MILLBURN, NJ - Over her many years in the township, Natalie Iosebidze taught generations of students, many of whom wound up performing at major venues in the area, such as Carnegie Hall.
After she died in 2016 of cervical cancer, her daughter Tamara Delon, and her grandchildren Teona Koroshi, Natia Gagua and Nick Gagua looked for a way to honor her memory.
That vision manifested itself as Natalie's School of Performing Arts, which opened its doors yesterday afternoon with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting. The goal of the studio is to foster a passion for the arts, just like Iosebidze would have.
For Koroshi, the excitiement over opening the school was something she could not contain.
"We're so excited,"Koroshi said. "We all grew up here, me and my siblings. Our dream actually was to do something here in Millburn, and we finally got the chance to do it, and we're super excited that all of us get to participate."
Millburn of course has a rich performing background, with notable dramatic alumni including Anne Hathaway. The siblings noted that their end goal was to become more ingrained in the performing community in town.
"I participated in the Paper Mill Playhouse myself when I was younger," Natia said. "And we would love to one day collaborate with them and do something together with their students and our students. This town alone is so talented."
Nick also added that he felt Natalie, the namesake for the school, would be proud of what the group of siblings had accomplished.
Natalie's School of Performing Arts is located at 303 Millburn Avenue, on the second floor.