Robin Bishop, LMSW
Robin has enjoyed the art of dance for her entire life, including dance education, choreography – both collegiate and professional, as well as numerous appearances in local musical theater. Most enjoyable for her has been the past 18 years sharing her love of dance and movement while teaching individuals with special needs the art of dance.
Along with her diverse dance background, she had earned her Bachelor’s in Dance and a Bachelor’s in Mental Health. Robin is also a Licensed Master in Social Work from the University at Buffalo. Furthermore, she has completed her training in Dance Movement Therapy from Kinections and as of August 2018 is a certified Rhythm Works instructor.
Robin is a huge Disney World fan, Shutterfly scrap booker and loves watching her kiddos grow in their interests. Robin has worked all over WNY at many area charities, including Catholic Charities,
Renaissance Campus, Hospice and Women & Children’s Hospital. She is also blessed to be a wife to Collin, as well as a mother to her daughters, Hazel & Abigail and her son, Jacob.
Robin looks forward to creating a unique dance experience for each and every individual and their family at danceability. This year has been one of growth & learning for Robin and she hopes to put her social work education to even greater use through increased volunteering and more social justice initiatives in the near future.
Christine Dwyer, MSEd
Christine has truly enjoyed teaching and working with individuals with disabilities for the past 20 years. It was these amazing experiences that led her to co-found danceability, because she believed that all individuals should enjoy the art of dance and its many benefits. She carries two bachelor’s degrees: a Bachelor’s in Special Education and a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Canisius College.
Christine also has a Master’s in Reading Education from Canisius. She has a dance background that includes 20 years of competitive dance, and 17 years of teaching dance to individuals with special needs. Having been a track and field athlete in both high school and college, she volunteered as a track and field coach for Special Olympics. And while she did not take the invitation to compete, Christine was invited to participate in the American Ninja Warrior Competition. Her experience with Special Olympics, her own fitness endeavors and her love of athletics and fitness lead her to create the Fitness Frenzy program.
Christine has 20 years of teaching experience as a Special Education teacher in both the elementary and high school setting. She currently co-teaches 9th and 11th grade English at Kenmore West High School.
When not at danceability, Christine loves spending time with her family, 5 year old Jack, 4 year old Roman and husband, Sean. She looks forward to dancing with her students; teaching the joys of tap, jazz, ballet and fitness.
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Danielle Giroux, BSEd, MSEd (In Progress)
Danielle began dancing at the age of 3 at Lancaster Dance Center, taking part in numerous styles such as tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern, and pointe.
Danielle was introduced to danceability in 2013 as a volunteer and is overjoyed to be an instructor. In May of 2019, Danielle graduated from Daemen College with her Bachelor’s of Science degree in childhood and special education (grades 1-6). Currently, she is finishing up her Master’s degree to become a Literacy Specialist while also balancing a full-time, Special Education teaching position in a local school district.
Danielle’s love for both dance and teaching makes danceability a perfect fit! She looks forward to continuing her love for dance and furthering her passion for teaching at danceability.
Michelle Phillips-Morella, MSEd
Michelle’s experience with danceability started the summer of 2009 when she decided to volunteer. She loved volunteering so much that she became a teacher in 2015. Michelle became a certified Rhythm Works instructor in August 2018. She has had a love for dance ever since she was a young girl.
Michelle began taking dance classes when she was 5 and practiced ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, and hip hop. She took classes for 20 years! Michelle is a special education teacher in a 2nd and 3rd grade 12:1:4 self-contained classroom at Hoover Elementary in Ken-Ton.
Michelle is also the secretary for the Board of Directors for the Tourette Association of America: Greater New York State. As a member of the board she organizes events for individuals with Tourette’s and organizes/facilitates a Tourette’s support group for children and teens.
Coming to dance class each week puts a huge smile on Michelle’s face, and she can’t wait for another exciting year working with her dancers at danceability!
Elissa Webster, LMSW
Elissa’s journey with danceability began in 2012 as an intern through The University at Buffalo’s Master of Social Work program. After the close of her internship, she decided that her work here was not done! She returned as a volunteer for a year and continued on sharing her passion for dance and working with children and adults with disabilities as a teacher.
