The Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet and Fine Arts Opens its World Headquarters in Prescott this August
“An artist’s most important characteristic is tenacity,” said Dame Margot Fonteyn, as she contemplated her historic career.
The Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet and Fine Arts (MFAB) reopens its world headquarters this August in Prescott, having relocated from New York and survived COVID. Sometimes it’s not just a dancer, but an entire Academy, that picks itself up off the mat.
Fonteyn, widely recognized as history’s greatest ballerina, designed MFAB’s educational system based on the belief that an international ballet career must include a deep knowledge of ballet’s sister arts: music, drama, and visual and technical arts. This education prepares graduates for employment beyond performing years at the highest levels of fine art, from graduation to retirement.
Despite COVID, which delayed the Academy’s reopening, MFAB will open in August 2023. By a unanimous vote from the Prescott Unified School District’s Governing Board, the Academy will partner with the district, and its home will be at Mile High Middle School.
MFAB’s personnel, who know from personal experience how to sustain careers in dance and administration, are adept at maintaining the standards of a first-rate ballet academy. From opening in Washington, DC in 1984, with a summer program that same year in Tennessee, until today, MFAB has become an international institution with programs on five contents and workshops worldwide.
Interestingly, the natural setting Prescott provides, with clean mountain air and beautiful scenery, factored heavily into the decision to relocate here. Being immersed daily in natural beauty inspires students to achieve such natural beauty, pulled off by nature with ease, and propels the development of a strong esthetic sense, a requirement for all great artists.
Fonteyn understood that impeccable taste, cultivating a critical sense, the ability for abstract thought, and absolute creative artistry, are things few people are born with, but are qualities cultivated in a mulch of hard work, discipline, joy in effort, and the commitment to innovation within tradition.
Dean of Artists Svienbjorg Alexanders, ballerina and dramatic actress, pedagogue, and international choreographer, and a native of Ireland, is quite taken with Prescott: “I’m excited about being part of expanding the arts in Prescott,” she said. “And what beautiful mountains and trees you have!”
It’s a common sentiment among the staff, including Emma Body, MFAB’s Lower School Director. “I have recently relocated from Australia to Prescott, and it is a beautiful spot in the world. I am looking forward to exploring the stunning landscape here. I am very excited to be involved with the thriving arts scene here in Prescott, and look forward to being part of a wonderful, friendly community.”
For more information, visit https://www.mfab.org.