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Jones and Eubanks Accepted into Prestigious Dance Program

By Christina White – The Union-Recorder
Georgia Military College seniors Lizzie Jones and Leia Eubanks recently received acceptance letters from Oklahoma City University\’s dance program, one of the best and most prestigious dance schools in the country.

Christy McCabe, dance instructor and owner of Studio One School of Dance, has taught the girls since they were in the third or fourth grade, and encouraged her students to apply to the school.

\”It\’s a really good school,\” she said. \”I know they will graduate from that school being the best dancers they can be. (The school) knows what the industry wants and they turn out employable dancers. That\’s one of (the school\’s) goals,\” she said.

OCU accepts 60 students every year and is competitive. The dance programs stresses health (each girl has a nutritionist and has to take anatomy classes to learn about the body) and is known for its academics, as well.

Eubanks and Jones said they went through a daylong audition process in which they took ballet, tap and jazz classes and were rated on their performance by the school\’s instructors. Out of 116 students, they were two of the 60 chosen to attend the dance school.

The girls began dancing when they were toddlers, but continued to do so throughout their lives because they truly enjoy dancing.

Jones said she tried other sports such as cheerleading, softball and gymnastics, but none of them fulfilled her as much as dancing.

\”I love it,\” she said, adding she chose the school because of its ability to create employable dancers.

\”It\’s the only school that makes you a performance dancer. It prepares you for the performance world,\” Jones said.

Jones will be a dance performance major, and hopes to double major in math, as well. When she finishes school, she intends to dance for a few years and then teach math.

Eubanks also loves to dance and chose the school for similar reasons.

\”It\’s the only school in America that offers a degree in American dance,\” she said. \”(Dancing) is a physical thing, but it\’s more of a spiritual thing to me because as I grew in my faith, I realized that dance could be a form of worship, (much like) singing or praying. I feel closest to God when I\’m dancing.\”

Eubanks intends to work on a cruise ship so she can save money to pay off her student loans, and then move to New York so she can live her dream of auditioning and dancing there. After that, she said she will use her dance management degree to produce or own her own dance company.

Both Jones and Eubanks said they will receive a $2,000 dance scholarship as well as academic scholarships, but it still will not be enough to cover their tuition.

The girls leave for school in August, and are both excited and scared.

\”I\’m scared because I don\’t want to leave my family, but I feel led to do it,\” Eubanks said.

\”I am very excited (and) just so proud of both of them. They\’ve gotten better and better every year. They work on their different strengths and they amaze me every year,\” McCabe said, adding she has already put the date of their spring recital on her calendar so she can attend their first concert.

\”It (is) awesome,\” Jones said.