What is danceability?

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Volunteer Jamie with her dance partner

To put it simply, danceability is a non-profit dance studio for children and adults with special needs in Western New York. However, if you were to ask the dancers, families, instructors and volunteers, danceability is so much more!

We decided it was time to create this blog, The danceability Difference, to showcase the stories we all talk about inside our studio, and share them with the community.

When Robin Bishop and Christine Dwyer had the dream to open danceability back in 2007, they focused on making it a studio with a family centered approach. Today, you can’t talk about danceability without using the word family. From the actual families who fill our waiting room each week, to volunteers who may not have met otherwise and students who can’t leave class without giving each other a hug, danceability has truly embraced the word family.

We define danceability as: “noun – to empower through movement”. Our hope is that through dance and creative movement, our dancers will be empowered, inspired and motivated beyond the walls of our studio. Whether building self-confidence, learning a new skill, or finding respite during the week, our instructors and volunteers work hard to ensure our dancers succeed.  What we have found, is that not only are our dancers being inspired, but our volunteers and families as well. Their passion, energy and dedication to danceability is truly what makes our studio a special place.

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Volunteer Melanie with Audrey during the 2014 Performances

From September – May, dancers attend weekly, 45 minute classes where they work on building new skills. From tap, jazz & ballet to creative movement, the teachers spend the first few months of class trying out different dance styles, and then focus on what dancers enjoy the most. Each dancer is paired up with a volunteer who is by their side, helping and encouraging every week.

In May, all dancers have the opportunity to perform in one of our two shows, but it is not a requirement of the program, or a main focus for most of the year. Many come back in the summer for our six week dance program, or have added in our Fitness Frenzy classes to their weekly routine.

Now entering our eighth year, we are excited to welcome back many returning dancers and look forward to learning about all our new dancers.  We have been fortunate to continue to grow, expanding in 2012 to a larger space with two studios and more office/waiting room space. When our dancers and volunteers come back the week of September 15th, they will be able to check out our NEW waiting room! We look forward to continuing to grow and reaching more families in WNY.

Danceability is a way for our dancers, who may have a more difficult time communicating in other ways, to communicate through dance. Dance is one of the oldest forms of non verbal communication, and offers a way to express yourself that other forms of communication do not. We feel fortunate to be a part of fostering that communication.

Join us on Wednesdays on our blog (sign up to follow on the right side of this page), as we share stories about our dancers and volunteers, offer information for our families, recognize community donors, talk about upcoming events and so much more!

We reached out to our community and asked them to describe danceability in one word. This is what they came up with. Do you have another word that embodies what danceability is all about? Share it with us in the comments below!

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– Krystal Sondel
Board of Directors Chairperson

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