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Alexandria-based, Metropolitan Fine Arts Center Student Plays Lead in Billy Elliot National Tour

LORTON, Va. TEEN TAKES THE ROLE OF BILLY ELLIOT Alexandria-based, Metropolitan Fine Arts Center Student on Billy Elliot National Tour

Alexandria-based, Metropolitan Fine Arts Center Student on Billy Elliot National Tour
Metropolitan Fine Arts Center’s (MFAC) former student, Ben Cook, 14, is featured in the national tour of the Tony Award winning musical “Billy Elliot” in the lead role of Billy Elliot. Over the next six months, he will perform in 11 cities nationwide, including Baltimore from Dec. 18-30.  Cook is an alumnus of Lorton Station Elementary School in Lorton, Va., where his family still resides. At age 7, Cook began theatre/dance training at Metropolitan Fine Arts Center in Alexandria, Va., and began to regularly audition for professional theatre at 9 years old. Call 703.339.0444 or visit www.metrofinearts.com for more information.

“Ben was a natural performer from the very beginning…we helped hone his skills for dance and singing, creating a platform for him to jumpstart his career,” said Melissa Dobbs, founder and executive director of Metropolitan Fine Arts Center of Alexandria and Fairfax Station, Va. “We’re thrilled to see Ben shine in Billy Elliott, as it’s always exciting to see one of our students perform on a national stage,” said Dobbs.

Cook trained at MFAC for more than two years, before they encouraged him to find a local agent in 2007 and begin auditioning. He moved to New York in 2009 for the Broadway revival of “Ragtime,” performed in the “Billy Elliot” ensemble for 15 months, and attended the Professional Performing Arts School in New York City for 2 ½ years before joining the tour last fall. He is on the road with a guardian and is tutored for school.

Billy Elliot National Tour cities include: Boston, Detroit, Memphis, Buffalo, N.Y., Toledo, Ohio, Saint Paul, Minn., Indianapolis, Omaha, Neb., Austin, Texas and Baltimore.    

Metropolitan Fine Arts Center (MFAC) of Alexandria and Fairfax Station, VA is a multi-disciplinary performing arts organization in the Washington, DC area that has taught dance, music and theater to more than 10,000 students since its opening in 2001. Founder and executive director, Melissa Dobbs, was classically trained at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, George Mason University and the Royal Academy of Dance in London, where she became a registered teacher. Noted for its world-class instructors, MFAC offers high quality performing arts training in a ground breaking, holistic learning environment that cultivates creativity, builds community and empowers students. MFAC was featured in Dance Teacher magazine and Washington Families magazine. Many students go on to perform in prestigious arenas including Broadway, National Tours, The Julliard School, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Washington Ballet, The American Academy of Ballet, Universal Ballet Academy, The Kirov Ballet, The Hartt School, Marymount University (New York), Ford’s Theater and Mark Morris Dance Company. MFAC is also affiliated with its non-profit company, Metropolitan Performing Arts Alliance. Call 703.339.0444 or visit www.metrofinearts.com, Facebook or Twitter.

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