Artistic Staff

Kelly Fortier Apetrei

Apetrei Dancenter Owner and Artistic Director Kelly is the Owner and Director of The Apetrei Dancenter and the Artistic Director of our non-profit company, Ballet Apetrei. Kelly is a native of New Orleans, where she received her early training. She also trained and danced with The Houston Ballet, The Hartford Ballet and in New York City. She danced as a soloist with the Dallas Opera from 1984 until 1988 when she retired from her performance career. In 1988, Kelly with Constantin Apetrei opened the Apetrei Dancenter and founded Ballet Apetrei. Kelly has choreographed several ballets for Ballet Apetrei including Requiem, Guide Me Home, and Symphony Classique. She is known for her great understanding and teaching of the classical ballet technique. Kelly is very involved in arts in education and giving back to the community.

The Apetrei Dancenter is the official school of Ballet Apetrei. All ballet classes are taught using the Russian Vaganova method. The School is a professional ballet school offering classes for ages 3 through adults. The studio also offers classes in other disciplines including: jazz, and contemporary. All students of the Dancenter have the opportunity to perform in Ballet Apetrei’s production of The Nutcracker each December and also in the Dancenter’s school recital in May.

Founded in 1988, Ballet Apetrei is a non-profit organization committed to providing professional training and performance opportunities for young, talented dancers of our community, as well as providing outstanding performances for the residents of St. Tammany parish by our company, alongside international guest artists. Over the past 30 years, we have provided thousands of underprivileged students the opportunity to attend our December performance of “The Nutcracker” free of charge




The Apetrei Family ~ Casey, Sean, Kelly, Constantin, Nathan, and Neal

after “Mr. C” accepted the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD  from the St. Tammany Parish Arts Council.

Click here to see a video of “Mr. C”s acceptance speech…


The Apetrei Dancenter was also presented with the Legacy Award by the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce

in appreciation for bringing art to our area for over 25 years!



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