ºPercentage of students who are considered economically disadvantaged
The Northwest Florida Ballet Academie is a unique free-to-attend ballet-focused public school located in Fort Walton Beach.
The school, which was founded almost 20 years ago, allows children in grades 3-8 to attend a school with rigorous academics and competitive dance preparation.
The Okaloosa County School District and the Northwest Florida Ballet run the school together. It is unique amongst Florida public education – it is the only Ballet Academie in the state.
Since its founding in 2005 – the school has recorded an A rating with the Florida Department of Education every year and is one of just a few schools in Okaloosa County to have “straight As” since the DoE began keeping records like this in 1999 (the other local schools with this same accomplishment are Collegiate High School, Okaloosa STEMM Center and Liza Jackson Preparatory School).
Ballet and academics provide the beat to the school day at Northwest Florida Ballet Academie. Students have their regular academic courses and a syllabus of instruction that is based on the standards of major US and European Ballet organizations.
Students attend the Sybil Lebhertz Center for Dance Education Monday-Friday.
The curriculum for the ballet portion of a student’s education centers around an emphasis on protecting children and developing dancers without injury to immature bones and joints.
In addition to their standard studies, students learn french, as it is the language of standard ballet instruction.
All students who wish to attend the Northwest Florida Ballet Academie must audition as a part of their application process. The importance of the audition process increases as the child gets older.
Incoming third graders apply in groups. No previous dance experience is required, only a demonstrated enthusiasm, basic flexibility, rhythm and coordination are judged.
In fourth grade, students who wish to apply for enrollment need to have at least a year of ballet in order to have a chance at a spot in the class.
All students in the elementary program must reapply to stay in the program for their middle school education. Students from outside the program may apply as well – but the Academie requires three years of formal ballet training as a prerequisite.
The decision to remain in the program rests with the student who continues to progress in their skills and work hard toward their goals. They are evaluated every nine weeks on their performance.
Students who excel in ballet can apply for a trainee position in the Northwest Florida Ballet. Students who wish to apply must have three years of training and are going into the sixth grade.
Auditions to join the Northwest Florida Ballet Company are open to students in the 8th grade with six years of formal training. Female dancers need two years on pointe to apply.
The school offers before and after-school care for students whose parents would like to make use of it.
300 Highway 85
Niceville, Florida 32578
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