Our History

The History of Our Dance Studio

Dance School in Hamburg, NY

Performing Arts Dance Academy was founded as a DBA in the spring of 1994, in a portion of its current facility. Previously a Super Duper Supermarket, the plaza was leased to several tenants. Suzanne (Bernas) Mall was the first tenant of the plaza, and successfully filled all of her classes within her first year of business. The following year, Performing Arts Dance Academy was able to expand when there was a vacancy in the space directly next to the studio.
Dance Academy
The previous tenant, Robert Caldwell of Robert Caldwell Photography, is now doing business outside of the Lake Street Plaza. Performing Arts Dance Academy proudly uses his photography services, as we have for more than 20 years now. 

Upon leasing the second adjacent space, Performing Arts created a second classroom, known as Studio B. A smaller room also provided a dedicated space for Performing Arts Dance Academy dancers to purchase basic dancewear in the styles and colors used throughout the academy.

Our Renaissance 

As the years went on, we began to outgrow our studio. In 2004, we began seeking an available space to relocate our studio, as expansion of our studio was not possible in either direction. It was then that one of the studio parents and professional architect, Glen Christner, pointed out the immense amount of space above the studio’s eight-foot dropped ceilings.

With Glen’s planning and a team of construction workers, we “raised the roof” to expose the original ceilings and add two staircases. We were able to add a partial mezzanine, a large dressing room, two additional bathrooms, a lounge, a storage area, and a parent observation area.

Our expansion didn’t stop there, though. As community awareness of our dance studio continued to grow, we found ourselves needing to expand once again. We had begun to outgrow our small dance supply store and our upstairs lounge area was not large enough to accommodate the many waiting parents during classes.

In the summer of 2008, 1,800 square feet on the opposite side of the dance studio became available for us to lease. We were able to relocate our dance store in the newly available space, opening Studio B Dancewear in December of 2008. With the larger space, we are now able to carry a variety of merchandise to cater to our entire Southtowns dance and fitness community.

We renovated the original store into a comfortable waiting lounge for parents, which opened in the fall of 2009. The new lounge space is equipped with a television, a coffee station, and an area for paperwork.

If you have any questions about the dance classes we offer in the Buffalo area, please feel free to contact us here!

On a Personal Note 


Dance Studio
I am very proud of our company’s growth over the last two decades. Watching so many students grow from young children into strong, beautiful, young adults is a privilege that few people get to experience.

These years have been a time of great personal growth for me as well. I am forever grateful for God’s blessings in my life. I have a supporting husband, Tom, and the blessing of three wonderful children. 

Both of my daughters, Kristen and Kerri, have become a permanent part of the business, and I have the joy of working with them every day. 

My oldest child, Mark, works for the Town of Hamburg as a 911 dispatch officer. Mark also served our country as a Marine in Iraq. No one could make me more proud.

My greatest gift in life, though, is knowing the Lord Jesus Christ, as my mentor and savior. He is the one who takes care of me. He is the one to whom I turn when in need. He has promised to never leave me or forsake me. No matter what adversity I may face, with Him, all things are made possible.
Miss Sue
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