Elissa began dancing at the age of three and participated in numerous styles including: tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, hip hop, acro and modern at South Buffalo Dance Academy.
In college she was part of the Brockport Emeralds Dance Team as well as their competition team. As a Licensed MSW, she currently works for Community Services for Every1 as a Behavior Intervention Specialist. She also has experience with individuals with disabilities from working as a counselor at Cradle Beach Camp.
Miss Elissa is so happy she “took the leap” and became a teacher! Every year brings pride and excitement!
Christine Whalen, DPT
Christine began her dance training at the age of five and continued all through her college years.
While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from St. John Fisher College, Christine became the co-director of a children’s summer dance camp program. She went on to receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Marymount University in Arlington, VA.
At the time, she volunteered with the Maryland Youth Ballet’s Music in Motion program for children with disabilities. She discovered that by combining her love of dance with her background in physical therapy, she can help all children learn to dance.
When Christine moved back to Western New York, she found danceability and was invited by Robin to watch the end of year performances. Christine instantly knew this was the studio she needed to teach for, and she has enjoyed being a part of the danceability family since 2014.
She currently works full-time as a physical therapist at Kenmore Mercy Hospital, and lives with her husband and son in South Buffalo.
Kylie began dancing at the age of 5, studying ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, baton, contemporary and pointe. She was also a part of the competition dance team for 9 years, helped teach “kinder dance”, and used her dance abilities in the school musicals.
At the University at Buffalo, Kylie took several dance classes and took a few technical theater classes, where she fell in love with the behind the scenes action. Kylie loved working on the lighting and sound design for the UB theater and dance productions, and various events at the school and Center for the Arts. Kylie was also involved with the international dance community at UB, performing and choreographing with the Latin American and Bangladesh student associations. Kylie completed a math major while at UB as well, and is currently working as an actuary for Independent Health.
Kylie started out as a volunteer at Danceability in its craziest year ever (2020), and fell in love with the joy and acceptance at Danceability, despite the unique challenges the studio had to overcome.
Andi started dancing in a Long Island dance studio at the age of 2. During grade school, they danced, performed, and competed in many styles of dance (their favorite styles being tap and lyrical). They attended college at the University of Buffalo, where they took and taught classes in the dance club. After college, Andi continued to take adult dance classes of varying styles.
In 2013, Andi started learning about hula hooping and how it can be another method of expressive dance and movement. This led to exploration into different styles of prop manipulation (juggling, staff, poi, etc.) and how different props can merge with dance. They look forward to bringing some of their knowledge and experience with different props to danceability, Inc.
Andi has volunteered with danceability for 3 years. They are excited to take the leap into a teaching role within this organization they feel so passionate about.
Kaleigh Davidson, BS Biological Science
Kaleigh began dancing at the age of 4 at the Royal Academy of Ballet. She performed with the Greater Buffalo Youth Ballet for 10 years and Configuration Dance, where she also began teaching dance.
As a sophomore in Christine Dwyer’s class she learned about danceability and has been hooked ever since. Kaleigh is thrilled to be teaching this year and loves sharing her passion for dance with her dancers.
Kaleigh recently graduated from the University at Buffalo in May and plans to pursue a degree in Genetic Counseling. Her time at danceability has shaped her life and future goals in ways she never could have imagined and she hopes she has made a difference in the lives of her dancers and their families.
I started dancing when I was 5 years old at Tonawanda Dance Arts. I am trained in all styles from tap, jazz, hip hop, ballet, and many others. I started dancing competitively at age 12.
I have attended many dance workshops at the University of Buffalo where I took classes from contestants and choreographers from So You Think You Can Dance. I have attended dance conferences such as New York City Dance Alliance (NYCDA) and the American College Dance Association (ACDA).
Once I graduated high school in 2013, I went to college at NCCC where I dance for Tanzen Dance Company for 2 years. I also danced for UB’s Infinity Dance Company in 2012 and Mone Dance Company in 2015. I became a volunteer at Danceability in 2021 and fell in love with it! I graduated from Daemen University in 2022 with a Master’s in Social Work.
