Tory Gozzi is eager to get students into a new ballet and voice space. Ms Gozzi, the artistic director and owner of Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet & Voice (NCCB), said recently. The new studio at South Main Commons “looks beautiful — I’m so excited.”
NCCB will host a grand opening celebration at the new studio on Saturday, August 30, from 11 am to 2 pm. The afternoon will include face painting, games, raffles, demonstrations, food, and more. South Main Commons is at 87 South Main Street; the studio is in Suite 1.
Finding a new space was among Ms Gozzi’s goals when she took over NCCB in 2013 from Founder Jennifer Johnston.
“When I took over as artistic director, I realized one of my most important jobs was to find our school a location that we could call our own.” Although students have been “very happy” at the upstairs rooms at the Botsford firehouse for more than ten years, Ms Gozzi said, “It was time to give the girls a space where they could call home, that was ours all the time, and where the possibilities of creativity and inspiration were limitless.”
The studio at 87 South Main Street is something she was able to completely renovate to exactly suit her needs for a ballet school and also add a place for her to teach voice lessons from the same location.
“I’ve been wanting to combine my two loves for a long time,” said Ms Gozzi, who has a master’s degree in vocal performance and pedagogy. “So putting the two spaces into one official Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet & Voice will, I hope, open up a new world of collaborative possibilities for both my ballet and voice students as well as expand our artmaking abilities for both classes and performances to benefit the students and the community.”
Ms Gozzi took over the NCCB in August 2013. Her goals include “getting us more involved in community performances and outreach again.” NCCB has “always has been a community-based school, so I’ve been trying to program and advertise performances that would appeal to the community, and as they are all free or for a fundraiser for local organizations, it’s a great way to expose community members young and old alike to some great cultural/artistic stuff like other organizations have been doing as well — a great time for our town!”
Also, as a technique- and performance-focused school rather than competition-based, Ms Gozzi said, “I’ve been working on pushing the girls toward heightened technical goals for themselves and their art — I’ve been trying to expose them a lot to guest teachers, new experiences, forms of dance, events, and opportunities that will take their personal focus, motivation, and skill to the next level so that we continue to be one of the premier schools in the area.”
She has enjoyed “seeing them growing as dancers and getting excited about newfound skills and abilities.” Her students also receive positive feedback for their dancing from family, friends, and the community members, she said. The experience is “good for their self-esteem and this pushes them to work even harder toward new plateaus.”
This fall, the school will be offering classes in creative movement for the “littlest ballerinas,” and beginning through advanced ballet, pointe technique/repertoire, choreography, stretch and tone, and adult ballet as well as classes for the Malenkee Ballet Repertoire Company. The company rehearses each week for performances at fundraisers, festivals, schools, and nursing homes throughout the school year. Ms Gozzi will also be offering private and group voice “where students learn to develop their voices and hone repertoire for live performance and CD recordings.”