Tonawanda Dance Arts has become the first dance studio in the region to achieve Youth Protection Advocates in Dance certification. The certification marks its commitment to keeping kids happy, healthy and safe in dance.
YPAD is the nation’s only dance certification program focusing on both safety and wellness for dance students. To earn the designation, studios must complete two training tracks. The first track centers on dance safety and educational best practices. It focuses on background checks, CPR and First Aid, abuse awareness and prevention, injury prevention and response, and safety and emergency preparedness. The second focuses on the wellness and development of youth dancers and covers social media, social media safety, today’s dance culture, developmentally appropriate artistry, body image, nutrition, disordered eating, bullying, and conflict resolution. Only studios that complete both tracks are eligible for certification.
“We want to do more than just teach great dance at Tonawanda Dance Arts,” said studio owner Melanie Boniszewski. “We want to help develop healthy, happy dancers with an environment that focuses on the well-being of kids. Of course, this also helps us contribute to a sustainable, safe future for dance overall.”
Established in 1997 under the Director of Melanie Boniszewski, Tonawanda Dance Arts has been giving quality dance education to the children of the surrounding communities of Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, Kenmore, Wheatfield and Grand Island for over 20 years. It is their mission to develop a team of associates to provide quality dance education to children and exceptional customer service to clients.
YPAD was founded in Los Angeles in 2012 by hip hop professional Leslie Scott Zanovitch and her husband Joseph Zanovitch as a response to negative trends toward commodifying and exploiting youth and adults in performing arts.