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Tony began dancing at age seven. At age twelve he began assistant teaching with his dance instructor. Three years later when his teacher married and moved away, Tony began to operate his first studio in 1957 in McAlester Oklahoma. Mr. Deel is now in his 64th year of teaching. Many of his students are dancing professionally or teaching.
teach Ballet, Tap and Jazz with Dance Masters of America. He passed his certification in 1969. Mr. Deel is a past president of the Oklahoma Chapter #27 of D.M.A. and has served as membership chairman and examiner for new teachers. He also holds four teacher grade certifications as a member of the Cecchetti Ballet Council of America. The Cecchetti Ballet Council was founded in London on the Italian Classic Ballet technique of Enrico Cecchetti (Teacher of Anna Pavlova). This program is a graded system of classical ballet.
Mr. Deel has taught on the convention faculty for the Oklahoma Chapter #27 of National Dance Masters of America. The Cecclietti Ballet Council, the Junior Civic Tulsa Ballet, Oklahoma Dance Masters Association (an independent organization based in Oklahoma City) many times where he taught his dance routines, throughout Oklahoma and Texas.
As a Ballet performer and teacher, Mr. Deel is trained in the Russian, French and Italian Technique. Tony danced with Tulsa Ballet Theater from 1963 to 1968, performing solo and Corp De Ballet. He studied ballet from June Runyon of Tulsa, Mocelyn Larkin, Roman Jasinski Sr. (Tulsa Ballet Theater), David Howard of New York, Oleg Tupine, Igor Yousekevitch, Patricia Wilde, Roni Mahler, George Zoritch, Patricia Mideke, Nancey Schaffenburg, Eugene Collins, Marge Crowdus, Dame Margot, Fonteyn and Royes Fernandez. Tony has had master classes in ballet with four of the five Indian Prima Ballerinas; Rosalina Hightower, Marjorie Tallchief, Yvonne Choteau and Mocelyn Larkin. His ballet roles have included the “Wolf” in Peter and the Wolf, “Dr. Coppelus” in Coppelus & “Alberth” in Giselle.
His other performances with Tulsa Ballet Theater were Oberer, in Polish Variations and Polovetsian Warriors in Prince Igor and a hunter in Swan Lake. Deel’s ballet students performed with Tulsa Jr. Dance Theater and the Tulsa Ballet in the 60’s and 70’s.
Tony’s Tap and Jazz teachers have included Louis Dapron (Donald O’Conner’s tap teacher), Lew Miller, Steve Condos, Wyetta Turner, Rusty Frank, Gus Giordano, Melvin KaiserTomy Sutton, Al Gilbert, Blasia, Linda Gache and Beverly Fletcher.
He also studied modern dance, Jazz and Ballet for five years with Suzanne Bettis, when she taught in Tulsa. In the 1960’s Tony danced with her Gothic Dance Guild Company. The company showcased modern dance numbers to religious music. Deel was a member of Tulsa Dance showcase in 1964 to 1967, directed by Marqur Reed where he toured with 39 member dance group in Kansas & Oklahoma. Deel had the opportunity during this time to train extensively with Larry Long and Deloris Lapenski of Ruth Page’s Chicago Ballet Company. As an actor and dancer he performed in Tulsa Little Theater Musicals.
He has been an adjudicator for American Kids Talent competition and Tulsa’s Junior Miss Pageant. Tony’s dancers won the first Mr. Dance Competition held by the Oklahoma Chapter of D.M.A., two Miss Dance winners for the Oklahoma Chapter, 14 Miss McAlester’s, one Miss Eufaula and one Miss Stigler Titles. Two of these contestants made final top ten of the Miss Oklahoma Pageants with a dance talent.
Tony operated a dance studio in Tulsa, Oklahoma from 1959 through 1972. In 1972 Tony returned home after his dad fell ill. He returned to Tulsa in 1975 and taught with his dance partner Peggy Lanik until 1977. Tony has taught in McAlester since 1978. Another of Tony’s dance partners was Texie Waterman, the original choreographer of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Deel also perfomed with Patricia Oplotnik in the mid-60’s where she was an assistant teacher with tony. Patricia founded the successful “Applause” studio in Oklahoma City and is now directing and teaching the Oklahoma City University Tap Department.
His students have garnished over 100 overall top awards and first place awards. Some of his former dance students include: Reba McEntire, Sam Harris (Star Search winner 1984), Linda Farley (Hee Haw Television Show). Nancy Scott (formally with California based Ballet company and is currently teaching in Tulsa) and Alan Duke (performed as a Solo Tap dancer with Opryland).
Chuck Walker, who represented the United States middleweight boxer in the Olympics, and has appeared on the Merv Griffin Show, NBC World Wide Sports show and Dance Fever. Chuck was a Tap student of Deel, Jimmy Mousner was with Disney World in Orlando Florida for several years. Jimmy began his career at age seven. Louie Schwing performs with Disneyland and is now Choreographer with Disneyland and his brother David Schwing is also dancing professionally. David is currently performing on Broadway in “42nd Street.” Beckee Lowther Fitzpatrick has operated her dance school in Redland California. Chuck Cissell was an original member of the Broadway show “Chorus Line” as a dancer and singer, he later recorded a record album.
Clark Roberts holds a world title of first place wins as a Jazz, Lyrical and Tap dancer and has won the title out of 1,500 competitors. Clark has performed and taught in Los Angeles. He is now performing in Branson, Mo. Linda Sanderg has appeared in theater, television and films. Her movies include: So Sad about Gloria, Superman, Greek Tycoon and the Bell Jar.
Former student Felisha Turner Wright of McAlester performed on National BET television as a dancer on Planet Grove. She taught for Inner City Productions and is currently teaching dance to the MHS peppers Open Club.