Newington dance studio owner becomes homeless to keep business: 'The kids, when I see the smiles on their faces, it's worth everything'

Published on Wednesday, 14 October 2020 12:05
Written by Erica Drzewiecki

@drzewieckinbh

NEWINGTON – The owner of a local dance studio recently became homeless in order to keep her business.

Newington Dance Center is still open during the pandemic, with a number of new classes starting up this fall. But it hasn’t been without sacrifice for Owner and Artistic Director Jane Levin, who has been bouncing around with her two cats in order to keep providing dance classes inside the studio, located at 234 Market Sq., Newington.

“I deliberately chose to make myself homeless to save my studio,” she told the Herald and Town Crier Tuesday. “I can always get another place to live but I can’t always get another studio.”

Levin is highly-respected amongst the dance community, with many students over the years winning national and international championships and going on to become professional dancers for theatre, movies and television.

“I love my students and this has all been for them,” she said of the last year’s struggles.

Newington Dance Center continues to offer its Rising Star classes, designed for kids ages 5 to 7, along with Dance Star classes, for ages 6 to 11. Different focuses include ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, lyrical, tap and musical theater. In addition to these, Levin is always dreaming up new concepts.

“We have a lot of exciting new classes; we’ve revamped and redesigned everything,” she said.

Happy Feet is one of the latest offerings at Newington Dance, for kids ages 2 and 3. The class incorporates singing songs, creative movement and an introduction into dance basics.

Creative Dance Adventures features a different adventure every six weeks. Kids aged 3 to 5 enjoy creative dramatics, props and scenery, crafts and a scavenger hunt. Levin has also continued to teach private and semi-private lessons to kids and teens that are serious about their dance pursuits.

Dance studios like hers have not all been able to remain open through the covid-19 pandemic.

“I hear of studios closing left and right,” Levin said. “There are so many small businesses that have struggled so badly, mine included.”

Strict cleaning procedures have been implemented at Newington Dance Center, where Levin, a self-described “germophobe” has installed four air purifiers and air conditioners with anti-viral filters. Floors and other surfaces are sanitized in between classes and masks are required at all times, except by the youngest students.

For details on classes or to register, call Jane at 860-986-9847 or email janelevin@icloud.com.

“It’s so important for children to have an outlet right now,” Levin said, adding that although it’s been a challenging year for her personally, she’s grown as an individual and as a dance instructor.

“The kids, when I see the smiles on their faces, it’s worth everything.”

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at edrzewiecki@centralctcommunications.com.



Posted in New Britain Herald, Newington on Wednesday, 14 October 2020 12:05. Updated: Wednesday, 14 October 2020 12:07.