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Melanie Boniszewski

Founder & Director 

Melanie Boniszewski is the Owner and Director of Tonawanda Dance Arts.  She began dancing at the age of three and has over 35 40  years of experience teaching dance to children.  Melanie completed her teaching certification and holds a degree from Dance Masters of America (DMA) and is also a member of More Than Just Great Dancing™ (MTJGD) organization.  Melanie has been recognized by MTJGD for her contributions to the dance community by receiving their Positive Action Award and is also a Certified Coach with the organization.  Melanie is also a member of Dance Masters of America of Western New York.  In her spare time, Melanie enjoys reading, baking and spending time with her family!

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Kelsey Griffin

Associate Director 

Kelsey Griffin started taking class at the age of three, and has also studied with Classical Ballet of Western New York. Kelsey received her teaching certification from Dance Masters of America’s Teachers Training School and has also attended the Dance Master’s of America Student Honors Intensive Program.  Kelsey is currently a  member of the DMA Western New York chapter, and has also received her Masters in Business Administration from Canisius College.  Kelsey is also a Certified Coach for the More Than Just Great Dancing™ (MTJGD) organization.  In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys boating and playing with her french bulldog, Sir Winston! 

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Whitney Desiderio

Costume Manager & Instructor

Whitney Zimmermann began dancing at the age of two.  Whitney graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelors of Arts in Dance.  During her time at UB, she has participated as a member of Dancers Workshop and Zodiaque Dance Company.  Whitney has received her teaching certification from Dance Masters of America’s Teachers Training School, where she was the recipient of the "Dotty McGill Scholarship" for exemplifying hard work and tenacity and having a love for teaching.  Whitney is excited and to share her love of dance with her students!

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Dana Mahoney

Marketing/Communications Manager & Instructor

Dana Mahoney graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Communication and was awarded the Dean’s Outstanding Senior Award.  Dana has performed in and choreographed pieces for several dance concerts and attended the American College Dance Festival, and danced at an international dance festival with Evolution Dance Company in Poland!  Dana also is the co-owner of Pure Barre Buffalo and is a certified barre instructor. She is excited to share her love of dance with her students!

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Samantha Lapham

Client Experience Coordinator & Instructor

Samantha Lapham has been dancing for many years, and has danced competitively for a number of years. During her time as a student, she trained in a variety on genres and attended different workshops and conventions to further advance her training.  Sam has received her teaching certification from Dance Masters of America’s Teachers Training School.  Along with teaching dance, Miss Sam also works for Wegmans Food Markets!    

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Miranda Spada

L.E.A.D. Program Director, Intensive Team Coordinator & Instructor

Miranda Spada graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance.  While there, she was a member of Zodiaque Dance Company and was Director of Dancers Workshop.  Miranda has taught for Dance Educators of America’s National Finals, Dance Masters of Americas Student Honors Intensive Program, and Dance Masters of America’s Teachers Training School.  Miranda is also currently a judge for Platinum National Dance Competition and is certified in Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT).  Miranda is excited to be able to share her passion and love for the art form with students who are eager to learn and grow.

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Tammy Sheehan

Studio Operations Coordinator & Instructor

Tammy Sheehan has been dancing since the age of six and continued to dance and compete at a national level for 20 years, training extensively in acrobatics. She is a graduate of Buffalo Academy Visual and Performing Arts where she received her dance degree.  Tammy has volunteered her time coaching for BRLLF.  Tammy enjoys watching her students grow and learn as dancers, but also build self-confidence and discipline in everyday life. 

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Ginger Page

Instructor

Ginger Page started her training at the age of three and has studied at American Academy of Ballet and Royal Academy of Ballet and Dance. Ginger is currently pursuing a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing at the State University at Buffalo. Ginger has performed with the Zodiaque Dance Ensemble, Emerging Choreographers Showcase, Dancer’s Workshop, and The Language of Objects exhibit at UB Anderson Art Gallery.  Ginger is excited to share her love for ballet with all of the students! 

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Sharon Detweiler

Instructor

Sharon Detweiler has been teaching dance for the past 25 years.  She trained with Wayne Blatt of The School of Classical Ballet of Rochester, is a grade IV teacher member of the Cecchetti Council of America, as well as a post graduate of Dance Masters of America’s Teacher Training School.  Sharon was previously the ballet director at Dance 22 and Cynergy Dance Company and has danced, taught, and judged throughout the world.  She regularly trains in the Cecchetti method, and enjoys sharing her passion for dance in positive and nurturing environments!

