Newington dancers impress in Bristol

Published on Sunday, 1 April 2018 21:16
Written by Erica DRZEWIECKI


NEWINGTON - Newington Dance Center emerged victorious in a recent statewide dance competition in Bristol.

The studio, on Market Square in Newington, won numerous awards at Sophisticated Productions’ annual regional competition at St. Paul Catholic High School earlier this month. Dance studios from across Connecticut participated.

NDC Director Jane Levin is proud of her students.

“They’re very dedicated children and parents,” she said this week. “We have a small studio but I am absolutely thrilled to be there every day.”

Tula Johnson, Tatyana Johnson (no relation), and Alexa Robinson placed first overall in their respective age categories.

Tatyana received the competition’s highest score for her solo, “The Final Solution.” She also received an award for Most Committed and Mentionable Choreography. The dance was choreographed by Levin’s daughter, Amanda Butler.

Butler was selected by competition photographer Richard Davis for a future partnership.

“He was so moved by the choreography and concept that he requested to speak to Amanda regarding her choreography and our dancers,” Levin explained. “He will be using Amanda’s work in his new book about dancers.”

Butler’s career spans the entertainment industry. She has appeared in the films “The Adjustment Bureau” and “30 Minutes to Swim.”

Tula’s award-winning lyrical solo “Goodbye My Korea” was honored for Most Talented and Mentionable Choreography. She also performed the jazz piece “What You Need” and the contemporary dance “Reclaim.”

Her mother, Amy, said the family comes from Cheshire to be a part of the Newington Dance family.

“We are very happy with the training she is receiving and with the artistic nurturing she is receiving,” Johnson said. “In addition to dancing, she has also had the opportunity to choreograph and teach.” 

Robinson was honored for her lyrical piece, “One Last Dance” and 9-year-old Margie Fischer placed in the top five for her solo, “Child of the Dark.” It was her first time competing.

The NDC Junior Elites placed fourth in their category.

The school is now preparing for its next show, “The Little Princess: The Return of Skelar” on June 23. The performance will be held in Newington at a yet-to-be determined location.

It is the second part of a trilogy written by Levin. The premiere debuted last spring at The Wadsworth Athenaeum.

Levin, who danced professionally with the New York City Ballet, said it’s that ballet foundation that makes the studio shine time and time again.

“Even though we also perform lyrical, jazz and contemporary, ballet is extremely important here.”

NDC will be competing at nationals in Sturbridge, Mass., on the Fourth of July weekend.

Posted in New Britain Herald, , Newington on Sunday, 1 April 2018 21:16. Updated: Sunday, 1 April 2018 21:18.