One of the nation's top ballet companies is in Tulsa, and now Tulsa Ballet is expanding to reach an even larger audience.
Soon, construction will begin at the intersection of Aspen and New Orleans in Broken Arrow on a satellite school.
Monday, the young dancers traded their ballet slippers in for hard hats to help break ground on The Hardesty Center for Dance Education.
“It's going to be a Tulsa Ballet satellite school,” said Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director, Marcello Angelini.
The Tulsa Ballet started out as a small regional company in 1956, now, Angelini says the Ballet is known as one of the best professional ballet companies in the world - and one of the top 10 in the nation.
“So we have been growing and performing in this part of the country for the past 59 years,” he said.
Part of the growth included adding a ballet school for dancers ages three and up.
Right now, there are 350 students enrolled, so many the academy can't take in anymore dancers - which led The Tulsa Ballet to Broken Arrow so it can continue to reach young dancers.
“It will allow us to expand the company and enrich the lives of the people of Broken Arrow,” Angelini said.
The Hardesty Family Foundation donated about 14 acres of land for the new studio and when complete, the nearly $9 million satellite school will be a 21,000 square foot facility with three ballet studios and a performance studio with seating for 160.
Angelini said, “It's an extremely exciting moment for us and we can't wait for this facility to be up and running in a year.”
The grand opening is set for August of 2016.
The development is a part of a $25 million Integrated Campaign for Tulsa Ballet.