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Marblehead School Of Ballet's Anita Novins Turns 100

Marblehead School Of Ballet's Anita Novins Turns 100

The Marblehead School of Ballet announces Anita Novins of Salem, Massachusetts celebrated her 100th birthday on December 5. Novins worked for nearly 20 years at the Marblehead School of Ballet (MSB) as the dance studio's office manager and retired at age 97.

"The MSB family congratulates and wishes her a very happy 100th birthday! I am so lucky to have her in my life, first as my aunt and then, as a friend and colleague. I have always admired her positivity and zest for life. I have been extremely privileged and honored to work with her. I am so glad that I was able to share with her my love of the dance world," said Paula K. Shiff, Director of the Marblehead School of Ballet, and Anita Novins' niece.

From World War II Code Breaker to Corporate Executive Secretary

Her lengthy career ranged from serving as a secret code breaker for the United States government, during World War II, to working in corporations. For over 30 years, she worked in Boston as executive secretary to developer and philanthropist Norman B. Leventhal, co-founder of the Beacon Companies. Afterward, she worked for executive Ian Moss at Brush Fibers for 15 years.

Retirement from the corporate world did not stop her. In 2000, Novins became the MSB's office manager and came to know everyone, who came through the school's doors, on a first name basis -- the students, parents, faculty, guest artists, and community members. They knew her as "Auntie Anita". Many of the children and adults at MSB enjoyed spending time with her in the office, and they never left without giving her a hug.

For Novins, interacting with the students and working with her niece were memorable experiences at the MSB. "I loved working with my niece, Paula, and being surrounded by the people and the energy of the studio," she said.

Celebrating its 48th year, the Marblehead School of Ballet, founded in 1971 by Paula K. Shiff, has earned a wide reputation for the excellence of its training and integrity of purpose. Classical ballet forms the core of teaching with particular emphasis on correct alignment and development of strength and agility. The sheer pleasure of dance and music is always central to the classroom experience.

The basic graded program for children includes classes in ballet technique with advanced work in repertoire and pointe. The school also offers a modern dance department, classes for young children in creative movement and classes in improvisation and technique for the older student. A full range of adult classes is offered.

MSB is home to the North Shore Civic Ballet Company (NSCB). The NSCB gives concert performances and a variety of educational programs for schools; all are suitable for different age groups and levels of development.

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