Let’s get through this together.

The school building is currently closed due to COVID-19 and the local government’s request for social distancing. We care about your health and well being, so please stay vigilant and safe. But if you’re getting a little stir crazy, we have a way for you to get your workout in…


ANITA R. NOVINS December 5, 1919 - March 31, 2020

It is with a heavy heart, we let you know that Auntie Anita (Anita R. Novins) has passed away. Many at the ballet school know her from her long stint as office manager – she retired not too long ago at age 97. She was a fixture at the school and in the neighborhood, making friends with everyone she met. The great sorrow we are feeling now is only surpassed by the great joy of having had her in our lives for so long.
Auntie, we miss you!

          Paula, her Family, and Ballet Friends

Below is a beautiful letter from Teresa Hedstrom, the office manager where Anita lived. It was written for the occasion of her 100th birthday, and expresses so well how many of us feel.

  • Anita and I both came to Fairweather in the same year, 2000. From the first I thought of her as my own personal Dorothy Parker. You may recall Dorothy Parker, the poet and writer famous for her acid wit, who claimed “the first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue,” and complained “what fresh hell is this” every time the phone rang.  Anita’s wit is never so barbed – but when I first met her, Anita was full of snappy and perfect one liners, magically pulling wisecracks out of her sleeve. To me she was playful, smooth, and sophisticated. She even looked a bit like Dorothy Parker to me – petite, a bit of a pixie with her upturned face, that mop of short dark hair and those huge, soulful, gamine eyes. I liked to imagine Anita walking out of the famous Algonquin Hotel alongside Dorothy Parker, the pair of them in cahoots, each one with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of something smoky and tinkling in the other, comparing their riotous send ups of life, but mostly making fun of their own human foibles and frailties.

    Being with Anita is fun. Open, generous, kind hearted, her first line coming into the management office was often, “Does anyone have a light?”- her lead-in to a sparkling and warm conversation. Sometimes she might slyly thumb her nose at some of the more seemingly arbitrary Fairweatherhouse rules, right before bestowing hugs on all the staff. I cannot count the times she would say to all of us, “I just love you people.” When you are with Anita, she makes you feel included. She makes you feel like you belong. She makes you feel special. She has that very rare gift of making you feel like a Somebody, and she does it to everybody. She’s been doing it now for 100 years.

    I have many memories of Anita that I like to think of, but one in particular stands out. For many years, Anita helped at her niece Paula’s dance studio, and every spring the dance studio had an event – I remember it as a fundraiser – and guests who bought tickets were entitled to free dance lessons. Each year, Anita would come to the office and encourage us all to attend. I will never forget the time Anita demonstrated all the dance steps we could learn, all the joys of dancing that were available to us if only we would attend, as she tango-ed and samba-ed and cha-cha-ed her way across the office floor. At the time, she was in her 90s.

    It’s been a while now since I’ve heard Anita ask, “Does anyone have a light?” If anyone has a light – if anyone is a light in this world – it is you Anita. You are the one who had the light all along.


Expressions of sympathy may be made in Anita’s memory to:
          The Novins Family
          c/o Marblehead School of Ballet
          115 Pleasant Street
          Marblehead, MA 01945



Donations may be made in Anita’s memory to:
          – The North Shore Civic Ballet (a not-for profit 501(c)3 organization)
          – The Ruth N. Shiff Memorial Fund (an NSCB scholarship)
          – OR Donate directly to the Marblehead School of Ballet

Checks can be mailed to:
         Marblehead School of Ballet
          115 Pleasant Street
          Marblehead, MA 01945


March 17 – April 7, 2020
Due to COVID-19 Precautions

Friday, April 10, 2020  |  7:30-10:30pm
$15 Adults  |  $10 MSB Students


(781) 631-6262

115 Pleasant Street
Marblehead, MA 01945


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Marblehead School of Ballet | North Shore Civic Ballet

The majority of our photos are currently provided by NSCB board member Peter Smith of HEADSHOTS PHOTOGRAPHY.