About Us

Sherry Martin Dance Owners

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Kelly Riter

Kelly Riter originally from Buffalo, danced and trained at Sherry Martin Dance since the age of 3. She now carries with her, the philosophy and the love of dance that she learned from her mentor, Sherry Martin herself.
Kelly graduated from Buffalo State College where she received a Bachelors in Business and a Dance minor, where she performed and trained with Janet Reed and Dancers. In July of 2012 Kelly moved back to Buffalo from New York City where she had been teaching, performing and choreographing. She has worked with dance companies such as Movement in C, RMK Crew and Rocha Dance Theater. She has been recognized for her performances in "Rebel Verses" and "Satisfaction", as well as her involvement in charitable events such as "Children Helping Children" and "BMS Gives Back". From 2009-2011, Kelly served as the Dance Chair at The Brooklyn Music School (BMS), where she organized and conducted community outreach programs and helped to develop after-school dance curriculum throughout the Brooklyn area. In addition, Kelly was the lead dance instructor at BMS, and a respected, influential teacher at several prestigious schools throughout Brooklyn, including The Dance Studio of Park Slope, Brooklyn Friends, PS 11 and Brighter Choice. Kelly has taught and choreographed for dancers of all ages, levels, in almost every style of dance. Her passion for the art, creative choreography and fun and creative way of teaching, has been an inspiration to many. Elated to be Co-Owner and Artistic Director at Sherry Martin Dance, she now finds herself led back to the roots of where she evolved from.

Yvonne Frederick

Yvonne Frederick is a native of Albany, NY where she began her training in dance 30 years ago. Participating as a company member in the Guilderland Ballet, she trained under many distinguished dancers and choreographers. Those instructors include: Jana Fugate, School of American Ballet; Denise Limoli, American Ballet Theatre and Ricci Adan, previous Director of Lee Theodore's American Dance Machine International. Throughout her training, Yvonne performed with the Guilderland Ballet Company at various venues including a principal role in a production of The Nutcracker.

In 2000, she moved to Buffalo to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design from Buffalo State College. Yvonne and Kelly's paths crossed for the first time while both dancing as company members for Janet Reed and Dancers. She began teaching at SM Dance in 2001 and purchased the business with Kelly in 2012. Her background in design, music and art allow her to take a different perspective than most dance teachers and choreographers. She looks forward to nurturing the character of each dancer, guiding them to develop a strong self image and love for ballet.

"Ballet is a skill that not only teaches us to move with grace, but also to live with grace."

Sherry Martin Dance Teachers

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Jennifer Czerniak

Jennifer Czerniak has been dancing for over 30 years. Growing up, she studied and competed under the direction of Patty Neal (Dance Spectrum) and Paul Garshnick (Off Broadway Performing Arts Center). At Buffalo State College, she minored in dance, where she met Kelly and Yvonne! Together they danced in Janet Reed and Dancers Dance Company, under the direction of Janet Reed. She taught at Dance Spectrum and Sherry Martin Dance before moving to NYC in 2003 to pursue other interests. In 2006, she returned to Buffalo to share her love and passion for dance. In 2008, she married her husband Jayson and they now have three beautiful children; Stella, Vivienne and Jayston.

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Marcy Simpson

Marcy Simpson has been a student at SMD since 1992; and has been teaching at the studio since 2005. She has worked with children of all ages and levels in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Contemporary as well as Creative Movement and B/J/T classes. Marcy is currently a Program Director for the Town of Amherst Youth & Recreation Dept. and has had over 15 years experience in childcare. She has done many special events throughout Amherst working with families and children in our community. Marcy is also the Show Director and Board Member for the non-profit organization BAND Against Bullying in raising bullying awareness and prevention. She is a dedicated member of the studio and is happy to be part of the positive environment where children learn, exercise and make great memories.
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Hip Hop Director

Kayla Washburn

Kayla Washburn, originally from Amherst, danced and trained at Sherry Martin Dance since the age of 3. Kayla attended both Niagara County Community College & SUNY Cortland where she performed and choreographed for The Tanzen Dance Company & The Mone Dance Project. During her collegiate dance career, Kayla trained in a variety of styles such as Hip Hop, Modern, Contemporary and African Dance. During her participation with the Tanzen Dance Company, Kayla trained and performed with The Garth Fagan Dance Company, who is the founder and artistic director of The Lion King on Broadway. Since 2011, Kayla has had her own choreographed pieces performed at a variety of Art festivals during her Summers here in Buffalo such as Music is Art festival, The Peach festival, Taste of Buffalo, The Erie County Fair and the Niagara County Fair. Kayla is also currently working full time in Retail banking for Northwest Savings Bank. Kayla began teaching Hip Hop at the age of 15 at Sherry Martin Dance and is thrilled to be back on staff with her SMD family again!

