By NBC 4 News TULSA, Okla.
(NBC4) — What does Tulsa dance look like?
Are the dancers really all there?
Did the owners really make the best decision?
And what happens when the owner and dancers are no longer around?
These are the questions being asked as the Tulsa Dance Company closes its doors.
The dance company was founded in 1980 and has been operating since 1995.
In 2015, the Tulsa City Council voted to close the Tulsa dance company.
In December, Mayor Bill Maines and other leaders signed an executive order banning the dance company from operating in Tulsa.
In April, the city of Tulsa and the Tulsa Downtown Development Authority (TDDA) announced the agreement to end the dance studio.
A news release from the city said the dance center will remain closed.
A TDCA press release said the city will maintain oversight of the Tulsa downtown development authority.
The news release did not say why the dance business closed.
The dancers have worked hard to stay open, said Julie Gebhard, dance coordinator for the Tulsa Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
Gebhard said they are working hard to help the dancers find jobs.
“They’re always trying to help out,” she said.
Gethard said the dancers had been helping with fundraising for the TDCAA and the TMTD.
“We’re always going to do whatever we can to keep them in the community,” she added.
The Tulsa Dance Co. closed its doors in February, but the dance will not be permanently closed, according to a TDCDA news release.
In 2016, the TMC asked the city to remove the dance’s name from the Downtown Development Administration website, which was then under the name Tulsa Dance Works.
The Dance Company will continue to operate until the city closes it.
In 2018, the TDDA asked the TCDA to remove its name from Tulsa’s name on its website.
The TMC said the TMDA is a non-profit agency that is not legally authorized to remove or alter its name.
In a statement, the dance organization said the move was based on a disagreement with the TSDDA’s decision to not remove the Tulsa location from the Tulsa development authority’s website.
A spokeswoman for the TDMA said it did not comment on individual agreements.
The city of Tulsa is also seeking to take ownership of the dance, and it is working with the Tulsa Police Department to locate and remove the dancers.
“It is very important that we work with our neighbors in the city who are impacted by this unfortunate loss and we will work together to ensure that we all move on with our lives,” said Tulsa Mayor Bill Mims in a statement.
The police department is working on an appeal of the decision to the Tulsa District Court, said Chief Jason White.
In October, the police department filed an appeal with the state Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Transportation Commission, which is overseeing the Tulsa DDA.
The transportation commission also asked the court to review the DDA’s action and the city’s decision.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three dancers who have worked at the dance since 1980: Kristin Crain, an interior design major at Oklahoma State University; Liza Smith, a dance teacher at Tulsa Community College; and Rina Smith, an art instructor at Tulsa High School.
The four women have been working to help raise money to help with their education, according a Facebook page for the dancers and the women.
“In a way, this is bittersweet,” Smith said.
“But we’ll keep fighting until we find a way to move forward.”