Throughout my professional career I have worked with many different individuals and populations. I currently work for Assigned Counsel Program where I work with the defense to provide services that can be used as an alternative for serving jail time.
Bio Coming Soon
Bianca’s dance journey began at the age of six when she attended a dance studio in Phoenix, Arizona. There she received training for about five years in various dance styles such as tap, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop. She performed on the dance line team in middle school and high school, acted as vice president of the dance department in high school, and choreographed for her high school’s dance shows and musicals.
She continued to be heavily involved in dance throughout college, where she received her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education at Arizona State University, and during her eight years as a kindergarten teacher. Having always wanted to pursue a career in dance, Bianca decided to return to school to get her dance degree.
Her dance education inspired her to create a dance piece that ended up being chosen for adjudication at the American College Dance Association Northwest Conference at the University of Utah. After acquiring her dance degree, she relocated to Buffalo, along with her husband and two puppers, seeking a job opportunity to start her dance career.
It was at the Elmwood Arts Festival where she learned of all the wonderful opportunities Danceability has to offer and applied for a position.
Beth’s son Paul began dancing here in 2010, when he was 8 years old. When danceability needed part-time office help in 2012, she knew the job would be a good fit for her background, skills and heart.
While the position has grown since then, one thing has stayed the same: Beth’s commitment to helping danceability grow and prosper, as well as advocating for those in the danceability family and the special needs community as a whole. When
Beth Hess joined the staff in 2016, to avoid confusion they started calling themselves “Day Beth” and “Night Beth” – as opposed to Old Beth and New Beth! Maybe next they’ll form a girl band! Beth took tap, jazz & ballet as a child and was thrilled to take tap again with Miss Christine & Miss Michelle when they ran a parent class.
Beth has a BA in English Literature from St. Elizabeth’s College, a Master’s in Elementary Education from Niagara University and has worked as an Administrative Professional in the Bell System, as an Intake Specialist at an adoption non-profit, as a paraprofessional in pre-k, middle school and high school classrooms, and as a Lead Teacher in a Pre-K classroom.
A native of New Jersey and having also lived in the UK and Alaska, Beth loves Western New York and thinks Buffalo truly is the City of Good Neighbors. Beth loves getting together with her huge group of siblings, which doesn’t happen nearly enough.
When not at danceability, she can almost always be found with a book or some needlework. She lives in Williamsville with husband Dave and twin sons Mark & Paul and feels very blessed.
Beth joined the danceability family in 2016. Growing up, a neighbor, Miss Jackie, ran a dance studio in her basement where she learned tap, ballet and jazz and vividly remembers the step-ball-chain move.
During the day, Beth works for Kaleida Health in the Corporate Real Estate Department, a position she has held since 1999. She is responsible for administration and management of real estate contracts, lease negotiations, external construction projects, property management, staff relocations, and site selections, acquisitions and disposition transactions. She oversees 1.2 million square feet of space and a budget of more than $30,000,000. Beth is committed to community volunteering, a characteristic she attributes to her mom.
Besides the danceability Golf Tournament committee, Beth sits on the Larkin Building Strategic Communications Team, the Larkin Business Labor-Management Steering Committee, Larkin Employee Picnic Committee and Habitat-For-Humanity.
She is a member of the Fundraising Committee and co-chairs the annual Super Bowl Sunday Basket Raffle at Sacred Heart Diocesan Shrine in Bowmansville. She is also a member of the Fifty Fabulous Women Giving Circle, the Urban Land Institute of WNY, volunteered making meals for Kevin Guest House families, and organized a food drive in her neighborhood for the Clarence Community Food Pantry.
Beth and her husband David are parents to two sons, Austin and Colin and Luigi, their cockapoo. A Hockey Mom to her boys, Beth loves her Buffalo sports teams; she is a Sabres season ticket holder and an avid Bills fan too. She also loves being on the water.
A graduate from Lancaster High School, Beth has a Business Administration degree from Medaille College and a Paralegal Studies degree from Villa Maria College.
Beth has the best job at danceability. Every week she sees and interacts with our loving and talented teachers, dedicated volunteers, parents, group home staff, and each dancer.
Danceability holds a special part of her heart and she is proud to be part of the danceability family.