As danceability continues to grow and gain visibility in the community, we have been thrilled as an organization to get some recognition in the community. This past year, we were fortunate to receive a 2015 Spark Award for Rising Star non-profit in the community. Just a few weeks ago, Miss Robin & Miss Christine were honored with a “Making the Difference” Award given out by WNED/WBFO. The award is given to individuals in the community who continually go above and beyond. We couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than Miss Robin & Miss Christine! What started as a very small dance studio for children & adults with special needs has turned into a continually growing and evolving organization that has helped hundreds of individuals with special needs (not to mention their families and our volunteers!).
We asked Miss Robin & Miss Christine what the award meant to them and to talk us through some of the most rewarding and challenging things that have been a part of the danceability journey so far.
Here’s what they had to say!
1.) What does it mean to you to make a difference in the community?
Robin: “I think anything you can do to improve the lives of those around you makes a difference. They don’t have to be big and bold. I am very introverted, but I find things that work for me.”
Christine: “It means sharing your time and/or talents in your community to make even just one person’s day better. It can mean using your time and/or talents, motivation and/or drive to commit to bettering a neighborhood, a cause or a situation.”
2.) How did you feel when you found out you were selected as a recipient of the “Making A Difference” Award?
Robin: “I felt like it must have been a mistake! There are way more deserving people out there, haha!”
Christine: “Honestly, I was very honored by thought there are so many deserving people in our community, how did they decide on me?”
3.) What are your hopes for the next nine years of danceability?
Robin: “I hope we continue to serve our dancers at the highest level. I hope to keep hiring highly skilled instructors and I hope we get a few more staff members working in the office!”
Christine: “I hope danceability continues to flourish. I hope more dancers learn the joys of dance, more volunteers change their lives through their commitment to the organization, more dance instructors learn of the happiness to teach dance to those with special needs. In a few words more people’s lives are touched by the power of dance and a wonderful organization!”
4.) What are you most proud of since starting danceability?
Robin: “I am most happy with the progress I see in my students. So many have been with us since the beginning and I can’t imagine what it would be like without them.”
Christine: “I am most proud of all the lives touched by what we do. When we first started our mission was for our dancers and their families but now I see our impact on our volunteers, our instructors and our audiences. It is so amazing to witness!
5.) What has been your biggest challenge since starting danceability?
Robin: “Our biggest challenges have been handling the business side of things we were unfamiliar with; budgets, finances, and databases. We are a social worker and a teacher; not MBAs!”
Christine: “I would say the biggest challenge was learning the non-profit business side of starting the organization. Luckily we had so many wonderful people in our corner to lean on and teach us how to succeed!”
Didn’t catch the “Making a Difference” video special that aired on WNED? Check it out, HERE. They were also featured in a radio interview on WBFO. Listen HERE. If you see Miss Robin or Miss Christine make sure to congratulate them on the award. We will continue to work hard to bring the best services and programming to the special needs community in the coming years. Thank you to the Western New York community and the continued support of our dancers, families, volunteers and instructors for bringing so much life to danceability! It has truly been a team effort and we look forward to seeing what is next!