Our Instructors

Our Dance School Instructors


Our instructors are the leader in their craft. From jazz and ballet to hip hop and tap we have dance teachers that will teach your child the latest in these types of dance. Browse through our class schedule and classes that we offer

Suzanne Mall, Owner & Executive Director

Miss Sue began her training under Bolshoi dancer Hella Schmidt and also studied the Vaganova Ballet Syllabus under mentor Bernadine De Mike. She received a certificate in the Vaganova Method on a summer scholarship at Western Michigan University and taught ballet for several years at many studios in the Buffalo area. Miss Sue was a soloist with the Royale Dance Theater performing the lead role of Gerta in the “Snow Queen” at Shea's Buffalo Theater in 1984, and ministered in dance at many churches and women’s fellowship groups. Miss Sue was also a founding member of the Buffalo Inner City Ballet Performing Company. In 2008, as Performing Arts grew, she retired from teaching to spend more time running the business end of the company as well as to open “Studio B Dancewear.” Miss Sue is the mother of 3 children and proud Nonnie of 3 grandchildren. She resides in Hamburg, New York with her husband Tom and dog Oscar.
Dance Lessons Hamburg, NY

Kristen Weigel, Artistic Director

Miss Kiki studied ballet under her mother, Suzanne Mall, whom she credits for instilling in her a love for the art. She is a 2002 graduate of the University at Buffalo where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. Miss Kiki performed with the University’s Zodiaque Dance Company while studying ballet, jazz & contemporary dance. She also performed in the Nutcracker with the Buffalo City Ballet and is recognized as a gifted contemporary ballet choreographer. Miss Kiki has been teaching ballet and pointe at Performing Arts for over 17 years as well as teaching jazz & hip-hop. She recently completed training in New York City in a dance therapy program that focuses on working with patients with Parkinson’s Disease and continues to be inspired through dance teachers' training summits. Miss Kiki resides in East Aurora, New York with her husband Justin and son Henry.

Kerri Lynn Bernas-Paufler, Artistic Director

Miss Kerri started her dancing career at Performing Arts under the direction of her mother, Suzanne Mall. She is a 2002 graduate of the American Music & Dramatic Academy in New York and studied Music Theater on a scholarship at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. Miss Kerri is proud to have performed in regional theater as well as performing in the national tour of CATS. She danced in Nutcracker with the Buffalo City Ballet and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. In high school she was a member of the “Spirit of Youth” performing company and was awarded their first ever Artistic Achievement Award for her outstanding showmanship. She sang locally with the DIVA SHOWBAND and released her first album “My Life” in 2008. Miss Kerri has been teaching jazz, tap and musical theater at Performing Arts for 10 years. She resides in Hamburg, New York with her husband Joshua and children Gwendolynn and Noah.

Lauren Vacanti

Miss Lauren is a graduate of the University at Buffalo where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. She completed her graduate studies in Early Childhood Education at Canisius College. Miss Lauren was a ballet student at Performing Arts Dance Academy for 16 years. She has been on staff for nearly 10 years teaching young ballet and jazz classes. Miss Lauren is also a gifted instructor to our 3-5 year old age group where hundreds of preschoolers have come under her tutelage. In addition, she is a 2nd grade teacher at Saints Peter and Paul Elementary School in Hamburg. Miss Lauren resides in Kenmore, New York with her husband Chris and Stella her dog.

Charity Carrig

Miss Charity is from Lapeer, Michigan and studied at the Rochester School of Ballet. She has performed in the Nutcracker with the Boston Ballet, and was one of the youngest members of the WNBA’s “Detroit Shock Dance Team.” She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Dance from Oakland University and was a guest artist with the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. Charity also earned the prestigious Matilda Award in 2008 as an outstanding performer. She moved to Buffalo in 2009 and since then has been teaching hip-hop and contemporary classes at Performing Arts as well as at other studios. Miss Charity is also a New York State licensed massage therapist. She lives in Amherst, New York with her husband Tim and sons Jackson and Hawksley.

Molly Vine

Miss Molly is from Bemus Point, New York. She trained with Jill Keating at Pointe Chautauqua Dance and with Monika Alch at the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet. Molly dances professionally with, and teaches at, Buffalo’s Configuration Dance Theater. She also performs with the Greater Niagara Ballet Company and Neglia Ballet Artists. Molly has been on staff at Performing Arts for 4 years teaching classical ballet and pointe classes. She is a certified Pilates instructor and recently started a day program at Performing Arts teaching dance to home schooled students. Molly resides in the city of Buffalo, New York with her husband Justin and son, Jude.

Jennifer Repp

Miss Jen started her training at the Judy Pickardt Dance Academy. She received her dance degree from the University at Buffalo where she was a member of the Zodiaque Studio Dance Ensemble and choreographed for Dancers Workshop. Jen worked for 5 years at A Time for Dance in Chili, N.Y. and Perinton Dance Company. She taught all levels of jazz, tap, ballet, pointe, contemporary, lyrical, and hip-hop. She has served as president on the Dance Rochester board, which is a nonprofit organization that brings dance education and performances into the community for little or no cost. Jen continues to educate herself in all styles of dance through conventions and master classes locally and in New York City. Jen teaches our morning classes at Performing Arts and resides in Orchard Park, New York with her husband Joshua and children, Owen and Mia.

Austin Aungst

Mr. Austin began dancing at age 3 and received most of his training from Darlene Ceglia. He was a Varsity Gymnast for Williamsville South High School between 7th and 12th grade. In 2010, he was awarded DANCEAMERICA's “Most Promising Performer,” and years later was a runner-up in the “2014 Dancer of the Year” competition in Orlando, Florida. In Buffalo he’s worked with Roswell's “How Big is Your Heart” campaign dancing in several live performances, commercials, and music videos. He also performed with The American Academy of Ballet's “The Nutcracker” for several years. Mr. Austin is delighted to be a part of the Performing Arts staff and loves sharing his love and knowledge of dance with his students.

Amanda Karaszewski

Miss Amanda trained for 18 years at Darlene Ceglia’s Dance Project studying in the styles of tap, jazz, ballet, and contemporary. She has been a part of the Roswell “How Big is Your Heart” campaign dancing and performing for a “world without cancer” since 2009. Miss Amanda was a part of Niagara University’s Dance Crew while completing a minor in dance. She is also completing her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood and Special Education at Niagara University with anticipation of getting a graduate degree in Literacy. Miss. Amanda teaches tap classes at Performing Arts along with lyrical at another studio. She currently resides in Kenmore, New York with her parents, sister, and brother.

Rene Schaer

Mrs. Rene Schaer received her degree in dance education from the University at Buffalo. She is no stranger to Performing Arts where she taught jazz, tap and combo for many years. Rene worked at Mount St. Mary Academy as the Dance Movement Physical Education instructor and was the Producer, Director and Choreographer of their Musical production. She also choreographed and was co-Producer at Springville-Griffith Institute’s High School Theatre for the past 20 years and received the Kenny Award for best Choreography in a High School musical. Rene was also a former Buffalo Jill with the Buffalo Bills Football Team and is happy to be back teaching at Performing Arts.
Work with instructors that have the expertise and training to give your child the best dance experience. Contact our dance studio to sign up for our classes today! 
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