Dance Center Announces New School Director

Oklahoma City Ballet and the Dance Center at Oklahoma City Ballet is excited to announce Penny Askew as School Director.

A 2008 recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award, Penny Askew joins The Dance Center of Oklahoma City Ballet as School Director for the 2015-2016 season.  A native Oklahoman, Ms. Askew began her serious training with Candace Jones Smalley at Western Oklahoma Ballet Academy in Clinton.  She also studied at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute in addition to Ballet West, The School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, and the National Academy of the Arts.  Many notable teachers influenced Ms.  Askew during her formative years including Robert Joffrey, Richard Englund, Lupe Serrano, David Howard, Bruce Marks, and Toni Lander.  Ms. Askew holds a Master of Science in Applied Psychology from  Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and also received her Master of Fine Arts in Dance/ Choreography from the University of Iowa.  She is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 & Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

For over 25 years Ms. Askew was the Director of Western Oklahoma Ballet Academy and its youth performing company Western Oklahoma Ballet Theatre, serving as the primary artistic, administrative, and marketing force behind the organization.  For many years Western Oklahoma Ballet Theatre was a member of Regional Dance America, a national association of pre-professional dance companies.  Ms. Askew was named Outstanding Choreographer of the Regional Dance America National Choreography Conference in both 1996 and 1998, and her works have been commissioned by many companies.

For the past three summers Ms. Askew has worked for the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation in New York City, teaching ballet for AileyCamp New York.  She has also taught for Regional Dance America/ Southwest Festivals and for the Glenda Brown Choreography Project.  As School Director with The Dance Center of Oklahoma City Ballet, Ms. Askew will be responsible for creating class schedules, leading and directing the school faculty, directing the school’s end-of- year performance, and directing the Oklahoma City Youth Ballet and the Oklahoma City Ballet Summer Intensive, in addition to teaching various class levels.