Teacher Biographies

Kip & Tom Ralabate:

Kip and Tom Ralabate (Directors and Choreographers) are members of Dance Masters of America (DMA), a national organization of professional dance teachers certified by test to teach. Currently, Tom serves as the National Education Chairperson for DMA. During a stellar competitive Ballroom dance career, Kip and Tom were former United States and North American Latin Ballroom Dance Champions, and the American representatives to the World Latin Dance Championships held in Germany.

Kip has taught and adjudicated for numerous regional and national dance organizations. A former member of Am-Dance in Concert, she performed at the North East Regional Ballet Festival and at numerous national dance conventions. Her choreography has been featured for the Ice Skating Club of WNY. She teaches children with special needs for the Buffalo School System and is currently on the teaching faculty of Canisius College, Nardin Academy, and is teaching artist for young audiences of Western New York teaching Ballroom Social Dance.

Tom is an Associate Professor of Dance at the University at Buffalo (UB), where he has served as Dance Director and Director of Zodiaque Dance Company. He has taught for all major dance organizations internationally and the United States. He is the third recipient of the prestigious Ivy Hall Foundation Award; accorded first to Gene Kelly. Other citations for his contributions to dance include; First Council of WNY, and most recently 2006 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity.

Many of Kip and Tom’s former students are now working professionally in the entertainment industry and in dance.


Dawn Michele Szerbiak

Dawn has been as educator in the field of dance for 25 years in W.N.Y. She specializes in teaching dance technique to children of all different ages and levels. Her innovative choreography, love of dance and children enhance her teaching capabilities. A former student of Kip & Tom Ralabate, Dawn continued her education at SUNY University of Buffalo. She continues to broaden her knowledge by studying with teachers and dance organizations across the country. Dawn has adjucated competitions locally and in PA. She was Co- Director at Long Lake Camp of the Arts and also was a Teaching Artist for Arts in Education of WNY. Dawn was a member of the Zodiaque Dance Company and has made special guest appearances with Pick of the Crop Dance Company and American Academy of Ballet.