Starting in September, students at Fort Hamilton High School [8301 Shore Road] will have the opportunity to be future Baryshnikovs, Pavlovas, Ashtons and Fonteyns. In short, they’ll have the chance to dance.
And it all stems from a random conversation in a hair salon, reports Mark Morales for the Daily News.
The highly anticipated September opening of the Joffrey Ballet School begins a new chapter for 25 local high school students with artistic aspirations.
It all started when Joffrey Director Gail D’Addario went to get her highlights touched up last summer at the Cutting Den on Clark Street in Brooklyn Heights.
From the News:
D’Addario told salon owner Tom LaMarca she wanted to bring the ballet to a Brooklyn high school – and by the time she left, D’Addario had both her highlights done and an in at the Shore Road high school.
“Tommy told me (Fort Hamilton school officials) were thinking of making the school into a mini Juilliard and that’s how it all began,” said D’Addario, who lives in Bay Ridge and has been LaMarca’s client for 20 years. “If I didn’t have that conversation with him that day, this would never have happened.”
LaMarca’s wife Millie – a finance teacher at the school – had told him Fort Hamilton was desperate for a dance program.
“It’ll be Brooklyn’s own LaGuardia,” said Tom LaMarca. “This will give Brooklyn kids something they could use to fulfill their dreams – and it all came from a Brooklyn Heights barber shop.”
After Fort Hamilton principal JoAnn Chester was brought into the loop, all it took was a couple of meetings to seal the deal.
“I guess my husband does listen when I tell him about work,” said Millie. “It’s amazing how a simple conversation about how the school wanted to expand its art program got us this.”