Director/Instructor

Deborah Lipa-Ciotta

Deborah Lipa-Ciotta founded Creative Dance for Children Classes in 2001 and is happy to share her love of creative and modern dance with our community.  In 2009 she started Pleien Dance Company, a modern dance repertory company for ages 7-18.  Pleien was created to provided young dancers rich performance opportunities and increase people's awarness of and appreciation for creative and modern dance.


Ms. Lipa-Ciotta is also on the faculty of the Tapestry Charter School, a Buffalo, NY public Expeditionary Learning school for children, parents and teachers who believe in weaving together the humanities, sciences, arts and social responsibility.  Ms. Lipa-Ciotta instructs Kindergarten through 5th grade dance as a core component of Tapestry’s multi-age program. Prior to joining Tapestry, she was on the faculty at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts Dance Department (grades 5-12) from 1989-2006.

Ms. Lipa-Ciotta is New York State Certified in K-12 Dance and received her BS in Dance and MA in Dance Education from the State University of New York College at Brockport where she wrote a thesis on a Discipline-Based Dance Education Curriculum Model. As part of her undergraduate program, she also studied at the Middlesex Polytechnic School of Arts and Performance in London, England.  In 2010 Ms. Lipa-Ciotta received coaching from the American Dance Legacy Institute and is decicated to sharing with her students, the Repertory Etudes™, short dances based on signature works of American choreographers.  In January 2011 she presented a three day Creative Dance Seminar  at the School of Vera & Regina Alexopoulou in Athens, Greece.  In July 2012, she attended the Summer Dance Institute for Teachers in Seattle, Washington.  This Brain-Compatible Dance Education course was created and taught by Anne Green Gilbert who is a internationally know author and dance educator.

In addition to her role as a member of the Tapestry faculty, Ms. Lipa-Ciotta has also taught at SUNY Brockport, SUNY Fredonia,  Leonardo da Vinci High School, Northern Lights Children’s Performing Arts Center, Amherst Community Education Program and Rich’s Family Center-EduKids.

Ms. Lipa-Ciotta has also served as co-choreographer and performer in the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts ballet “Light from a Dark Canvas," a ballet of the Holocaust.  She has also choreographed several concert pieces and musicals during her years as a public school dance educator. She is a former member of Floorplay Contemporary Dance Company, Fusion Dance Company and SUNY Brockport Dancscore.

Through her association with the New York State Summer School of the Arts Dance program, she has also served in the capacity of Administrative Assistant and member of the audition panel for three years. She was co-coordinator of the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts Jamaica, West Indies Cultural Exchange programs and taught at the Jamaica School of Dance Summer Program. Additional professional affiliations include membership in the daCi (dance and the Child international) organization, promoting growth and development of dance for youth internationally and NDEO National Dance Education Organization.

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Photography by Jim Bush, Maureen Colucci, Magezi Photography and Deborah Lipa-Ciotta