Daniel Salas first learned about Walnut Hill from an article written in Pointe Magazine when he was a fourth grader in California. Recalls Daniel: "Enamored by the thought of being able to academically study and artistically train in the same place—a very beautiful place at that—I knew that Walnut Hill was the place for me." He notes that his years on the Hill were some of his "happiest to date" due to the "insanely supportive community of faculty, staff, and students." Daniel received degrees in dance and theology from Fordham University and the Ailey School in 2016, and danced with Ballet Hispanico, Ailey II, and New York Theatre Ballet before and after graduation. "My journey in theology, which has actually been complimented by dance quite nicely, has been underscored by service learning and justice for the common good," he reflects. "I was inspired to begin working for expanded arts funding in the public and private spheres so that art, and those who create it, may continue building bridges and opening doors."
Daniel recently joined the American Ballet Theatre team as Major Gifts Associate, and he will attend Columbia University in the fall to earn his M.S. in nonprofit management. He is grateful for his dance background, stating that his education continues to serve him "in countless ways across academia, the arts, and beyond." He credits dance with cultivating a capacity to "maintain unshakable discipline and poise despite pain, exhaustion, or difficult working conditions," as well as providing "a worldview that preaches collaboration and empathy amongst all our human brothers and sisters." Daniel remains connected to the School as an Alumni Officer, and cherishes close friendships that have endured since his high school days. He notes, "I'm proud to say that a Walnut Hill education has been my greatest investment."