Dance Company Presents Oklahoma Original Nutcracker Hip-Hop Style

A local nonprofit is presenting a hip-hop version of The Nutcracker ballet this holiday season. News 9's Mike Glover spoke with the dance company, Race Collective on their upcoming performances.

Wednesday, December 6th 2023, 6:23 pm

By: News 9, Mike Glover


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This weekend Race Collective, a local nonprofit will present The Nutcracker ballet, the hip-hop version.

R.A.C.E. stands for radical application of creative energy and for the past eleven years, the dance company has put on their hip-hop interpretation of the Nutcracker. “The story we took from the perspective of a young man who comes from a single-parent home, which resonated with a lot of the students we work with,” said Sheri Hayden, executive director of Race Collective.

The young man was Carlos who was a struggling student at Douglas High School. “When she was his dance teacher it helped him figure out, oh I can do something with my life,” said Hayden.

Through dance today Carlos is a doctor, and the dance company continues to use dance to inspire students. “It allows me to translate my self-expression in other ways that other people can’t,” said high school dancer Mariana Palma.

At eighteen years old Mariana has been in the production for the past three years. “It’s been my favorite dance experience that I’ve ever done, in my entire dance career,” said Mariana.

The dance company has been working on the show since September. We send out an application every summer to get Oklahoma City public schools or other public school dance programs to apply to be a part of our show. We typically take five schools every year,” said Hayden.

Once the schools are selected the work begins. “We then send out choreographers from our company to work with those students once a week for four months, starting in September to December,” said Hayden.

The production is tough, mixing a variety of dance styles. “We’ll have K Pop, we’ve got vogueing, we’ve got tap, we’ve got contemporary, some jazz funk,” said Hayden.

The company purchases shoes for every dancer, that they keep as an inspiration. “We wanted to not only give them a piece of their costume that they would wear on stage to perform in but, also a tangible memory to look at and be like wow, there was a group of people in the community that supported me, that believed in me,” said Hayden.

The performances have amazed audiences but for Hayden, it’s about supporting the youth. “We need to take time to tell them that we believe in them and that we want them to be great,” said Hayden. 

The performances are at OCCC all weekend; on Friday at 7:30 pm. Saturday at 2 pm and 7:30 pm (Spanish) and Sunday at 2 pm. 

Unfortunately, there are scam websites that are significantly increasing ticket prices. For tickets visit www.occc.universitytickets.com for information about Race Collective visit www.racedance.com

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