Contributions make professional experience possible for 30 local dance students

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla., November 2, 2017 – A special treat is in the works for young girls and boys receiving dance and life skills instruction from Allied Arts OKC member agency Prairie Dance Theatre. This Saturday, November 4th, thirty children will visit Dillard’s at Penn Square Mall to shop for the perfect outfit to attend an upcoming performance of The Nutcracker.

The children range in ages from nine to twelve and attend Title I elementary schools with little to no arts education curriculum. Through contributions from Allied Arts OKC, ChappelWood Financial Services and Dillard’s at Penn Square Mall, in partnership with the Oklahoma City Ballet, the children will experience a live performance of The Nutcracker—all for the first time.

Inspired while attending a performance of The Nutcracker, ChappelWood Financial Services CEO Victoria Woods rallied friends to fundraise in the hopes of treating less fortunate children to a traditional holiday experience. Leading the efforts, Allied Arts OKC worked with its agencies to identify deserving beneficiaries. This is the second year for the project, with children from Metropolitan School of Dance participating in 2014.

“Through this initiative and Victoria’s generosity, we have the opportunity to provide the arts experience of a lifetime to underserved children,” explains Allied Arts OKC President/CEO Deborah McAuliffe Senner. “Our fundraising efforts ensure nearly 40 agencies have the resources they need to succeed, particularly in their efforts to provide arts and culture opportunities to those who would otherwise not have the chance to dance, paint or see a live ballet performance.”

“An experience like this would cost these families $200 to $225 per child and would simply be cost prohibitive,” said Tonya Kilburn, Artistic Director at Prairie Dance Theatre. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students and an experience they won’t soon forget.”

An Allied Arts OKC member agency, Prairie Dance Theatre has served central Oklahoma through dance and movement for nearly 40 years. Fully funded through grants and community donations, Prairie Dance Theatre provides dance instruction during the school day and on weekends while instilling traits that promote lifelong achievement. Students participating in this experience attend Oakridge, Prairie Queen, Southern Hills and North Highland Elementary Schools.

Prairie Dance Theatre students practice in school gymnasium.

Prairie Dance Theatre students practice in school gymnasium.

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