"We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams."
Our Goal for Every Dance Student
OnStage Dance Studio’s staff focuses on developing the whole child beyond just skills and technique. Social-emotional learning and development is infused in the culture of our organization.We strive to provide top-quality instruction leading to a top quality dance education but also to build self-discipline, poise, a greater self-esteem, promote teamwork and a passion for the arts. Each year we take pride in seeing our students progress not only in their skill acquisition but also in the relationships formed between teachers, peers, students and families. We consider our students and their families as an extension of our own.
Our Classes and Studios
From September through May/June, we offer instruction in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Modern/ Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Acro, Cheer Dance, Technique, Mommy and Me and Tots classes at all levels from professionally-trained adult teachers. Our studios are fully equipped with marley floors, mirrors, ballet barres designed specifically for dance. Our classrooms are filled with many “dance props” to help enhance the learning experience.
Meet Our Director, Shara
In 2008, Shara took over OnStage Dance Studio to pursue her love of dance. She started dancing at a dance studio in Syracuse, New York at the age of 5. In 1995, Shara began dancing at OnStage and eventually went on to take over ownership of the studio.
Shara received her B.A. from Niagara University’s Department of Arts and Sciences in 2007. She quickly realized that in order to give her students a quality education in dance and provide a nurturing environment centered around child development she had to further her education. She received her M.S. in Education from Niagara University in 2011. She takes pride in running a dance studio that is a family centered, safe educational learning environment. Shara’s work extends beyond the walls of the dance studio. In the summer of 2017, Shara coordinated her fourth cruise for dancers and families! She is currently coordinating another cruise to set sail in 2021! Her dancers have sailed the Caribbean and have had the opportunity to perform on Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines along with taking a number of Master Classes during their travels. Shara has coordinated with the help of some wonderful “dance moms”, two large fundraisers where a portion of the proceeds benefited Breast Cancer (2010) and Ovarian Cancer (2011). Shara contributes to her local community and promotes citizenship among her students by organizing food drives and fundraisers throughout the year. Shara has a wonderful, supportive family that you surely will see around at OnStage Dance Studio! It is with their help and the help of so many wonderful OnStage families that contribute to its success. Shara is looking forward to another wonderful year at OnStage Dance Studio!
Taylor, a Pennsylvania native, received her early training at numerous dance studios in Pennsylvania where she studied a variety of dance forms, for sixteen years. Taylor graduated from the University at Buffalo, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in dance, as well as her Bachelor’s degree in Business. After many amazing performing and teaching opportunities, Taylor realized where her heart truly rested, and this was sharing her love of dance with others. To her, being a dance teacher is the most gratifying and rewarding experience, and she cannot wait for another wonderful year with OnStage.
Amanda began dancing at the age of 5 at a local dance studio in Clarence, NY, where she took ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop. In high school Amanda was very musically inclined. Along with dancing, she participated in wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, orchestra, theatre, and musicals. Amanda was an assistant teacher while in high school at her dance studio. After graduating, she was asked to begin teaching her own classes. Her passion along with her knowledge and understanding of music is brought out in her classes through counting and learning beats and rhythms. In 2010, Amanda worked for the Town of Amherst Recreation Department as a program supervisor for their pre-school programs where she created and implemented lessons and activities involving movement for children ages 1-5. Amanda graduated from Daemen College in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Education/Special Education with an extension in Early Childhood Education, and an additional extension in English Education. She received her Masters degree in Differentiated Instruction from Canisius College in December 2012, focusing on arts-integrated education. With an educational background in childhood development, Amanda’s dance classes offer children a variety of activities to strengthen their cognitive, behavioral, and social and emotional development.
Jodi began dancing in 1995 at OnStage Dance Studio! She studied all forms of dance from the age of 5 and throughout her high school career. Upon graduation in 2009, she began teaching her own classes at the studio! Jodi graduated in 2014 from the University At Buffalo with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance. Her training extends beyond university, she has and continues to attend dance performances and teaching conventions in the Buffalo and Toronto area. Jodi continues to participate in local performances in her free time. Jodi’s passion is teaching dance in hopes of inspiring all students. She can not wait for another amazing year at OnStage!
