Danceability Newsletter August 2020

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Celebrating our 14th Year Serving Western New York

August 2020 Danceability is an individualized dance, fitness and movement program serving the special needs community. Our studio is led by qualified staff and dedicated volunteers who create a nurturing environment that empowers our students to flourish and grow while promoting a healthy lifestyle…and we have a little fun along the way.

It has certainly been a long five months since we closed our doors in mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Behind the scenes, it has been busier than ever as we adapt to new regulations and safety protocols. We are thankful for the support of our dancers, families, volunteers and teachers during this difficult time. Last month, we developed a Safety Committee to assist us with our Fall reopening plan. Our detailed reopening plan can be found on our website. We are excited to launch registration for our 2020-2021 Dance Season! It will look a little different this year, but you can count on us to continue to provide the best, interactive programming we can!

Dancers will have two options this year: 

Small in-person classes, or

Interactive virtual classes

Registration this year will take place ONLINE at beginning on Tuesday, August 18th. New dancers will be invited to participate in virtual calls to discuss placement and returning dancers will be called with their day/time once registered.

We know much uncertainty lies ahead in the coming months. Protocols may change as new situations arise, but we will continue to communicate in various ways to our families, dancers, volunteers and supporters. We can’t wait to see everyone back this September!

It’s time to get back to dancing!! © Danceability, 2020

Facebook LIVE Classes

Summer Dance & Fitness Program

Danceability had to close its doors to in-person

While it certainly wasn’t our typical summer 2018 offerings, our teachers hadSummer a blast creating a program that had a little bit of everything. From funky jazz, to party dances, silly dances, and of course some show tunes, dancers could either purchase the entire 6-week program (24 classes) or join for just the classes they wanted. In addition, Miss Christine and new teacher, Miss Jackie, offered Fitness Frenzy, giving participants a great mix of cardio and strength exercises to get the heart pumping! Thanks to our volunteers who joined the fun and our dancers who kept us smiling!

classes on March 16th due to COVID-19. Our teachers didn’t miss a beat and immediately began offering Facebook LIVE classes four days a week from March 16 - April 30. Dancers had the chance to not only take one class a week, but participate in four. Over the course of 28 classes, current dancers, volunteers and those new to us spent a total of 33,000 minutes watching! Thanks to all who joined us.

Dancers Mary (left) and Nicole (right) participating in our Facebook LIVE classes

Get involved for the 2020-2021 season! Danceability is seeking volunteers for the following positions: 

Classroom Volunteer

(in person AND virtual volunteers) 

Health Screener

Graphic Design Support

Social Media Support


Video Editing

IT Support

Pro-Bono Snow Plower

For more info, please express interest via email to Katie Wawrzaszek, Community Engagement Specialist, at with the position title in the subject line.

© Danceability, 2020

Danceability received COVID-19 Relief

Grants from the following Foundations: 

Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, Inc. WNY Arts Emergency Relief Fund

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.Youth Sports COVID-19 Fund

The Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation COVID-19 Response

The Children’s Foundation of Erie County

Last month, when faced with the realities of COVID-19 and the financial impact of a safe reopening plan, we launched a COVID-19 relief appeal to the community. Thanks to generous donors, we have raised an additional $7,705! We are determined to continue to provide a high quality, safe program for our dancers. We ask that you please share in our efforts and help close the gap on our remaining financial needs. DONATE HERE:

Special Thanks To The Following Donors: $1000 - $500

Anonymous Judith Ferrentino

$500 - $250

These funds have been instrumental in assisting with operating expenses during closure, as well as providing monies for the technology upgrades and other expenses necessary to implement our Virtual Summer Dance & Fitness Program. These funds are also being used for many of the unanticipated expenses associated with re-opening for classes in the Fall. We are extremely grateful and indebted to these Foundations for recognizing danceability’s commitment to the WNY community and for their financial assistance in helping us navigate this new normal.

© Danceability, 2020

Stephanie & Tom Juliano Riverside Federal Credit Union Lynn & Wade Sigurdson Small World Taxes LLC

$250 - $100

Vito & Linda Casoni John & Nancy Colvin Monica & David DiCamillo Ann Emo Irene Galpin Alan & Patricia Killion Richard & Nancy Koch Phyllis & Timothy Konicki Harry & Marilyn Kozlowski Gary & Margaret Lobene Kathleen & Paul Marzec Aaron McManus Paul & Paula Moloney Murray Roofing Company

July was the start of danceability’s fiscal year and brought some changes to our Board of Directors. We said goodbye to two of our Board Members: Rob Stewart and Jaclyn Ketcham. Rob was a great asset to our events, especially our Golf Tournament. He and his wife also made quite the splash at our first Halloween Party! Jackie was on the Board just one year, contributing as a member of the Marketing Committee. But we are losing her for an exciting reason. Jackie - now Miss Jackie - is joining the teaching faculty of danceability! We thank them both for their service. The Board of Directors elected three new members to the Board: Joe Milazzo is the Director of Employment and Training for the Community Action Organization of WNY. He also serves on the Community Veterans Engagement Board. Joe was inspired to join us because of his past participation at our Annual Golf Tournament.

