The Northwest Florida Ballet Académie celebrates a decade of excellence

Special to The Log

The NFB Académie is a comprehensive academic and artistic education program for students in grades 3-8 offered jointly by Northwest Florida Ballet and the Okaloosa CountySchool District. The nationally acclaimed Académie is an A+ school and opened in August 2002 with an initial class of 30 third graders. Ten years later, The Académie has 142 students on record with 22 third graders on a waiting list. The program has been so successful that this year marked an expansion into a High School program with 11 students.

Each year the students are selected by audition from the general population of children in the second grade. No prior dance training and no particular academic achievement is required. Auditions are open to all children in the second grade and selection is made solely on the child's potential to learn to dance.

Students selected for the program have daily concentrated instruction in ballet, art, music and French as part of their overall academic and artistic education. Directed by Todd Eric Allen, artistic director/CEO of Northwest Florida Ballet, the NFB Académie faculty consists of well-qualified, certified academic teachers and ballet professionals.

In honor of the 10th Anniversary two events are planned at the NFB studios in downtown Fort Walton Beach. Current and former students and their families will gather for a school fair style potluck complete with games and a cake walk a t6 p.m. Sept. 28.

There will also be a cocktail reception and performance for community leaders, teachers and supporters at 7 p.m. Sept. 29.