Mary Beth Castell (MB) COACH
Mary Beth is an enthusiastic, upbeat and inspirational coach and friend to many. Over the past years she has taught school from elementary to college levels, run a non-profit to assist people with dyslexia and related learning differences, and volunteered for numerous organizations. Mary Beth is very empathetic and intuitive and has an innate ability to help others overcome obstacles that may be holding them back from living a more active and productive life. However, she considers her most rewarding role to be that of mom! She has a very close relationship with her 26 year old son and 23 year old daughter. They can often be found helping with photography, videography, technology or choreography with any of the classes or projects their mom has her hand in!
Mary Beth’s personal journey the past 24 months has introduced her to the power of dance as a means to strengthen her self physically, mentally and spiritually. She has since experienced firsthand the many benefits of dance fitness * for the mind, body and soul and is now very passionate about sharing this with others, particularly with the special needs population. Mary Beth will tell you, Dance (really and truly) does it ! “Dance frees the mind from unwanted thoughts, it lets your inner spirit soar, it rejuvenates a tired soul, it brightens a dark day, it livens up any gathering of people, it loosens joints and aids in flexibility, it burns calories, it makes you smile, it increases endorphins and decreases anxiety, it allows you to believe you can be and do anything, it brings people together and creates bonds in a way nothing else can …and that’s just for starters!”
When she is not teaching dance fitness, Mary Beth enjoys traveling, bike riding, interior design, knitting and playing with her sweet little Yorkie, Lilly. She is also very fond of sun, sand, and surf and feels she was born with the beach in her soul. In fact, her favorite food is seafood. Her favorite colors are Caribbean Blue/ Azure. She listens to a very wide variety of music but is partial to contemporary R&B and Pop. Just some of her favorite performers are: Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, DNCE, Justin Bieber, John Legend, John Mayer, Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, and Meghan Trainor. She enjoys watching The Chew, General Hospital and The Voice and her favorite musicals are “Grease”, “Dirty Dancing” and “Jersey Boys”. She adds she has a deep affection for the Porsche Brand and all of the Rocky movies!
* Mary Beth is a certified LaBlast® instructor.
LaBlast is a fun- filled cardio interval workout based on all the dances you see on Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) The partner-free program was created by three-time world dance champion, Louis van Amstel from DWTS. Individuals of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels can successfully participate in LaBlast. The Dance does it team will be competing at the World Dance Contest with a LaBlast dance routine that includes several dance styles!
KELLEEN KINNAIRD (Kelly)
Kelleen Kinnaird is an active 38 year old with a true passion for dance and a flair for fashion. She not only loves LaBlast but also stays busy participating in Jazzercise, Karaoke, Yoga and Bowling. Kelly has one brother, Jim, who is 42 years old. He is married and has 2 boys and Kelly is Godmother to her youngest nephew, Ross.
Kelly also enjoys her job. She works 3 days a week in a seminary in the kitchen. When she’s not working, she loves to watch the soap opera, General Hospital. She can often be found playing with her 3 dogs. She has 2 boxers and a shih tzu named Snuggles! Last but not least, Kelly is a model. She takes pride in the fact she has modeled clothing for “Down’s Designs” and has been in many newspapers and pamphlets.
Kelly likes Taylor Swift and country music too. She enjoys the musical, “Grease”. Some of her other favorites are: Dancing with the Stars; the colors pink and purple; a hamburger and French fries tops her list of favorite food and Christmas is her favorite holiday.
When we ask Kelly what dance does for her she quickly replies, “ Dance makes me happy and is good exercise!” Kelly adds that she is very happy to be a part of the Dance Does It Team and the whole experience of getting ready to go to Austria to compete during the World Games. The Team is definitely glad to have Kelly!!
MICHAEL SUKALAC (Mike)
Mike is a 30 year old with a zest for life and an amazing aptitude for dance! He dances anytime he gets a chance and has participated in many talent shows. He dances because “It is good exercise and makes me VERY happy!”
Michael graduated from St.Mary of the Assumption School and Mentor High School. Mike has worked for JSI at Lubrizol in Wickliffe, OH for over 5 years. When he is not working or dancing he enjoys playing basketball and baseball and also participates in Jazzercise and Karaoke. Even with all of this activity, Mike finds time to volunteer in the Fitness Center at Lakeland Community College and was named a Lake-Geauga Red Cross Hero for his volunteer work. Mike was also chosen as Self-Advocate of the year by The Northeast Ohio “Up Side of Downs”.
