BRISTOL - Newington Dance Center emerged victorious from a recent statewide dance competition.
The studio, located on Market Square in Newington, won numerous awards at Sophisticated Productions’ annual regional competition at St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol earlier this month. Dance studios from across Connecticut participated.
NDC Director Jane Levin is extremely 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 won 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, who is in charge of the studio’s lyrical work.
Butler was specially 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. Outside of the dance world, she appeared in the films “The Adjustment Bureau” and “30 Minutes to Swim.”
Tula’s award-winning lyrical solo “Goodbye My Korea” received Most Talented and Mentionable Choreography. She also performed a jazz piece, “What You Need,” and the contemporary dance, “Reclaim.”
Her mother, Amy Johnson, 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 came in in the top five for her solo, “Child of the Dark.” It was her first time ever competing.
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 in Hartford.
Levin, who danced professionally with the New York City Ballet, said it’s that ballet foundation that makes the studio shine time and again.
“Even though we also perform lyrical, jazz and contemporary, ballet is extremely important here.”
NDC will be competing at nationals in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, on the Fourth of July weekend.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.