biography 2: jenny stevenson
Jenny Stevenson started her ballet training in England at the age of 8 years, when she attended the Legat School of Ballet, a boarding school where Russian ballet in the style of Nicholas Legat was taught and interspersed with school work. On arriving in New Zealand at the age of 11 Jenny began training at the Nettleton Edwards School of Dance where she remained until joining the New Zealand Ballet Company in 1967 for a short contract. Jenny then was accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance and was amongst the first group of graduates. After another season with the NZ Ballet she returned to Auckland where she danced as a Happen Inn dancer for television.
Wishing to pursue an interest in modern dance, Jenny moved to Australia in 1969 where she trained and completed a tour with the Australian Dance Theatre. On her return to New Zealand to marry, she moved to Wellington with her husband Jim Stevenson and in 1974 founded the Dance Centre which offered many different types of dance training for both adults and children. The Dance Centre ran for 15 years with several other partner/teachers while Jenny travelled and lived overseas with Jim.
In 1987 Jenny founded the Wellington Performing Arts Centre which became an NZQA Private Training Establishment offering full-time training in dance, acting and musical theatre as well as dance, yoga and drama community classes for both adults and children. The Centre ran for 21 year before being sold to Whitireia New Zealand in 2008.
Jenny has also worked as a reviewer and dance writer and was for many years the dance critic for the Dominion and Dominion Post. She also wrote a monthly column on dance for the Dominion.
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