Faculty

Amanda Watson

Owner & Director

I started Nickel City Dance & Fitness Center because I knew there were many former and aspiring adult dancers in WNY searching for a studio that catered to their needs. I danced throughout my childhood and teen years (Michelle Merwin Dance Arts, Tonwanda Dance Arts, and Darlene Ceglia’s Dance Project) and found it incredibly hard to commit to a typical dance school while dealing with the many demands of adulthood. I missed having dance in my life and I needed a place that offered flexibility with class levels that suited my background. Nickel City offers those former dancers, like myself, a place to reconnect with movement and dance in a stress free environment. There is no year end performance and no registration fees or contract. We offer a variety of drop-in dance and fitness classes year round, for beginner to advanced level dancers. It’s never too late to take up dancing, and I’m proud to teach Basic Beginner classes geared towards adults who have never danced.

I am a proud Graduate of the Dance Master’s of America Teachers’ Training program. DMA is an international organization which offers a multi-grade, multi-year program that provides both basic and advanced teaching techniques for current and would-be dance instructors. Completion of the four-year program and examinations result in DMA certification in the dance education profession, where teachers are certified by test to teach. It was an amazing experience and I had the opportunity to take class and learn from some of the best teachers in the country.

Along with a passion for dance, I’ve always been interested in health and fitness. I received my Personal Training and Group Fitness certifications from the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) in 2008. This passion for the fitness side of things led me to compete in Figure Competitions in the Spring and Fall of 2011. Always thirsty for more knowledge, I continue my fitness education by participating in local workshops and classes. In November 2015 I became a licensed PiYo LIVE! instructor and have enjoyed teaching this amazing format live and virtually.

My most recent certification is in Progressing Ballet Technique (July 2019). Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) is an innovative body-conditioning and strengthening program developed by Marie Walton-Mahon for students to understand the depth of training muscle memory in achieving their personal best. One of the important elements used in the PBT method is muscle memory which helps to improve students’ understanding of core stability, weight placement and alignment. Each exercise in the PBT program has been developed with care and guidance by Marie Walton-Mahon along with a team of physiotherapists.

I am so excited to bring dance to the adult community in WNY! Exercise doesn’t have to be boring and feel like a chore. The trick is to find something you love to do and look forward too. I hope to see you in on the dance floor soon!

Zoe Gionis

Instructor

Growing up, my dance career started at Center Stage Dance Studio where I gained experience in jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, lyrical, and acro. Now, I am a teacher there for students of all ages! I was a member of the Buffalo Bandettes professional dance team for two years and am now taking a year off due to my grad school schedule. I currently attend Niagara University and am graduating with a Masters in School Psychology in spring 2021!

Timmy Goodman

Instructor

I took my first dance class at the age of 16 and immediately fell in love. It’s what I had spent my whole childhood looking for. After spending a year training I was accepted into the UB Dance Program. While there, I was a member of Zodiaque Dance Company, and served as dancer/choreographer for many other school related productions. In 2008 I graduated with a BFA in Dance and knew that teaching was the route I wanted to take. I currently teach at multiple studios in the Buffalo area and am delighted to return to Nickel City Dance!