Dancers help make family’s ‘dream come true’

Four OCU students will be seen on ABC television network this weekend.

Jenna Jackson and Ali Rosenstein, dance pedagogy seniors; Chip Byars, dance performance junior, and Gracie Verkamp, dance performance sophomore, will appear on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition at 8/7 p.m. Central time Sunday.

Gracie Verkamp, Chip Byars, Jenna Jackson, and Ali Rosenstein in June on the set of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The show will be at 8/7 p.m. Central time on ABC.

The dancers filmed the show in June in Long Island, N.Y. after they were chosen to audition by Broadway Dance Center officials. The performers were summer interns at the dance center, 322 W. 45th Street, New York, N.Y.

About 30-40 performers auditioned for the show, but 12 were chosen, Jackson said.

“The family that the show was about were big fans of music theater,” she said. “We basically did a continuous music theater number while they were tearing down the house.”

Jackson said she enjoyed the experience.

“It was really neat to do two things I love to do at the same time,” she said. “I love dancing and helping people. It was cool to make the family’s dream come true.”

To watch a preview of the show visit the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition website.

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Dancers to perform at Mary Kay Convention

Kelly Mayton, dance performance senior

Ariel Prochilo, dance performance junior

Laura Breedlove, dance performance sophomore

The Mary Kay Convention in Dallas will feature the talents of  OCU dancers this summer. In fact, all available dancer positions were filled by OCU dancers.

Students auditioned in Dallas in May for the gig which runs through August 7.

Ariel Prochilo, dance performance junior, said this will be her first professional dance job.

“I’ve been paid for a few theater performances before,” she said. “But  this is the biggest thing I’ve done.”

Prochilo is one of three non-returning dancers who was selected be dancing part-time at the convention. Other selected non-returning part-time dancers also are from OCU. Lauren Johnson, dance performance junior, and Jenifer Bohn, dance performance senior, snagged the castings.

Kelly Mayton, dance performance senior, and Laura Breedlove, dance performance sophomore, were selected for full-time roles. Prochilo said the casting director asked if more full-time dancers could be considered for hire, but was directed to only select two dancers.

Returning dancers from OCU who will be performing include Kelly Bostorff and Michael McCarthy, dance performance seniors, Julie Russell, fine arts graduate, Carla Yoselow, dance management senior, and a few OCU alumni.

“We have such a great support system,” Prochilo said. “It was comforting to walk into the audition knowing we had a lot of friends there.”

Sarah Larr, entertainment director of Larrwell Productions, the company responsible for Mary Kay Convention casting, said she is “amazed” by the performance level of OCU dancers.

“The dancers are already performing at a level that we strive to reach in our performers after a month,” she said. “They not only dance well, they are smiling and singing from the start. They are exactly what we look for. I have never seen such a polished group of performers from one place.”

Auditions for singers will be hosted June 5, 10 and 12 in Room E35 at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Ave., Dallas. Times are still to be determined. For more information, visit the Larrwell Productions website.