McCree O’Kelley Appointed Interim Chair of Department of Dance

 McCree O'Kelley

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jul 1, 2019)Passionate educator, professional dancer and choreographer sees bright future

McCree O’Kelley has been named Interim Chair of the Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University (KSU), effective July 1, 2019, by Dr. Ivan Pulinkala, dean of the College of the Arts. He said, “McCree’s experience as a talented leader, professional dancer and passionate educator will serve the Department of Dance well in the coming year. His commitment to the professional practices in dance will help us advance our partnerships and experiential training for students.” 

McCree said, “I believe KSU Dance is on the precipice of something big. I am honored and humbled to lead the Department at this exciting time. We have an incredible faculty and staff as well as the most amazing students and it is my goal to serve them well. It is truly astounding what Dean Pulinkala has been able to build in the Department of Dance over the past 14 years and I know he feels, as do I, that we are just getting started.” 

Training with Ann Brodie and the Carolina Ballet in Columbia, SC, McCree started his ballet training very early. Then, at the age of 16, he moved to New York City, accepting a full scholarship to the School of American Ballet. He furthered his dance training at the North Carolina School of the Arts studying with Duncan Noble, Melissa Hayden and Warren Conover.

His versatile career as a professional dancer included performing with the Atlanta Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and the Broadway National Tour of Cats as Mr. Mistoffelees. His vast repertoire includes Balanchine's Serenade (Waltz Man), Allegro Brillante, Rubies, Who Cares, Stars and Stripes, Western Symphony; Lila York's Celts (Green Man) and Gloria; Kevin O'Day's Viola Alone…(with one exception); Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Great Galloping Gottschalk (Men's Duet); Twyla Tharp's Deuce Coupe; Alan Hineline's Twist and Thresholds; Martha Graham's Diversion of Angels (Red Man); Val Caniparoli's Open Veins; Lew Christensen's Con Amore; Ben Stevenson's Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland; and Michael Pink's Dracula and Hunchback of Notre Dame.

As a choreographer, he has created works for Pacific Symphony, Alliance Theater, Trainees of Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Spartanburg, Carolina Ballet, Ballet Southeast, Atlanta Dance Theater, Dance Converse, Theater Converse, Center Stage and Workshop Theater of South Carolina. In 2016 he was selected as one of four finalists for Ballet Arkansas’s choreographic competition, Visions. In 2016 and 2018 his works were selected to be performed in the New Voices Concert at the Alabama Dance Festival. In 2019 his work Pariah was selected for Off the EDGE and was performed by the KSU Dance Company at the Rialto Center for the Arts.

Previously McCree was an assistant professor of dance at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, where he was the artistic director of Dance Converse. He has served on the faculty of the American Academy of Ballet, the University of South Carolina Conservatory of Dance, the Atlanta Ballet Summer Program, Ballet Spartanburg and the University of California, Irvine. He holds a BA in Dance from the University of South Carolina and an MFA in Dance from the University of CA, Irvine.