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Harrington Park Arts Center Owner Lifts Spirits Sky-High

Christine O'Donnell operates Sukha Arts Center.
Christine O'Donnell operates Sukha Arts Center. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Marianne Bator, the associate director of dance, instructs an aerial yoga class in Harrington Park.
Marianne Bator, the associate director of dance, instructs an aerial yoga class in Harrington Park. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Jessica Bigos is working out in the Harrington Park class at Sukha Arts Center.
Jessica Bigos is working out in the Harrington Park class at Sukha Arts Center. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Aerial class participants are working out at an arts center in Harrington Park.
Aerial class participants are working out at an arts center in Harrington Park. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

HARRINGTON PARK, N.J. — A Northvale entrepreneur is expanding her Harrington Park arts center to get more attendees to try all kinds of fun.

"I wanted to make a creative space so that others can experience the magic of dance, aerial and yoga,” said studio owner Christine O’Donnell, 31, a River Vale native who opened Sukha Arts Center five years ago as a dream project.

“I had nothing to lose and I took a risk," she said. "We started out in one studio and we keep expanding and growing."

“I had a very bad day and this made it better,” said Marianne Bator, a class attendee.

“This is my happy place,” said Melissa Mastrofilipo, who was also working out in one of the aerial classes.

O'Donnell is expecting 150 attendees at an Urban Styles event in January, when hip-hop dancers will show off their skills in authentic urban styles and techniques.

Judges are being flown in from around the country. Big names from the dance industry have been invited.

Meanwhile, master teachers from the center will conduct classes that weekend.

Participants from Manhattan and the surrounding area make up the bulk of the talent. O'Donnell is hoping the event takes on more local appeal.

O’Donnell has previously taught dance and is certified in yoga and aerial, as well. Pascack Valley High School and Holy Angels Academy use her facility for training. Some participants have appeared in competitions broadcast on ESPN.

"I never took business classes. I never thought I would be doing something like this," she said. "I feel really good and supported. I have the most amazing staff and teachers."

Drop-in classes are available for adults.

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