Sherry Martin Dance Owners
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 is a native of Albany, NY where she began her career in dance 25 years ago. Dancing 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 preformed with the Guilderland Ballet Company at various venues including a principal role in a production of The Nutcracker.
Surrounding herself in the world of arts, Yvonne found many other interests to coincide with her passion for dance. 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. Kelly saw a great deal of passion and integrity in Yvonne and suggested she began teaching at Sherry Martin School of Dance. She has since been a member of SMD for over ten years with experience in teaching Ballet, Point, Jazz and Children's Classes.
In addition Yvonne has spent the past eight years working full-time as a Commercial Interior Designer in the fields of Education and Healthcare. Her portfolio includes work throughout the United States and Internationally. Locally some projects to note are Pano's Restaurant on Elmwood Avenue and Buffalo State College's new science building which is currently under construction. Yvonne's extensive 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.
"Ballet is a skill that not only teaches us to move with grace, but also to live with grace. I owe much of my strength as a mother, friend and professional to the time I spent in ballet class. I urge every young artist to see what ballet has to offer as a foundation for all other dance genres as well as a stepping stone to many other wonderful endeavors."
Sherry Martin Dance Teachers
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 a beautiful daughter Stella who has followed in her mother's footsteps as a little dancer in the making at Sherry Martin Dance.
Marcy Washburn 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, Lyrical as well as Creative Movement and B/J/T classes. In 2011, Marcy graduated from the University at Buffalo with her B.A in English, and is currently working for the Town of Amherst as an After School and Summer Camp director. Marcy is also the director for the M&T Bank production BAND Against Bullying showcasing local high schools raising awareness against bullying. 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.
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!
Emily Wilhelm, originally from Buffalo, began her dance training at the age of 8 at The Royal Academy of Ballet. She later continued on to receive her Bachelors of Arts in dance from The University at Buffalo in 2013 and her MBA at Medaille College. Emily was an NFL Cheerleader for the NFL Buffalo Jills for 4 seasons, from 2010-2014. In 2013 she was named Captain, represented the team in Tokyo, Japan for the 2013 Super Bowl Tour and later went on to represent the Jills at the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii. Emily now is a company member of ConvergeDance Buffalo and is ecstatic to continue performing. Dance is Emily's true passion and she is extremely blessed to be able to share her knowledge and devotion to the art with her students. She is extremely excited to be a member of the Sherry Martin Dance staff!
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 musical theater. Sara graduated with her Bachelor’s degrees in Special Education and Childhood Education in 2016 and is currently working for her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education. In addition to attending school, Sara is currently a middle school teacher at the Heritage Centers. Combining her love of children and dance, Sara is excited to continue to teach dance at Sherry Martin Dance!
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.
Molly Kinkel began dancing at 4 years old with Sherry Martin Dance. Over the last 30 plus years Molly has never missed an SMD recital, either performing on stage or lending a hand backstage as Stage Manager. In those “off” years she attended Ithaca College to earn her B.A. in Speech Communications and minor in Theatrical Design. At Ithaca College she was a dancer and choreographer in the IC Unbound Dance Company. She now holds a position as Senior Digital Strategist at BlueCross BlueShield of WNY and formerly with Gannett Broadcasting, WGRZ-TV, and The Buffalo News. Molly volunteers as the Sponsorship Chair for TEDxBuffalo, a local independently organized TED event. When not working, teaching, or raising funds she enjoys listening to podcasts, reading self-development books, and travel. She is currently pursuing her Breathwork Facilitator certification with a goal to provide support in trauma-informed healing. Sherry Martin Dance is her family, and she is grateful to be part of a supportive and joyful community.