Last month, Upper School ballet students spent an afternoon with a ballet star. David Prottas, who was in the DFW area touring with the cast of An American in Paris, came to the School as part of a Supporting CAST grant. A member of the An American in Paris ensemble and Adam understudy, Prottas is a graduate of Toronto’s National Ballet School. He has spent the past 10 years with the New York City Ballet, dancing a wide range of repertoire by some of the great choreographers of the 20th and 21st century.
Director of Ballet CarrieCheng was able to bring Prottas to campus thanks to GayleCorkery and her friendship with The School of American Ballet faculty member Suki Schorer. Together, the three worked to bring the opportunity to FWCD ballet students.
Prottas spent two hours with students conducting a ballet class for approximately one hour and then moving into a musical theatre class for the remaining hour. He taught students a dance selection from An American in Paris and was impressed with how quickly the students caught on.
As a teacher, Prottas loves passing on his passion for dance by creating a safe environment in which students can focus on technical skills and find their own creativity and sense of expression within the discipline.
“It is so beneficial to bring to our students a professional dancer who is actively performing,” Cheng said. “In the course of that two-hour class, David interacted with every student in the room in some way, providing encouragement or feedback. It was truly a special experience for the 14 students in this class.”
In An American in Paris, Prottas performs eight shows a week. He came to visit FWCD on February 13—his only day off. “David’s passion and energy was so positive when he met with students,” Cheng noted. “He demonstrated some repertoire from the show and was very encouraging to the students.” He also spoke about how he made the transition from ballet dancer to Broadway, stressing the importance of ballet and technique.
4200 Country Day Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76109 Phone: 817.732.7718
Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) is a K-12 private, independent, coeducational, nondenominational college-preparatory school located on approximately 100 acres in Fort Worth, Texas. The mission of Fort Worth Country Day School is to foster the intellectual, physical, emotional, and ethical development of capable students through an academically rigorous college preparatory program that integrates the arts and athletics.