Michael enjoys listening to Elton John and Vanessa Williams and his favorite bands are “In Sync” and BackStreet Boys”. Among other favorites are the color yellows and eating pasta! He enjoys going to visit his girlfriend and his favorite TV show is “Dancing with the Stars”.
Mike lives with his parents, Jim & Dorothy Sukalac, in Mentor, OH. We are proud of Mike and so fortunate to have him on our team. He really keeps everyone motivated!
Michael has Down syndrome AND he is an 11 year Leukemia survivor. He endured
3 ½ years of chemotherapy treatment starting in 2002. Today he is a “typical teenager” and enjoys all sports; he plays Special Olympics basketball in the winter, adapted baseball in the summer and he also enjoys watching sports on TV. According to his parents, Michael is happy and joyous and free but also can be stubborn and sassy! He has 3 siblings: a twin sister Michaela and brothers Dominic and Anthony.
Michael absolutely loves to dance and loves going to dances at school, weddings or anywhere he can show off his moves. His mom smiles as she says “Boy does he have moves and I have no idea where he got them!!” Michael says that our Dance Team makes him really happy and makes him want to "dance, dance, dance”!
To go with his moves, Michael is a sharp dresser and really likes to coordinate his own outfits. He also likes folding and organizing his clothes. His favorite color is blue and he enjoys watching “Full House” and “Two and a half Men”. His favorite food is KFC chicken bowls and strips but admits to liking many different things!
MARY ANN FEDERICO “Mare”
Mary Ann is an upbeat, happy mom of 4 and married to her best friend for 31 years!
Her 4 children are:
Dominic, 23, a Registered Nurse at University Hospital
Anthony 21, playing football and studying Pharmacy at Findley University
Michaela 20, Studying Special Education at Kent State University
Michael 20, A Senior at Willoughby South High and Special in Every Way!
Mare enjoys being with her family and friends and also likes her job as a restaurant server where she meets new friends daily. Her hobbies include bowling with friends once a week, gambling “a little” at the local casinos, dancing and spending quality time with loved ones. Mary Ann especially likes the new lifelong friends she is making through Dance does it, and said she loves to dance, dance, dance!!!
Mary Ann loves the sun, so it makes sense her favorite holidays start with Easter and continue through the summer months in Cleveland and include Memorial Day and 4th of July! Her favorite vacation spots are anywhere where there is a beach and palm trees! Even still, she is beyond excited to visit Austria and compete during the Special Olympics World Winter Games!
Ellana is very outgoing and a lot of fun at team practice and she also enjoys her job as a recreation specialist. She has worked in the Deepwood Recreation Department for almost 3 years. Her passions have always landed her working with, and for, people of all gaes and abilities. Her undergraduate degree is in adapted physical education and then she went on to get her Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration. Before working at the Lake County Board of Developmental Disabilities she worked in a nursing home as an exercise coordinator.
Ellana is an avid Cleveland Sports Fan and never misses a minute of Cleveland Indians Baseball. When asked to write this bio, she did so in front of the TV screen while cheering the Indians on in the World Series Game!!! She says one of her favorite things is Tom Hamilton announcing a Cleveland WIN as well as a beautiful sunny day or time spent away at her cabin!
Ellana loves spending time with her family and friends. She’s an animal lover and also a violinist. She enjoys music and musicals and even performed in several in high school. Some of her favorites are “Into the Woods”, “Wicked” “Rent” and “Les Miserables”. Her favorite color is green and holiday is Christmas! If relaxing she may be found with a good pizza watching an episode of Modern Family. Finally, Ellana does love to dance and said she is very much looking forward to her extended time with the LaBlast dance crew!
ERIC GANTMAN (Big E)
Eric is 16 years old and the middle child of Yelena and Alex Gantman. Eric has Down’s Syndrome but it sure does not slow him down or keep him from reaching his goals in life! Since elementary school he has been known for his great sense of humor. He also loves to dance! His mother says his mornings start with dancing when he goes to their gameroom, puts “Just Dance” on and completes a few dances each day. He also loves watching dances on You Tube and hopes to learn how to waltz! He likes all styles of dance/music. He listens to Bruno Mars, Imagine Dragons, Russian Pop Music, Latino Dance Music, and even Classical. Eric says what Dance does for him is brings his spirits up and energizes him and he always has a lot of fun at practices.
Another one of Eric’s passions is Tae Kwon Do. He goes to practices almost every day and as a result he has 2 Black Belts and is working on a 3rd! If that isn’t enough, he also bowls! In addition to these activities, Eric likes playing with his 3 dogs. He has a shi-pooh named Kesha, and two Chinese-crested dogs named Lorde and Arisha, whom he adores.
