On Pointe 1

Tulsa Ballet Raises the Barre with New Ballet School

Tulsa Ballet has been a leader in the Tulsa arts community since 1956. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Marcello Angelini, Tulsa Ballet has reached new heights on the stage, while bringing unprecedented recognition to Tulsa and the State of Oklahoma by developing an artistic reputation marked by innovative works with international impact.

To kick off its 60th anniversary season, Tulsa Ballet will open the doors to The Hardesty Center for Dance Education, to be located in Broken Arrow, just east of the intersection of Aspen Ave (145th) and 101st (New Orleans) and will provide ballet classes for ages 3 – adult. Grand opening and classes will begin in August, 2016.

In addition to providing dance training, the new site will also host Tulsa Ballet’s award winning education and outreach programs that introduce and teach the art of dance to elementary school children in the community.

The Hardesty Center for Dance Education will be possible as the result of a generous gift of 13.72 acres from the Hardesty Family Foundation and its founders, Roger and Donna Hardesty. The gift, valued at $4.185 million, is one of the largest gifts ever awarded by the Foundation. Other major donors include Ann Graves, The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, Suzanne and Jim Kneale Family Foundation, The Mervin Bovaird Foundation and The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation.

The 21,000-square-foot facility will house the Ann and Jack Graves Studios. Each studio will feature a professional basket-woven sprung floor with Marley covering, ten-foot mirrors and a state of the art sound system. Administrative office space, separate dressing areas for boys and girls, and a spacious lobby to accommodate waiting parents are all part of the floor plan. Also included is 4,000 square feet of warehouse storage space for sets and costumes that can be developed into additional studios in the future.

The site will also include The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation Performance Studio, which will serve as a performance venue for ballet students and educational outreach programs, as well as a functioning dance studio. Tulsa Ballet II, the organization’s pre-professional ensemble and performing arm of the Center for Dance Education, will also offer performances in the Zarrow Studio.

The development of the Hardesty Center for Dance Education is part of a $25 million Integrated Campaign for Tulsa Ballet, the largest fundraising initiative in the history of the company. Funds raised from the Defining the Future Campaign will be used to broaden the reach of the Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education, build and create new productions, and increase the Tulsa Ballet endowment in order to provide for the long-term sustainability of the organization.

Director Marcello Angelini says, “through this campaign, Tulsa Ballet will strengthen its role as an essential cultural institution for the greater Tulsa area and the state of Oklahoma, while reinforcing the financial foundations to secure our permanence. The success of this campaign will solidify our long-term presence in our community while maintaining the highest standards of excellence, both artistically and financially”.

Tulsa Ballet is a 501(c) 3 public charity that depends on your tax-deductible support. For more information or to donate online, visit TulsaBallet.org.