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Shelton youth perform at the Klein

Young performers from Shelton performing in the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut’s dance benefit “A Winter Ballet” are Skye Festog, Julia Winter and Dominika Tomczyk.

Delivering a dose of gratitude and a true sense of holiday spirit, local dancers and singers from the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut (PACC), in partnership with the Klein Memorial Foundation, will present A Winter Ballet on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 1 and 6 p.m. at Bridgeport’s Klein Memorial Auditorium.

All proceeds will be donated to the Love Life Foundation and St. Vincent’s Special Needs.

Throughout the year PACC traditionally produces performances to benefit local, national and international nonprofit organizations.

A Winter Ballet will, for the first time, be more than a celebration of the holiday season,” said PACC’s executive director, Catherine E. LaChioma.

“It will represent the true meaning of the season of giving. Our entire faculty and student body are passionate about sharing their love of the arts to help make their community a better place.”

Shelton parent Bozena Tomczyk is pleased her daughter, Dominika, can use her talents to help others.

“By performing in benefit concerts, they learn compassion, sensitivity and the fact that everyone has the power to make a difference. It is great to give back, especially now, around the holiday season, when good actions put smiles on people’s faces,” Tomczyk said.

Dominika agreed. “It feels good to be part of an event that has deeper meaning than just dancing to entertain an audience,” she said. “It is hard work to get ready for a benefit concert, but it is all worth it when you end up raising enough money to make a change in someone’s life.”

A dancer for 10 years, Olivia Massaro of Monroe said she feels blessed to be part of PACC’s benefit concerts, especially during the holiday season. “It makes me feel good because I get to do what I love and also help those who are less fortunate,” Olivia said.

Love Life Foundation was established by Mark and Jackie Appelberg of Trumbull after the death of their 15-year-old daughter, Kristin. Since Kristin loved both the holidays and dancing, A Winter Ballet provided the perfect venue to honor the local teen’s passions and also raise money for causes she cared deeply about, LaChioma said.

Performers from Shelton are Skye Festog, Amanda Pan, Anna Pan, Samantha Randall, Dominika Tomczyk, Colleen Wilson, and Julia Winter.

Presented in two acts, A Winter Ballet includes a traditional “Nutcracker — Kingdom of Sweets” segment and contemporary choreography. Holiday caroling is also part of the festivities.

PACC’s artistic director, Nikole LaChioma, and the director of ballet education, Adam Holms, are responsible for the show’s choreography, along with Karen Festog, Sindy Folgar and Katherine Hozier.

“It is a wonderful event for the whole family and absolutely guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit,” LaChioma said.

Tickets for A Winter Ballet are $15, and reserved seating is available. For tickets and more information, call 203-372-ARTS.

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