Sheila Dollas, RDE: Founder & Director
Since 1998, Sheila Dollas has worked on developing Moving Miracles' innovative, progressive ambulatory/non-ambulatory program for the exceptionally challenged. The curriculum references movement evolution, developmental milestones, and dancing with disabilities. Her program is viewed as pioneering in its field and efforts are underway to document her work for use nationwide. In her sophomore year at college, Sheila sustained a traumatic back injury that literally brought aspirations of a career in dance to a halt. That injury placed her on a new path, the result of which is the Moving Miracles dance program. Sheila holds a B.A. degree in Psychology/Interdisciplinary Social Sciences from the State University of New York at Buffalo with graduate studies in Dance Therapy. She is also a Certified Reiki Practitioner, as well as a former Artist-in-Residence with UB’s Arts in Healthcare Initiative. In November, 2008, Sheila was conferred the title of Registered Dance Educator by the National Registry of Dance Educators. To date, she is the only Registered Dance Educator working in the Buffalo area.
Laura Pietak: Program Manager
Laura began volunteering with us in 2006 and was hired as a teacher in 2011. She began dancing at the age of three and has studied a variety of dance styles. She graduated from Canisius College with a degree in History and Social Studies Education in 2011. In 2013 she completed her graduate work at Canisius College and received her Master of Science in Special Education. While completing her graduate work she spent a year interning with the Institute of Autism Research teaching social skills to children ages 8-12. She has experience in schools throughout the Western New York area in grades 7-12. Throughout her time in these schools she has been exposed to both traditional and adaptive teaching approaches which she has used to blend with our curriculum, helping to develop creativity throughout the studio.
Elise Cruce: Dance Instructor
Elise began volunteering at Moving Miracles in 2008 and became a teacher in 2013. She began dancing at the age of 6 at Paulette’s School of Dance and later joined Barb Denny’s. She has taken jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, and modern throughout her dancing career. Elise was also a Girl Scout Leader from 2007-2012. She graduated in 2008 from Canisius College with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Spanish. While at Canisius she performed with the school’s dance team, the Dance Griffs. She then received her Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from D’Youville College in 2012. She currently works as a Physician Assistant in Orthopedics.
Jennifer Yuen: Dance Instructor
Jennifer began her time at Moving Miracles in the fall of 2012 as an intern while attending D'Youville College. She joined the Moving Miracles teaching staff in the summer of 2013 after graduating from D'Youville with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. She began dancing in 1994 at The Dancing Pointe. Through the many years she has been dancing she has taken tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical/modern, hip hop, and acrobatics. Jennifer has a passion for all forms of art (visual, performing, literary) and believes they are a powerful outlet for creativity and self-expression.
Molly Sergi - Dance Instructor
Molly began volunteering in our Day Habilitation program in 2013. She has danced on stages across WNY, including Artpark and Shea’s Performing Art Center. Molly also worked in entertainment at Walt Disney World for several years. Her three children keep her very busy along with her position as Music Director for the West Seneca Youth Theatre. Molly says encouraging her students to express themselves through dance has been among the greatest joys she will ever know and she is grateful to be a part of the Moving Miracles family.
Lindsay Pajak: Dance Instructor
Lindsay began at Moving Miracles in January 2010 as a volunteer, and was added to the teaching staff in fall of that year. Lindsay began her dance instruction in 1990 with Ms. Pat LaBelle at the South Buffalo Dance Depot, where she studied tap and jazz. Lindsay graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health and Human Services, with a concentration in Community Mental Health. She then continued her studies at the University at Buffalo, earning her Master of Social Work degree. Lindsay is passionate about working with people with special needs, and is comfortable and has experience in a wide range of settings, including the OPWDD Care at Home Program, the West Seneca Central School District, the Epilepsy Association of Western New York, and the Early Intervention program. She is currently employed as a Social Worker (LMSW) on the Residential Supports Team with the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.
Macey Doe: Dance Instructor
Macey began dancing at the age of 5 at Miss Debbie's Dance. She then studied until college at Sandy Stramonine School of Dance where she learned Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical and Pointe. Macey had always dreamed to become a dance teacher and choreographer. She has performed in musicals such as The Wiz, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Grease, Cats and Me and My Girl and participated in band, chorus and show choir throughout high school. In 2011, she received and Associates degree in Music through Finger Lakes Community College with a major in Voice. She graduated through the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Erie Community College in 2014. Macey currently works as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant in a school-based setting. Macey has taught at METTS Dance since 2015. She has volunteered with Moving Miracles since 2013 and is excited to now be part of the Moving Miracles' teaching staff.
Liz Wegner: Dance Instructor
Originally from Orchard Park, Liz was privileged to be a dance student at The Hoffman School of Dance and then Dance Spectrum where she is currently part of their dance faculty. She received her Bachelor's Degree from SUNY Potsdam in Employment Relations. Liz spent three years in Florida after graduating where she worked in the Broward County Courthouse in the Probate and Mental Health/Guardianship Division. Back in the Buffalo area for six years now, she has completed her Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Canisius College. Liz is excited to be the newest member of our Moving Miracles family.
Diane DeJoseph: Administrative Assistant/Development
Diane has been behind the scenes at Moving Miracles for years, with many of her children volunteering as Dance Partners for over 10 years. Diane has been a childcare provider, for children of all ages and abilities for 20+ years. Her love of dance began at an early age as she studied under Matthew Clark at the Clarke Academy of Performing Arts, performing many different styles of dance. She has also been involved in many roles of Arts in Education within our schools, covering all mediums of the Arts. Most recently she was the Arts Specialist for Western Region PTA and New York State PTA, sat on the Education Committee for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as ran an all inclusive arts competition for all of Western New York PTAs. Diane is thrilled to be among the Moving Miracles family!