to drop jaws in the dance recital or produce aisle.
Jenks's studio is staffed with professional instructors. It's also equipped with modern enhancements in place to facilitate structure, dexterity, and safety. For instance, there are one-way observational windows, raised wood floors that prevent injuries or kids tiring out, and a separate kids' play room. The center also features a boutique with shoes and apparel.