Passing On The Passion

January 3, 2014 Updated Jan 3, 2014 at 8:02 AM EDT

By WKBW News

January 3, 2014 Updated Jan 3, 2014 at 8:02 AM EDT


Lewiston, N.Y.(WKBW ) - Tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, you name it the Lewiston Dance Center’s got it. Everything started more than sixty years ago.
“It started with my aunt who was my godmother. She was in show business. I looked up to her because she seemed to be so alive and I think dance brought that out in her,” Dancer Kathy Abbondanza said.
Kathy Abbondanza, 69, then took that love and knowledge for dance she got from her aunt and turned it into her life She moved to New York City when she was just 15 to teach dance. She went to the world-renowned Juilliard School and danced professionally. Soon, she moved back had a family and moved back to Western New York to start her own dance studio up until the late 70'.s
“This went on and then I had three children. My daughter then decided she loved dance,” Abbondanza said.
Rachel Novelli then started her own dance studio in 1993. The Lewiston Dance Center with a location also in Grand Island. She is celebrating 20 years. Rachel said after all this time she looks to her as a role model.
“Actually we call her The Lady. She is a mentor to not only me but other instructors and the students,” Novelli said.
When I asked Kathy, what was her secret for looking so young and vibrant. The said physical activity for her it was dance but you don't have to be Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers. She said just get up and move.
“I believe with a good diet and a lot of exercise. Actually not even a lot of exercise just moving around, keeps you healthy,” Abbondanza said.
Now, the children in the family are dancers. Rachel's eight-year-old daughter has dreams of one day owning the studio following in her mother, grandmother and great-aunt's footsteps.
“Marie is eight and she is really into ballet. She likes any type of dance and she gets into it but she really loves it and there is a possibility that there will be another generation and just keep going on and on,” Abbondanza said.
Click here for more information