Join us at our #Cheersto10Years Gala!

We are very excited to for our first ever Gala, taking place on Saturday, April 22nd, at the Rapids Theatre. We hope you can all join us for what is going to be a beautiful and momentous occasion. With 10 years under our belts (or our dance shoes) we have so much and so many reasons to celebrate, starting with all of our dancers past and present.

We are also celebrating the leap of faith that Miss Robin and Miss Christine took back in 2007, the leap of faith that changed and enhanced the lives of so many families around the Western New York region.

We are celebrating our thriving, successful, growing, and inclusive organization.

We are celebrating the fact that with faith, perseverance, hard work, and passion, an organization such as this builds up to 10 years and paves the way for many more ahead.

We are celebrating the joy that our dancers, families, and volunteers bring to the organization and spread to each other through dance. This is just a small list of what we are celebrating, and we can’t wait to all come together to reminisce about the past years at our Gala.

The Gala will be a night full of fun, including tons of basket raffles and silent auction items to bid on, as well as amazing food stations and an open bar. The Rapids Theatre itself is a beautiful establishment, and we can’t wait for you all to see it. Also, did we mention, there is a macaroni and cheese bar?! We don’t want to give away too much though, there have to be some surprises!

We couldn’t have a danceability gala, especially a 10-year danceability gala, without dancing! Thee performances will compile some of the best pieces from over the years, featuring many of the dancers who have been with danceability for all 10 years. Danceability actually has over 30 dancers who have been with the program for the entire 10 years!

We are so thankful for the support we’ve had over the past 10 years, and really cherish and honor all our dancers, families, and volunteers who have stepped through our doors and shared the time with us. We really want to celebrate and honor all those who have been a part of our organization and we hope to see you all there!

Tickets are $75 and are still available, but will not be available at the door. We are also still looking for silent auctions if anyone is willing to donate or help with donations.
Thank you for all you do to continue making danceability a thriving organization! Please join us for what is sure to be a spectacular night!

Cheers to 10 Years! Just look at the happy faces on some of our 10-year dancers below!

Ten Reasons To Attend Our 8th Annual Peformances

One dancer getting down during the 2014 Annual Performances

One dancer getting down during the 2014 Annual Performances

Our Annual Performances are an opportunity for our dancers and volunteers to showcase what they have been working on all year and get their moment to shine and celebrate! We know that it may not be the first thing on your list of shows to see if you aren’t connected to a dancer or volunteer, but here are ten reasons why we think you’d have a great time attending our 8th Annual Performances on Saturday, May 9th. 

Ten Reasons To Join Us On Saturday, May 9th:

10. Are you a big fan of WGRZ-TV, Channel 2? If so, reporters Melissa Holmes & Claudine Ewing, will serve as our Emcee’s for the performances.

9. Our teachers and volunteers create some pretty unique props to enhance the performance. Plus, we have some great costumes lined up! Want to learn more about our costumes? Check out our BLOG from a few weeks back!

8. It’s a chance to experience something you may never have before. It’s always great to try new things, and our Annual Performances give you a great chance to see dance come to life through our dancers!

Dancers strike a pose during the 2014 Annual Performances

Dancers strike a pose during the 2014 Annual Performances!

7. Not many family outings cost less than $10.00 a person (plus, children under 10 are only $5.00). It’s a great chance to get the whole family out for a fun afternoon.

6. This dance “recital” is interactive. Clap along, cheer on the dancers and maybe we will even get you dancing in your seat, too!

5. We can promise you will walk out feeling energized, inspired & dancing all the way back to your car.

What a great shot from our 2014 Annual Performances!

What a great shot from our 2014 Annual Performances!

4. Our dancers will be moving to songs from all different genres and time periods, so there is truly something for everyone. We even have a winter themed dance if you love holiday songs.

3. Danceability is entering the big leagues this year with all new lighting from a professional company. Watch our dancers light up the stage!

2. Over 220 dancers, volunteers and teachers will take the stage and they will be beaming if the house is packed and the cheers are loud!

1. Your ticket purchase will directly support our dancers and help maintain our programming for years to come!

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We will offer two performances on Saturday, May 9th, with showtimes at 1pm & 6pm.

Tickets can be purchased by calling our studio at 716-651-0094. They are just $10. Check out more information on our Facebook page. We hope to see you there!

Student Spotlight: Sarah Bojanowski

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Sarah with her infectious smile!

It’s time for another student spotlight! This week, we are featuring dancer Sarah! Sarah has been dancing for fifteen years and in addition to dance classes at danceability, Sarah also participates in our Fitness Frenzy class and summer dance.

Sarah’s personality shines through every week when she walks in the studio. It’s hard not to have a smile on your face when you are with her, whether just passing by or dancing next to her in class.

“Sarah is so enthusiastic about dance.  She always starts class with a “Hello Miss Christine!” and a very big smile.  She works extremely hard at each step I teach.  Every week we warm up to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” and Sarah has the best “shake.”  She does everything with a smile which of course makes everyone else in the room smile.  She has such a contagious personality making Mondays at 5:15 very fun!” Mrs. Christine D. said.

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Sarah warming up in Fitness Frenzy!

Outside of dance Sarah enjoys her volunteer activities through her day hab program and absolutely loves Halloween! She loves to dress up like a witch every year.

Sarah’s parents have seen Sarah grow throughout her time at danceability and are thrilled that she has HER time to shine. Her mom said,  “Danceability gives an individual with special needs a chance to learn and have fun with others while moving to music. We all enjoy a moment to shine and whether it’s at the annual performances or just during a class, each student has that chance to be successful!