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Emily Justinger

Emily Justinger, originally from Buffalo, began her dance training at the age of 8 at The Royal Academy of Ballet. She pursued her passion for dance and graduated from The University at Buffalo with a BA in dance and later received her MBA from Medaille College. Emily was an NFL Cheerleader for the Buffalo Bills for 4 seasons, from 2010-2014. In 2013 she was named captain, represented the team in Tokyo for the Super Bowl Tour and later went on to represent the Jills at the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii. She has been a principal dancer in Buffalo’s contemporary jazz company, Convergedance Buffalo since 2013. Emily is also a platinum winning competition choreographer in various styles including contemporary and jazz.
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Sara Zapalowski

Sara Zapalowski, who has been dancing since she was three years old, has been a teacher at Sherry Martin Dance since 2013 and an assistant since 2009. She has worked with students of all ages and levels in tap, jazz, ballet, and contemporary. Sara graduated with her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Special Education from Canisius College and Buffalo State. She has been a special education teacher for seven years and is currently a special education teacher in the Williamsville Central School District. Combining her love of children and dance, Sara is excited to continue to teach dance at Sherry Martin Dance!
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Lindsay Ackerman

Lindsay Ackerman began her dance training at the age of 4 and joined Sherry Martin in 2012. She studied Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Hiphop, Modern, and Tap. Throughout high school, Lindsay found a love for musicals and became Dance Captain for many productions. She currently attends Canisius College for a Bachelors in Economics. Lindsay began assisting at Sherry Martin in 2018 and is excited to join our teaching staff this year.

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Jillian Weber

Jillian Weber was an enthusiastic member of the Sherry Martin Dance family for more than a decade. She went on to study Elementary Education at Duquesne University and earned her NYS teaching certification from Buffalo State University in 2002. She has been teaching in the Williamsville Central School District for 21 years. Currently, she is a Kindergarten teacher as well as an active member of the WNY fitness community. Jillian teaches Zumba, Barre, and Yoga at 3 local and gyms and fitness studios. She is also a certified children’s yoga instructor. Jillian’s passion for dance has carried over to her children. Her 12-year-old (boy/girl) twins are also competitive dancers, and a part of the Sherry Martin Dance family. Jillian believes that music and movement are an important part of everyone’s lives. She can’t wait to bring joy to your child’s life by combining her love of dance, teaching, and children!
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Sarah Polvino

Sarah Polvino, originally from Buffalo, began her dance training at the age of 9 at Sherry Martin Dance, and joined the SM Dance staff in 2014. After graduating high school in 2018, she moved to New York City to continue training professionally. Sarah is a graduate of the Steps on Broadway Conservatory, where she trained at a mastery level in ballet, jazz, musical theatre, contemporary, modern, and tap. She has worked with artists including Chet Walker, Joshua Bergasse, Chase Brock, and Al Blackstone, as well as numerous Verdon Fosse Legacy members. Sarah has performed in multiple video productions and staged pieces, most notably appearing as Charity in a restaging of I’m a Brass Band from Sweet Charity, under the direction of Verdon Fosse Legacy members Lloyd Culbreath and Dana Moore. Sarah is thrilled to be back at SM Dance sharing her love and passion for dance with her students!

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Jocelyn Keesee

Jocelyn Keesee has been dancing and training at Sherry Martin since she was three years old. She is trained in ballet, pointe, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, tap, and hip hop and has been dancing competitively for the studio for many years. At the age of thirteen, Jocelyn began to pass on her knowledge and love of dance onto the next generation of dancers by assistant teaching a variety of dance classes at Sherry Martin, including ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop, and continues to assistant teach classes for children of all ages. She then began teaching a wide variety of levels and styles of dance at Stacy Zawadzki’s Performing Arts Center (ZPAC) and fell in love with choreographing. Jocelyn teaches the intermediate and advanced level ballet, pointe, contemporary, and lyrical classes at ZPAC. Jocelyn still keeps up with her own training at Sherry Martin because she is always working on being the best dancer she can be! She is incredibly excited to teach, inspire, encourage and strengthen the young dancers at the studio she grew up in and loves dearly. Jocelyn has always had and always will have a strong passion and deep love for dance and teaching others and hopes to continue to bring a positive and empowering energy to those around her through dance.

