Upon graduation from the Conservatoire Royal de Musique de Charleroi, Belgium, De Vita was awarded the “Premier Prix” and Gold Medal. His principal teacher was Hannah Voos. De Vita made his professional stage debut at age 9 and began his career as a professional ballet dancer at the age of 15. He danced, with several European Companies, in ballets of the classical repertoire, and by choreographers such as Peter Van Dyk, George Skibine, Antony Tudor and George Balanchine. Also, in Europe, he performed in musical comedies and operettas such as Hello Dolly, Kiss Me Kate and My Fair Lady.
When he retired from performing, De Vita acquired teaching qualifications including the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma and the highest teaching degree given by the Italian Ministry of Education through the “Accademia Nazionale di DanzA,” Rome. He is a Fellow of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London. In 1983, together with Raymond Lukens, he directed the Scuola di danza classica Hamlyn in Florence, Italy. He was President and co-founder of the Associazione Nazione Coreutica Enrico Cecchetti (the Italian Cecchetti Society). In New York City, De Vita was faculty member at The Ailey School, The Ailey/Fordham BFA program and guest company teacher for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II. He was company teacher for Hartford Ballet and principal faculty member of the School of Hartford Ballet and the BFA dance program of the University of Hartford. He was also part of the task force that revised Hartford Ballet School’s curriculum.
Before joining the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School at ABT in 2005, De Vita was Dean of Faculty and Curriculum of the Boston Ballet School and company teacher for Boston Ballet. De Vita has been guest teacher for Virginia School of the Arts, Peridance International, Dance Connecticut, Dance Educators of America, Youth America Grand Prix and for Alberta Ballet Company and School. De Vita’s students have won prestigious international dance competitions including the Prix de Lausanne and have danced in many of the world’s major companies such as The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Houston Ballet, English National Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Boston Ballet. De Vita trained most of the teachers qualified in the Cecchetti Method in Italy. He is regularly invited to teach at international seminars. Together with Raymond Lukens, De Vita authored ABT’s National Training Curriculum.
Under De Vita’s leadership, the JKO School in Rome, Italy, received the Jia Ruskaja Prize as the world’s best ballet academy of 2012. The following year the School was invited to perform for the 240th anniversary of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy at the Kremlin. The JKO School has also become a Partner School of the Prix de Lausanne.
Q&A with Franco De Vita from Indianapolis City Ballet on Vimeo.