Prisoners’ Art on Display at Keeney Cultura... MARK DIPAOLA Rachel Zilinsky walks through the Prison Arts Exhibit at the Keeney Cultural Center in Old Wethersfield as if she has never seen the inmate-crafted paintings and drawings that cover the walls of the back corner room. The Wethersfield... FULL STORY | MORE WETHERSFIELD NEWS
Old Wethersfield Author Reveals Latest Myster... MARK DIPAOLA Judith Ivie, author of The Kate Lawrence Mystery series, likes to write stories that are close to home--every book in the seven-title saga takes place in Old Wethersfield--but her latest installment has that characteristic in the more ... FULL STORY | MORE WETHERSFIELD NEWS
Summer Fitness Series: Navigating Newington JOSH HOWARD Some religions believe that waterfalls symbolize “a place of peace and rest during life’s journey.” This may explain why Newington has an overwhelming feel of tranquility and is the perfect setting for any health and fitness enth... FULL STORY | MORE NEWINGTON NEWS
Public Outcry Against Community Center Move MARK DIPAOLA With the Sept. 9 Town Hall renovation referendum approaching, Newington residents continued to voice opposition to the proposal--to move the Mortensen Community Center to space at Mill Pond Park--as the Town Council discussed informati... FULL STORY | MORE NEWINGTON NEWS
NEWINGTON - A $700,000 armored military vehicle will be making its runs in Newington, although not on the regular. The Newington Police Department got the vehicle for free, but nee...
NEWINGTON - Like other schools in the district, Newington’s Elizabeth Green Elementary School is preparing for the start of the approaching academic year, and it will have a new pr...
WETHERSFIELD - For around 7,000 three-versus-three soccer teams throughout the nation, all roads lead to Walt Disney World in Florida--the site of KickIt’s Martin Luther King Day fina...
WETHERSFIELD - Latanya Farrell of the Bookman Styles Band only got through belting out the first three letters of the word “respect”--the first lyric of the famous Aretha Franklin s...
Business Spotlight
Newington Youth Ballet & Wethersfield Ballet Academy
WETHERSFIELD - Newington Youth Ballet & Wethersfield Ballet Academy brings young dancers of all ages and ability to develop poise and strength, self-confidence and a sense of philanthropy. Artistic Director Jane Levin, an accomplished dancer and instructor, has trained students from beginners to professional at various local studios. She founded the non-profit Newington Youth Ballet in October 2011. “It was actually quite by accident,” she said with a laugh. “Some of the kids wanted extra ballet classes.” In the beginning, Levin taught wherever space was available. “Sometimes we’d hold classes in nursing homes and the residents would watch, I had class in my apartment one day, in somebody’s backyard in their shed.” Now settled in its permanent location at the Wethersfield Academy for the Arts in Old Wethersfield, Levin offers instruction and classes from age preschool and up for all levels of training, including private classes and coaching. Ballet especially is wonderful for so many things--it builds the strength, the flexibility, the poise,” Levin said. “It’s good for other sports as well. Like for a soccer player, it helps with the amount of strength you need in your legs.” “Our main goal is to develop self-esteem in children,” said Levin, who holds a degree in psychology, as does her daughter, who also teaches at the school. “The main premise that we base everything on is self-confidence because we believe that’s the key to everything our students do.” The school also focuses on practicing for a purpose, putting on show to benefit other organizations. Recently students performed in the first annual Dancing for Rescues show, where the school donated 100 percent of the proceeds to animal rescues. The performance generated more than $800 to donate toward vet bills for abused animals and those pulled out of kill shelters. “The kids get to see that their talent helps not only just them, but it can actually be put toward other good uses,” said Levin. Levin is joined by an instructor who appeared in the Broadway production of Westside Story and other productions who teaches a jazz class each week as well as her daughter, Amanda Butler, who appeared in the films The Adjustment Bureau and 30 Minutes to Swim. She also has many students who have gone on to become national and international champions as well as recipients of scholarships to prestigious colleges. Student Meghan Hinkis performed as Clara in Radio City’s “Christmas Spectacular, and went on to become a member of American Ballet Theater and is now a soloist with The Royal Ballet. Student Hayley Cloud was featured on season six of the show “So You Think You Can Dance,” and student Jade Cloud, who Levin has taught since she was six, is a featured dancer on Lifetime’s “Dance Moms” and is a soloist with Newington Youth Ballet. Jade Cloud will be doing a “meet and greet” at the Newington Youth Ballet & Wethersfield Ballet Academy Open House Saturday, Aug. 23, from 3-5 p.m. The public is welcome to come and meet the faculty and learn about the school and upcoming programs and performances. Enrollment in classes is open year-round. Newington Youth Ballet & Wethersfield Ballet Academy, 431 Hartford Ave., Old Wethersfield, can be reached at 860-986-9847 or balletmaster@snet.net. Visit http://newingtonyouthballet-com for more information.

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