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The North Shore Civic Ballet of Marblehead has awarded two scholarships to Lynn nonprofit LEO, Inc. to enable two students to attend creative movement classes at the Marblehead School of Ballet.

“LEO is thrilled with the generosity extended to our community by the North Shore Civic Ballet and the Marblehead School of Ballet.  It takes a special program to recognize the difference scholarship opportunities make for families who want to provide the best for their children, but do not have the additional funds for enrichment activities,” says Birgitta S. Damon, CEO of LEO.  “Our girls look forward to their classes and enjoy an activity that provides friendship and healthy movement in a setting where they feel cared for and appreciated.”

The North Shore Civic Ballet, a not-for-profit dance company based in Marblehead, provides support and opportunities for aspiring dancers to attend the Marblehead School of Ballet. The ballet and The Ruth N. Shiff Memorial Fund’s supporters provided the funding for the scholarships in partnership with the Marblehead School of Ballet.

“We know what a positive influence dance can have and being able to share that with a child who might not have had the opportunity otherwise, is a gift to us,” says Adora Maharaj, a member of North Shore Civic Ballet’s board of directors. “Our school is a place where students can build confidence by learning to express themselves through movement in a safe and supportive environment.”

LEO Inc.’s mission is to strengthen the Greater Lynn community through resources and services that provide opportunities for children, families and individuals to thrive. The organization, one of the largest providers of early education and care in southern Essex County, Massachusetts, offers Head Start and Early Head Start programs for children from birth to age 5. 

“Dance is the great equalizer,” says LEO communications manager Julie Danahy Hebeisen. “A child can enter a studio and move regardless of financial status, language ability, or past trauma. Dance heals and gives a child a place to feel free for an hour. We are very grateful.”

For more information about the Marblehead School of Ballet and the North Shore Civic Ballet, visit