Introducing Our 2014 Instructors

With classes starting next Monday, September 15th, we wanted to introduce you to our 2014-2015 Dance Instructors. We are thrilled six instructors are returning and are excited to welcome one newbie to the danceability family. We are sad to announce that Miss Michelle stepped down from her position at danceability and took a wonderful teaching job in London, England. We will miss her!

So, without further ado, meet Miss Robin, Miss Christine D., Miss Amanda, Miss Colleen, Miss Elissa, Miss Lisa and Miss Christine A.

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Miss Christine D. and Miss Robin at our Setting The Stage Fundraiser in 2014.

Miss Robin – is the only full-time employee at danceability and one of the Co-Executive Directors. You can usually hear Broadway tunes being played during her classes, and she says that her favorite part of class is stretching! Before becoming full-time at danceability, Miss Robin worked as a hospice social worker and artist in residence. Her life motto? “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” She is looking forward to seeing new and “old” faces when classes start next week!

Miss Christine D. – is a Special Education English teacher at Kenmore West and the other Co-Executive Director of danceability. Miss Christine danced competitively from ages five through twenty and says her favorite style of dance is tap! In addition to dance, Miss Christine is a fitness buff and created our Fitness Frenzy program, entering its second year at danceability. “My favorite part of class is teaching a step or combination that causes a positive reaction from my dancers.  Whether it is a laugh, smile, dance attitude or simply brings them out of their shell.  I also enjoy seeing the reactions of our volunteers interacting with their dancers as well as with each other!”

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Miss Amanda performing in the Teacher Dance from our 2012 Performances.

Miss Amanda – started dancing at age six, and still takes classes today! In addition to teaching at danceability (and raising two kids), Miss Amanda contracts with People Inc. in writing and managing grants. She encourages everyone to “be present and intentional whether in dance class or in life; it makes all the difference.” She is looking forward to those moments in class where everything clicks! “I love seeing that light bulb moment in my student’s eyes, and having the personal excitement of knowing what steps to put together and where to take routines.”

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Miss Colleen (middle) performing with her dancers.

Miss Colleen – grew up in a family full of athletes where playing a sport was the priority and dance was never an option. As a result, she was a tomboy! Miss Colleen has worked in Occupational Therapy with the disabled community for over 26 years and currently works full-time for ECMC’s Behavioral Health Occupational Therapy Department. “Almost all of my students at danceability are nonverbal or very limited in their verbal communication, so when there is an obvious connection between students and/or between a student and volunteer, my heart sings, and it is indeed an AHA moment! Once again, Thursday evenings will be my favorite day of the week!”

Miss Elissa is all smiles on stage!

Miss Elissa is all smiles on stage!

Miss Elissa – began her dance journey at age three with a little pair of tap shoes! She has expanded her dance background since then taking up jazz, ballet, pointe, acro, hip hop and modern dance! Miss Elissa was a volunteer and intern with danceability three years ago, and then was brought on the teaching staff the following year. She is also a Medicaid Service Coordinator. She says that life is better when you dance, citing her favorite quote “There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them!” Miss Elissa is looking forward to getting back to creating combinations to 90’s dance music (her favorite) and ending every class with a high five that gets passed around to all the dancers and volunteers. Make sure you congratulate Miss Elissa on her recent engagement!

Miss Lisa helping out at one of our danceability fundraisers.

Miss Lisa helping out at one of our danceability fundraisers.

Miss Lisa – has been dancing since age five and has taken classes in many dance styles including tap, jazz, ballet, African dance, modern and more. She is currently a physical therapist at Buffalo General Medical Campus where she works with patients immediately after spine surgeries or joint replacements. She also teaches Anatomy and Physiology part-time at Erie Community College. If you have ever been in the waiting room during one of Miss Lisa’s classes, you are likely to hear country music playing! She loves her freestyle portion of classes, which she feels gives her dancers the opportunity to express themselves and be exactly who they are without worrying about steps. She is a brand new mom, welcoming a baby girl over the summer.

Miss Christine A.

Miss Christine A.

Miss Christine A. – is the newest addition to the danceability teaching staff. A dancer since age five, Miss Christine A. also joined her college dance team at St. John Fisher and has taught dance at other studios. She is a physical therapist by day, working with adults in a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility.  “I’m looking forward to seeing the joy on our dancers faces when they master a new step. I love seeing my students enjoy dance as much as I do.” You can be sure to hear Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” playing in her classes; they are her favorite songs to dance to!

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