From Buffalo, NY, Brittany Hill took classes at Stages Dance Academy and Classical Ballet of WNY where she was trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern, and contemporary. In her high school years, she was a teacher’s assistant for Stages Dance Academy, as well as a member of the studios competitive company which competed around the Western New York area. After graduating from Clarence High School in 2013, Brittany continued dancing at the University at Buffalo, where she trained under master teachers, such as Tom Ralabate, John Lehrer, and Kerry Ring. She also performed as part of Emerging Choreographers Showcase, Zodiaque Dance Ensemble, and Zodiaque Dance Company, and choreographed for Dancer’s Workshop. She graduated from UB in May of 2017 with a BFA in Dance. Brittany is a recipient of the Amanda C. Occhino Endowment Scholarship, the Koresh School of Dance Summer Intensive Scholarship, and the Rioult Winter Intensive Scholarship. This will be her 8th year as a dance teacher and when she is not teaching at the studio, she enjoys reading, spending time with family, and cooking.
Lauryn started dancing at OnStage dance studio at the age of two! She danced for 16 years, taking a variety of different dance forms. Lauryn was a part of our very first competition dance team under Shara’s direction in 2016! Lauryn spent her last 3 years as a student at the studio as Shara’s personal/teaching assistant. Lauryn is now continuing her education in dance by attending the University at Buffalo where she is expecting to obtain both her Bachelor of Arts degree in dance, and her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. She also is very active in the dance community through partaking in a variety of workshops and master classes across the country, NY and Canada. Lauryn’s goal is to teach students in a multitude of different styles, while intriguing and igniting their dance curiosity and passion! After college, Lauryn hopes to become a cruise dancer/singer, traveling the world and gaining as much experience as she can before coming back to New York to continue teaching dance and researching in chemistry!
Miss Kari started dancing at the age of 3. She became one of OnStage’s first students, alongside Miss Shara, under the direction of Deana Chiaponne-Kahle. Over the years, she participated in many cruises, local performances and became an assistant teacher, which led to a teacher position in 2007. Miss Kari took some time away from the studio to begin her career as a teacher in various districts and pursue her master’s degree in literacy. Miss Kari returned to her second home, OnStage, to share her love of dance and gymnastics with her students. When not at dance, you can find her coaching gymnastics at Flips, or adventuring with her son, Cole and her husband, Ray.
Dance has always been a part of Ali’s life. She started dancing at OnStage when she was three years old. During her years at OnStage, Ali took tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern, pointe and hip hop. She assisted with numerous classes while in middle and high school. She has performed with OnStage dancers on three different cruise ships. Ali graduated from Nazareth College with a degree in Occupational Science. and a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy. She has a strong background in human anatomy and child development. She has completed internships in pediatrics, mental health and geriatrics. Ali’s educational background and passion to help others have inspired her to create a fun learning environment for students to improve their physical, social and emotional well being. She is excited to return home to her OnStage family and live her dream as a dance teacher.
Cassidy has been dancing since the age of three at OnStage Dance Studio! She has taken many forms of dance instruction such as tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, pointe, modern, and lyrical. Cassidy has performed on many cruise ships under the direction of Shara Ellinger-Venesky. She has had the privilege of taking various workshops from numerous dance professionals during her travels.Cassidy is a NYS certified early childhood & childhood education teacher. She earned her degree from Niagara University in 2018 and is currently working on pursuing her Master’s degree in Special Education. Working with children is a passion of Cassidy’s! She enjoys instilling the love of learning, confidence, and musical expression to her students. Cassidy has a love for theatre, dance and music! She has participated in many local productions in the Lockport area. OnStage Dance Studio has gifted Cassidy lifelong true friendships, an extended family and instilled a passion for dance. She takes pride in creating a fun, energetic environment while sharing her passion and education of dance with her students.
Becca has had the joy for dance ever since she can remember! She loved to watch her big sister in dance class, so when Becca was 2yrs her mom signed her up for class and she hasn’t stopped dancing since! Aside from studio classes and competitive dance, Becca performed with the Missoula Children’s Theatre Performing Arts Camp for 6yrs in Missoula, Montana. She’s also performed with the Chico Theater Company and California Regional Theater where she also had the pleasure of choreographing for their children’s theater programs. Along with dancing and performing, Becca has enjoyed teaching dance and theater to children ages 2-17yrs for 13yrs at Stamp Your Feet Performing Arts Centre’ in Northern California as well as teaching dance for a year at Creation Station Dance in Huntington Beach,CA. Becca’s favorite performing achievement was working for The Walt Disney Company as a performer and dancer at Disneyland in CA for 3yrs. But Becca’s favorite job would have to be being a mommy to her 2yr. old son, Luke!
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