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Abby Hankinson

Instructor

Abby Hankinson has been dancing at Tonawanda Dance Art since the age of two, and has danced competitively as part of the TDA Intensive Team for many years.  Abby has trained extensively in acrobatics, and was also part of the L.E.A.D. Program.  Abby has been to many different competitions and conventions and has also attended Broadway Dance Center in NYC and Millennium Dance Complex in Toronto.  Abby is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at the University at Buffalo, with a minor in Business.  Abby is excited to begin this next chapter of her life and share her love for dance!

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Laura Pietak

Instructor

Laura Pietak began dancing at the age of three and danced at Tonawanda Dance Arts when it opened. Laura graduated from Canisius College with her Bachelors in History and Adolescent Education and Masters in Special Education. She has taught at Moving Miracles, a dance studio for individuals with disabilities, becoming was also their Program Manager.  Laura is currently the Director of the Achieve Program at Villa Maria College.  She is loves teaching dance and cannot wait to watch her students learn and grow throughout the year!

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Brooke Thomas

Instructor

Brooke started dancing at Tonawanda Dance Arts when she was two years old.  She attended to St. Bonaventure University and received her Bachelors in Early Childhood and Inclusive Childhood Education, along with her Masters degree in Early Childhood Inclusive Education.  Throughout college, Brooke danced and coached their dance team, and also taught at a local studio.  Brooke loves teaching dance and is excited to be a part of Tonawanda Dance Arts!

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Marissa Hammond

Instructor

Marissa started dancing at Tonawanda Dance Arts at the age of three. She was on the Intensive Team at the studio and completed the Dance Masters of America Teacher Training. She has also danced with a company called Pick Of The Crop Dance. Marissa is currently a Teacher Assistant at St. Francis Early Childhood Center. Marissa is also a mom to three kids who keep her busy!  Marissa is excited to teach at the studio and watch her students grow!  

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Ashlyn Bach

Marketing Assistant

Ashlyn started dancing at the age of three and continued to dance through college years.  She was on Tonawanda Dance Art's Intensive Team as a dancer and also took a handful of classes during her time at Niagara University.  Ashlyn received her Bachelor's in Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in Child Development from Niagara University and a Masters Degree in Business Administration.  Ashlyn works full time as the Director of Care Management at a local healthcare company and is the proud mom to a two year old, who is a Tiny Tot at TDA!  In her spare time, Ashlyn loves baking and early morning workouts! 

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Kara Skrubis

Member Experience Team Associate

Miss Kara studied pre-professional ballet starting at age three, training under notable instructors such as Angel Corelloz and Alcicia Alonso, and at studios including The Hartt School, Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory, Bossov Ballet, Neglia Ballet, Ithaca Ballet, and the University at Buffalo dance program. Kara is currently in her final year at the University at Buffalo with a double major in Psychology and Health and Human Services, hoping to become a certified child life specialist.  Outside of her love for dance, Kara rides horses, volunteers for nonprofit pediatric oncology organizations, runs her own photography business, and fosters dogs! You may just get to meet her puppy around the studios! You can spot Kara working at the front desk or subbing in the classroom, and she is so excited to be a part of the Tonawanda Dance Arts team!

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Lauren Sutherland

Member Experience Team Associate

Lauren has been dancing at Tonawanda Dance Arts for 15 years, and has danced competitively as a part of the TDA Intensive Team. Lauren has traveled all over the country dancing and has attended The Dance Awards, Broadway Dance Center in New York City, Millennium in Toronto and The Playground in LA.  Lauren was one of the first members in the L.E.A.D. Program and is now pursuing her love for dance in college.  Lauren is attending University at Buffalo where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a a minor in Business.  She is excited to begin this new chapter in her life!

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Alyssa McGuire

Intern

Alyssa has been dancing at Tonawanda Dance Arts since she was 3 years old. She has been dancing competitively on the TDA Intensive Team since she was 11 years old and is also part of the L.E.A.D. Program at the studio. Alyssa has traveled to many different states to attend dance competitions and conventions and has been able to learn from well known choreographers in the dance industry. She has been assisting at TDA for five years and can’t wait to continue to share my love of dance with younger dancers as an Intern and Leader In Training!