Andover’s Christina Belinsky with Kate Webb of Bethel Area Arts and Music will bring a dance film festival to Bethel’s Gem Theater on March 29. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

ANDOVER — Christina Belinsky of Andover danced for a summer at The Yard in Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard, her first job after college in 2008.

The Yard was a barn with a stage and a studio. It was behind the owner’s house.

Said Belinsky, “I always knew this was what I want, I want this to be my house where everyone is coming by and being inspired. It’s where they [the resident artists] get to awaken their creativity in gorgeous surroundings.”

Now that she and fiancé, Tim Learned, Jr. own 10 acres in Andover, that dream is ever closer to reality and her “barn project” notebook that she’s been writing ideas in since 2008, has morphed into an organized binder.


Belinsky’s first international show was the Aluminum Show where they rehearsed at a kibbutz outside Tel Aviv . They performed for months at a time in Spain, Russia, and Brazil. She performed in “Finding Neverland” and “Joseph” in Tokyo but also has danced in every corner of the U.S.


Learned has family roots in Andover where the couple would camp. “Every time we would come we would stay past when we were supposed to leave … there was even a time when we were in the car loaded up … then turned around and stayed,” said Belinsky.

“[Now] I do an audition and then go snowshoeing.”

She explained that before the pandemic you had to audition in person, which meant living in New York, L.A. or Las Vegas.  Nowadays, she films her video auditions under lights in her home studio.

And if she needs space to choreograph a piece, she has Librarian Janet Farrington’s permission and the key for the Andover Library basement.

Film festival

Andover’s Christina Belinsky with Kate Webb of Bethel Area Arts and Music will bring a dance film festival to Bethel’s Gem Theater in background. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

Belinsky and Kate Webb of Bethel Area Arts and Music (BAAM) connected right away when they met a few years ago. They began then to plan the dance film festival that will be shown on Friday, March 29, at the Gem Theater. Children are invited and it’s a pay-what-you-can event.


Belinsky has been getting the word out and hopes Bethel’s Toe, Tappin’ Jazz dancers will come as well as the general public. Seven different dance films with connections to the State of Maine will be screened at the festival.

The after dance party in the lobby will feature dance-themed cocktails like Ginger Rogers and a Debbie Allens.

She and Webb hope this will be an annual event that will expand to include animation or other Maine films with the opportunity for people to take classes and workshops at the Gem, too.


Belinsky hopes to build and open her resident conservatory in a few years.

It will be a space where dancers can come and train intensively, “but I also want it to be a respite … to be able to escape to nature and to be in a supportive creative atmosphere …”  The visiting artists will share their art and what they make with the community, said Belinsky.


“I always see dance. As soon as I hear a song, there’s already a party, choreography, lights and costumes happening in my mind …,” said Belinsky.

At age three she would go and sit alone in the corner of dance class, but by four she had blossomed and was competing. She said her dance teachers noticed she had talent and set her up to be well-rounded dancer. Being well-rounded has opened more doors for her.

When she was in high school she was a backup dancer for a pop group, performing at the L.A. music Awards. “It was the early 2000’s  and it was ‘prime pop.’ We were opening up for Christina Milian, Lenny Kravitz, Nick Cannon and others.”

Their pop group opened for concerts in New Hampshire, too. As a student at her semi-private high school,  Pinkerton Academy, she felt like she led a double life, not divulging to many others that she was a performer.

“Wait did I see you onstage at that concert?” classmates would occasionally ask.

“Community is a huge part of dance,” said Belinsky who has taught area pop-up classes. She will teach and choreograph at BAAM’s summer youth camp that will culminate in a performance at the Monarch Festival at Valentine Farm.

They hope to dance around Valentine’s pollinator flowers.

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