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Ginger Page

Ginger Page started her dance training at three and studied at American Academy of Ballet and Royal Academy of Ballet and Dance. She is classically trained in Ballet and studied at various summer programs with master teachers from New York City Ballet and many more. Ginger has 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. During her time at UB, she has performed in various venues at UB and the DUMBO Dance Festival in NYC, UB Arts Gallery with choreographers Julia Gleich and Brendan Fernandes. She has also worked with multiple dance on film projects, photographers, and commercials and continues to dance and model. Ginger is also a dance teacher at Tonawanda Dance Arts and Sherry Martin Dance, a Buti Yoga Instructor at Raw Renewal Yoga, Barre Instructor at Barre Centric and you find her during the day with lululemon Buffalo. 

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Raylin Brooks

Raylin Brooks began her dance journey at Sherry Martin at the age of 3. Over the course of 15 years, she studied various genres including ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop. Raylin attended Niagara County Community College, where she performed and choreographed for the Tanzen Dance Company. Raylin took her love of dance and used it to pursue her next venture, Fitness. In 2013, she became a licensed Zumba instructor for various demographics, ranging from adolescent to geriatric. She now teaches at local community centers and churches with the goal of making fitness more accessible. In addition to a group fitness instructor, she’s a Client Services Manager in healthcare staffing. Raylin is excited to return to Sherry Martin Dance and is ready for another successful season!

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Molly Kinkel

Molly Kinkel has been a proud member of the Sherry Martin Dance family for over 30+ years as a student, teacher, assistant, stage manager, and volunteer at SMD events. After high school she continued her dance training at Ithaca College as a dancer and choreographer in the IC Unbound Dance Company while earning her B.A. in Speech Communications and minor in Theatrical Design. Over nearly two decades Molly has advanced her career in marketing and digital advertising holding positions at The Buffalo News, WGRZ-TV, Gannett Broadcasting, BlueCross BlueShield of WNY and most recently the Head of Marketing at Pause Breathwork where she received her trauma-informed breathwork facilitator certification. Molly will be bringing her breathwork expertise to the technique classes at Sherry Martin Dance focusing on using our breath to improve performance, increase focus, and manage stress both inside the dance studio and in the students' everyday lives. 

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Marisa Stani

Marisa Stani born and raised in Buffalo, NY, she has been an entrepreneur since the young age of 21 and is a proud sole proprietor to a small business - fitness studio in WNY, where the primary focus is to create an overall healthy well-being for all clients. Her passion for dance started at a young age of 22 months old, in a "Mommy & Me" class and she has been dancing ever since! Hip Hop is her all time favorite style of dance, but has also trained in many other styles. Marisa is so excited to return back to her dancing "home" at SM Dance, where she has danced for the majority of her career. Marisa strives to bring the "fun" element to every one of her classes. Her goal is to highlight the confident areas of each dancer's repertoire, while challenging her students to learn and grow outside of their comfort zone. She is so happy to be a part of the SMD team and celebrate the passion of dance!

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Skyllar Cicero

Skyllar Cicero has been dancing at SM Dance since the age of three. She has trained in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and hip hop for 15 years while at Sherry Martin and became an assistant in the year 2012. Skyllar continued her passion for dance in college as she earned her bachelor's degree in business administration with a minor in dance. There she studied dance history, latin dance, modern dance, ballet, jazz and much more. Skyllar attended SUNY Geneseo where she got to work under the direction of Nicolette Ferguson - former professional dancer at The Garth Fagan Dance Company. Post graduation, Skyllar is so excited to be rejoining us this dance season as both a teacher and as an assistant. 

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Robert Creighton

Robert Creighton is a recent transplant to the Buffalo area with his Amherst born wife, Whitney, and two kids. Born in Ontario, he has spent the last few decades in NYC and is a veteran of eight Broadway shows. Most recently he originated the role of the Duke of Weselton in Disney’s FROZEN and reprised that role in Disney’s touring production at Shea’s in 2021. He is co-author and starred in the hit off-Broadway musical CAGNEY which ran for over 500 performances and is working toward a Broadway run in the fall of 2024. For that role he won the Fred Astaire Award for Outstanding Male Dancer and was nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards as best Lead Actor in a Musical.

2023-24 SM Dance Assistants

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