Two new dance teachers join the Darien Arts Center and more


With classes scheduled to begin Tuesday, September 6th, two new dance teachers have joined the Darien Arts Center.

The new teachers are Claire St. John, a professional dancer, and Alejandro Ulloa, an international freelance artist and co-director of East Coast Contemporary Ballet.

The DAC’s expanded dance program takes place in the fall at the newly renovated Weatherstone Studio.

Ulloa and St. John participate in the program, which offers programs for students ages 3 through adulthood, as well as the opportunity to attend multiple performances.

Originally from Nicaragua, Ulloa began his dance training at the Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Nicaragua under the direction of Maestro William Herrera. Ulloa started his very first ballet in 2015 at the University of Nicaragua, where he became the Cultural Patron of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua.

Later in 2015 he became co-producer, teacher and choreographer of Compañía Ballet de Nicaragua.

Ulloa has danced and performed as a guest artist for Gainesville Ballet Company, Danse Etoile in Costa Rica, Island Moving Company in Newport, RI, Neglia Ballet in Buffalo, NY, Ajkun Ballet Theater, Connecticut Ballet, and Thomas/Ortiz, among others dance.

In 2016, Ulloa was recognized as International Projection Artist of the Year by the Nicaraguan Artists Association.

Alejandro co-founded East Coast Contemporary Ballet with DAC Director Claire Mazza in 2019.

For St. John, her training included many types of dance with an emphasis on classical ballet. She gained her first performance experience as a soloist with Part Two Dance Company for four years, as a dancer with the Moscow Ballet in the Great Russian Nutcracker for three seasons and as a dancer in Giselle at the L’Etoile Russian Ballet Academy.

St. John graduated from the Baltimore School for the Arts and Shenandoah University, where she earned a BFA in dance.

Ulloa will teach a contemporary dance class for adults, Ballet 4 and Ballet 5 for teenagers; and Teen Contemporary for middle and high school students; contemporary youth dance; and advanced partnering at the DAC.

St. John will teach Ballet 1 to first and second graders, Ballet 3 and Teen Lyrical Jazz to middle and high school students.

Dance classes for children ages 3 and up include ballet, hip-hop, Broadway, lyrical and contemporary dance. For more information or to register, visit or call 203-655-8683. Questions can be directed to Claire Mazza, Director of the DAC, at [email protected]

The DAC Center is located at 2 Renshaw Road behind City Hall.

Blue Wave Football Team holds car wash

The Darien High School Blue Wave collegiate football team will be hosting a high school car wash on Sunday, August 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 80 High School Lane.

The cost is $10 per car. The event takes place rain or shine.

The team will also host a food drive during the car wash to give back to the community. Non-perishable food donations are accepted and delivered to Person-to-Person, the non-profit organization.

Lifeguards earn monthly honors

Riley Kunetz and Hallie Kreppein were voted lifeguards of the month. They are experienced lifeguards at Pear Tree Beach and Weed Beach.

Kunetz and Kreppein have worked extra shifts when needed, helped recruit additional lifeguards and provided a great working example for the city’s beachgoers, the city said.

Kunetz is a rising sophomore at the University of Connecticut and Kreppein is a rising sophomore at the University of Vermont.

Author of event at Darien Library

Author Taylor Jenkins Reid will chair the Darien Library‘s seventh annual Novel Tea Fundraiser Luncheon.

The event will take place on Wednesday, October 26 from 11am to 2pm at the Wee Burn Country Club at 410 Hollow Tree Ridge Road in Darien.

Reid will review her novels Malibu Rising, Daisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, as well as her new book Carrie Soto Is Back, which was released this month.

Page Berger, Barrett Bookstore’s Marketing and Events Director, will moderate the presentation.

The event also includes a silent auction of exclusive items.

All funds raised through Novel Tea will be dedicated to library resources, including new technology, new books and materials, and programs and guest speakers.

Sponsorship opportunities are currently available for purchase. Single tickets are sold in September based on availability.

All sponsors will be invited to a private meet-and-greet reception with Reid and will receive an autographed copy of Carrie Soto Is Back.

Additional books will also be available courtesy of Barrett Bookstore.

You can find sponsoring opportunities, tickets and further information at or contact the Darien Library at 203-669-5220.

Fashion show of sustainable designers planned

The Darien Community Association is presenting a sustainable fashion show on September 15th with a 7pm reception followed by the 7.30pm show at the non-profit organization 274 Middlesex Road.

The purpose of the event is to focus on the role of the DCA Thrift Shop as a provider of eco-friendly fashion and resale.

The show – priced at $25 per ticket – will feature designer fashions sold in-store.

The show will also feature local models showcasing outfits styled using items from well-known designers such as Gucci, Celine, Jil Sander, Valentino and Prada, as well as many contemporary labels such as Rag & Bone, Mother and Helmut Lang.

All of the clothing, shoes, bags and accessories from the runway – and additional items for women, men and children – will be available for sale after the show.

All entrants will be entered into a door prize and have a chance to win a Jimmy Choo handbag.

There will also be a separate raffle where more designer bags will be featured. The raffle will also be part of the event.

Raffle tickets will be available beginning August 30 at the DCA Thrift Shop, 966 Boston Post Road, and at the show. Raffle tickets are $10 each, or three for $20.

For more information, see


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