2019-2020 Board of Directors

Matt Stewart is a Social Worker by education and training and really enjoys working with data. He is the Manager of Jewish Community Care at Jewish Family Services. Tania Simmons is the Mom of one of our dancers and has lent her time, talent and energies to danceability throughout the years. Tania’s experience is in insurance and finance. Our Board has also redefined its committee structure and is taking applications for those interested in participating in one of the following committees: Marketing, Development or Outreach. Interested? Contact Mary Beth Debus, Board Chair at We will need a resume as part of the process.

Local company 26 Shirts selected danceability as the recipient of funds raised from their “Irish Buffalo” t-shirt. In total over $1,800 was donated through this fundraiser. We are grateful for their support and the support of our community who purchased the shirts. Dancers Eliza and Paul (with his brother, Mark) show off their shirts!

© Danceability, 2020

Miss Jackie Ketcham is our newest teacher. As a Buffalo Bandette, Miss Jackie was introduced to danceability back in 2016 when the team performed with our dancers during a game. That fall she joined as a classroom volunteer and then joined the Board this past year. Originally from Pittsburgh, where she grew up dancing, Jackie is now a Physician Assistant at Roswell Park. She’s so excited to share her love for dance and fitness with our students and loved co-teaching summer fitness classes! Miss Katie Wawrzaszek is our Community Engagement Specialist. She has a B.A. in Dance & English from SUNY University at Buffalo, and a M.A. in Arts Administration from Florida State University. Katie has professional experience in External Affairs at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and is an experienced dance teacher. In 2019, she was recognized by the Florida Higher Education Arts Network for advocacy in the arts. She joined the family just TWO weeks before the onset of COVID-19. In her spare time she enjoys hanging with her pup, Charlie, cooking (and eating!), reading, painting, and you guessed it, DANCING!

Miss Katie

Miss Jackie

Danceability has developed a volunteer network

Featuring adjustable ear loops, bendable nose piece and pocket in the bottom for extra filter to be added, get a danceability branded mask for just $10 (and yes, they are purple!) Adult size available. If interested in child size, please contact us at

to provide networking and development opportunities to current volunteers and highlight successes of both alumni and current volunteers. If you are a current or past volunteer keep an eye on your email for an invitation to join the private group and follow along for updates and opportunities!

Check out our Facebook page for the link to order your mask today!

Š Danceability, 2020

Sept 16,

First Week Of Classes


Halloween Party

Oct 25, 2019

Dec 3,

Giving Tuesday & Our Annual Appeal Raise $13,371!

Studio closes & moves to Facebook LIVE classes

March 16, 2020


We re-launched our blog, April 1,

“The danceability Difference”


© Danceability, 2020

Broadway’s Jenny LaRoche taught a Master Class raising $800!

April 17, 2020

May 9,

Social (Dis)Dancing Parade


On Saturday, May 9th, the date that would have been our 13th Annual Performances, we held a social (dis)dancing parade for our dancers and families. We had close to 100 cars participate!

Quarantine Concert With The Wilde Family After our Social (Dis)Dancing Parade, the fun continued with a quarantine concert streamed on Facebook LIVE. The Wilde Family performed and took donations to support the studio. During the hour performance they helped us raise over $1,800!!! We love our danceability families!

May 9, 2020

With the need for more cleaning products, hand sanitizer, wipes, etc...we launched an Amazon Wish List as a new way for our community to support us. Items listed can be purchased on Amazon (or wherever you can find them) to help us supply our teachers, dancers and volunteers with everything they need to stay safe! Search for our wishlist on Amazon, and don’t forget to check out Amazon Smile (where a portion of your Amazon purchases get

donated back to us!)

Š Danceability, 2020


VIRTUAL VOLUNTEER INTERVIEWS Summer 2018 August 25 & 26, 2020

FIRST WEEK OF CLASSES September 14 - 18, 2020

(both in person & virtual classes)


Thanks for helping us hit over 3,000 Facebook likes this summer!

Depew, NY 14043 2365 George Urban Boulevard

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