Folk Dance Liaison

As a student at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute from 2005-2008,  I knew I wanted to return as a counselor one day. This past spring as I was finishing up my first year as a teacher, I realized what having a free summer would mean…. I COULD APPLY TO BE A COUNSELOR AT OSAI!! I started reading the bios for the notorious faculty who would impart their wisdom, and got all the nostalgic feels…. “Has it really been 10 years since I’ve been back?”

To my elated surprise, I was selected to be a counselor/liaison this summer! Truly a dream come true. And my role was an unexpected dream come true as well! (hashtag unexpectations) So there are eight artistic disciplines at the Institute; Dance, Film, Photography, Acting, Chorus, Drawing/Painting, Creative Writing, and Orchestra, and each student takes an elective class the first week of camp. Historically the elective is Ballroom Dancing or Improv, but this year was the first time Folk Dance was offered. My job at camp was two fold: to be the liaison for Folk Dance class, and the other being the official institute store assistant 😊).

Kevin Warner of Boone, NC, taught not only dance moves, but history, culture, acceptance, and community in his classroom. I learned more than just dance moves in a week working with him. His faculty presentation on “unexpectations” and the twists and turns of life framed the world of the arts very honestly, and was a sounding board of reference for students throughout the remainder of camp. 

Also, flash mob of one of the dances Kevin taught us, “The Hustle”

I am inspired by the inspired, and the Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain has been a filling of the creative tank for me. Until next time!!

Haley Stocks