Both Sarah and her family are already counting down to the Annual Performances, which will be held on Saturday, May 9th this year. It’s a day of celebration, for Sarah, for her family and for all the dancers and volunteers at danceability.

We hope you will save the date to see Sarah, and all our dancers perform! Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.

My danceability story: Amanda Grasso

ChristineDLast Spring, I was a recent MBA grad from the University of Buffalo and was looking for a positive way that I could use some of my newly acquired skills and free time to give back to our community. Through the power of social media, I was introduced to Krystal Sondel, current Chairman of the Board at danceability, and later asked to join the Board of Directors.

It wasn’t until I observed a class at the studio this fall that I truly understood the impact and the value that this dance studio provides. I arrived for Miss Christine’s Monday night class a few minutes early, where I was raced to the door by a dancer who couldn’t wait to get through the doors. While I waited for the current class to end, I got to see first-hand the powerful relationships that are formed at danceability. The students were all frizz-0038sitting together in the waiting room, catching up on what they have missed since last week’s class. The volunteers welcomed each student at the door and their faces lit up when they saw them. Even the parents who were just arriving to wait for their son or daughter’s dance class appeared to be at ease being around others who are in the same situation.

Miss Christine began her class of 5 dancers and 5 volunteers by having everyone get into a big circle to warm up to “Shake it Off”. As soon as the music started, I saw big smiles all around as everyone was loosening up their muscles for class. Some dancers started off slow, observing others around them and cautiously trying the moves while others jumped right in and broke it down. After warm up and stretching, the class began working on their combination. While Miss Christine was explaining the moves, all of the dancers were listening and paying attention. They couldn’t wait to call in an audience, so the parents were asked to come into the room to observe. The class ran through their dance three times, and each time I saw the frizz-0091student’s smiles get bigger and their confidence levels get higher. After they finished the dance I heard one student say “Everyone did good, we rocked the house!”. They looked at each other as a team, not just focusing on their own accomplishment.

What I observed that night only provided further justification that I made an excellent choice when deciding to join the board at danceability. I was able to see first-hand the benefit of the organization provides to our community.

The smiles that I saw on the faces that night were priceless, and I am happy to be a part of it!

– Amanda Grasso, danceability Board of Directors

Inclusion is not for everyone

recitalMy oldest daughter Lindsay (pictured left) is a sweet, 25-year-old young lady who is developmentally disabled. I’ve always pushed for her to be in inclusion programs believing that she would have the best opportunities if she were surrounded by typical kids. This was my mantra all through her educational career and it seemed to work out well in a school setting. She learned appropriate behavior etc. from her classmates.

When my other daughters were taking dance classes, I initially thought I should enroll Lindsay in a typical dance class too. This, however, turned out to be the wrong decision on my part. The kids were very kind to her during class, but this didn’t translate into friendships outside of the studio. I began to wonder if my staunch position on inclusion was really the right way to go.

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Lindsay and fellow danceability dancer, Jamie

Later, an acquaintance of Lindsay’s invited her to participate in dance class at danceability. After looking into it I signed Lindsay up. This was one of the best decisions I have made as a mom, for my daughter’s emotional and social well-being. Through danceability she has made countless friends. The girl who invited Lindsay to participate has become her best friend. She has blossomed into a social butterfly with confidence to boot! She so looks forward to Monday nights, going to class and seeing her friends. These special needs peers have become real friends not just dance classmates.

I learned a valuable lesson through this. The inclusion model is not always the right answer. During her experience with a typical dance school she never felt included even though it was “an inclusive setting” in theory. She is so happy now to be with friends, teachers and dance partners who not only accept her, but truly embrace and celebrate her!

Thank you danceability!

– Terry Regan
danceability parent & Board member

Do you have a danceability success story you want to share?
Contact Krystal at ksondel@hotmail.com.
We would love to highlight your story!

Everything I Know I Learned From My Differently-Abled Child

You can never have too many hugs.

If you smile, wave and say hi, most people reciprocate. And if they don’t, just keep trying.

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Thursday night’s “rockstars” before getting on stage for an Annual Performance!

Regular pajama days are a necessity.

Everyone is good at something.

The only way to sing is at the top of your lungs.

If you expect wondrous things to happen, they usually do.

It’s hard to be grumpy about the rain if you’re dancing in it.

A jaunty hat can improve every outfit.

There is absolutely every reason to have meatballs for breakfast.

Commemorate every holiday and don’t forget to decorate (a lot)!

Take a little bit of time to sit quietly every day. It’s good for body, mind and soul.   Having a bunny in the yard to watch is even better.

Sharing is a way of life.

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Paul is all smiles!

Document your world and what makes you happy.

A little obsession isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Go at your own pace. Don’t let others rush you.

Snuggling is the best way to start and end your day.

Celebrate the little accomplishments just as much as the big ones.

Having a job to do is important.

There are lots of ways to achieve a goal. Don’t get too hung up on the method.

Everybody needs help sometimes.

– Beth Gianturco
Mom to danceability dancer, Paul

 

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Beth and son, Paul

Beth Gianturco has been a danceability parent since the 2010-11 season. Her son, Paul, dances on Thursday nights with some awesome young men he is happy to call friends.  “The best part of being a danceability parent is the opportunity to bond with other parents in the waiting room and cheer on all the dancers at the annual performance.”

In 2012, Beth took on a new role at danceabilityworking in the office behind the scenes to make day-to-day operations run smoothly.  You’ve probably talked to her on the phone or gotten an email or two from her.  “The best part of working at danceability is the opportunity to help such a wonderful organization be the best it can be and getting to know all the families and dancers.”

 

Stay tuned for more features from Beth and other danceability parents!