Ballet Western Reserve Hires New Director

YOUNGSTOWN – Ballet Western Reserve has hired Danielle Perrotta as its executive director and artistic director.

A New Castle, Pa., native with nearly 20 years of experience as a dance educator and school director, Perrotta takes the reins of the downtown school and performance troupe as it prepares for its busy fall and winter season.

Perrotta began dancing at a young age and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in dance from Slippery Rock University.

Throughout her teaching career, she has guided many young dancers from the moment they first enter the studio until they graduate from high school.

“It brings me great joy to see a student start learning to dance and follow them as they mature and grow, not only as beautiful dancers, but beautiful people [who] eventually leave for pursuits in dance and the arts,” Perrotta said. “It is very rewarding.”

Danielle Perrotta

She is currently busy choreographing and directing this year’s production of “The Nutcracker,” which will take place Dec. 2-3 at Powers Auditorium. The dancers will perform to live music by the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.

“Our instructors are in the midst of rehearsing with our dancers and merging our choreography with the iconic Tchaikovsky score and the talents of the Youngstown Symphony,” Perrotta said.

The show will feature a cast of over 60 students age 4 to 18.

Perrotta’s career has been marked by innovation, fresh perspectives and a commitment to preserving the traditions of classical ballet while exploring contemporary artistic expressions, Kim Riddle, president of the BWR board of directors, said in a news release.

“We are excited and fortunate to be able to show the community what Ballet Western Reserve can do,” Riddle said.

Perrotta has already planned several pre-professional master classes and opportunities for BWR’s company dancers.

“We just hosted professional dancer Lexy Bittner, who just finished the North American Broadway tour of ‘CATS,’” Perrotta said. “It was a great kickoff to our new semester.”

With 100 students, Ballet Western Reserve’s enrollment is at the highest level it has reached in many years, she said.

Recognizing the importance of nurturing the next generation of dancers, Perrotta has been involved in several fundraising initiatives.

First up is “Nutty Night Out,” a fundraiser that will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight (Oct. 12) at Inner Circle Pizza in Poland.

The troupe will also give a mini performance at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 for Santa’s arrival at Eastwood Mall in Niles.

The dance school will soon launch its annual appeal with a goal of raising $80,000 to be used for expenses, education and operating costs.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.