Eric’s favorite colors are green and black and he loves shrimp and steak for dinner. His Birthday is his favorite day of the year and he also loves Christmas and New Years Eve/Day!
Eric has an older sister, Dasha and a younger brother, Mark, who he is very close to. Eric’s mom said “Our family is blessed by having Eric in our lives. He brings so much joy and excitement to our everyday routine.” She adds that Eric is very excited and proud to be a part of such a wonderful group of dancers going to Special Olympics in Austria!
Kathy is an amazing woman. Her sister-in-law, Tana, describes her as “one of the most patient and loving people I know!” She is constantly smiling and can light up any room. Kathy is very into music and plays the guitar. Music and dance make Kathy very happy! She loves listening to Michael Jackson, Def Leppard, Van Halen and Madonna. Kathy says that dancing is so much fun and she gets to express herself! She also expresses her fun personality when she imitates the Three Stooges. She loves watching the Three Stooges with her brother and can do great impressions. Just ask her!
Kathy also loves to color and watch the TV show “Cops”. She enjoys reading and she makes lists of all the books she has read. In addition to her hobbies, Kathy works at the Willoughby Workshop for Deepwood . She loves helping others in any way she can. In fact, she can often be found pushing her friends in wheelchairs around in the workshop and to their bus. Finally, Kathy is an avid Clevelend Cavaliers fan and her favorite player is Kevin Love!
Kathy’s brother tells us that “Kathy is very excited to have the experience and be part of the Dance Does It team going to Austria for the Special Olympics World Winter Games. She really loves all of it!”
Tana is an all around go-getter who is happy to help others with anything they need. She approaches life with honesty and enthusiasm. She has been married for 8 years and she and her husband enjoy taking vacations or short weekend getaways to Niagara-on-the-Lake. When they have time to travel a distance, Slovenia is their first choice!
Tana and her husband Mark are legal guardians of Mark’s sister, Kathy, who has Down Syndrome. Tana loves to have fun and will do anything that makes Kathy happy. Talking about Kathy, Tana says “Kathy brings out a different side of me. She has shown me to slow down and that things don’t need to be rushed.”
Tana also appreciates dance for similar reasons. She said dance makes her feel happy and releases any stress she may be having. Tana adds, “Dance lets you have a good time and your true self can shine through!” She also has a good time listening to classic rock from the 60’s and likes Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, Doors, Van Morrison and has a deep love for the Dave Matthews Band!
Aside from music, Tana has a small business where she upcycles furniture to give it a new, fresh look. She also works part time at Zele & Zele Co., a local, family law firm. She listens to talk radio and enjoys eating lobster and shrimp. Other favorites are the color orange and celebrating Thanksgiving with her family!
Karen is a very outgoing and generous person who enjoys helping others. She owns a company that makes pants and jeans for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities. The clothes have no buttons or zippers but look fashionable and are a blessing to many. The company is called “Downs Designs”. Karen devotes 70 hrs a week to her company yet still finds time to dance because she loves everything about dance. Karen said she makes the time for dance because she loves being involved with the wonderful people with special needs on our team. Karen has a granddaughter who was born with Down syndrome and who was the inspiration for her clothing line!
Karen does take a few hours off here and there and when she does she enjoys watching “America’s Got Talent” or coloring in one of the new-age coloring books. She loves the color pink and Chinese food and recently returned from her favorite place to travel which is China.
SHERYL LYNN KINTOP (SB)
Sheryl is very thoughtful, caring and determined. Her mom and dad say she loves to be in charge and is always happy, especially when she is helping people out! She enjoys spending time with her family and has 2 brothers and sisters-in-law, a sister and brother-in-law and 10 nieces and nephews who are all very special to her.
For fun, Sheryl loves to play Wii with her boyfriend Charlie and loves winning! She also loves to hang out with friends and play basketball, floor hockey, softball, and bowling. Karaoke is another favorite hobby and cooking is too. She thinks burritos and pasta are the best and may enjoy them while watching the Cleveland Cavaliers or Indians or even an Ohio State Football game. If she has a sleepover with girlfriends they may be listening to her favorite singer, Scotty McCreery or watching “Fullhouse” or the Disney Channel.
Sheryl loves dancing and loves that she makes new friends. She also mentioned that dance makes her healthy and she is so happy when she is at our dance team practices. She is also very happy spending Christmas with her family, Valentines Day with Charlie, and when she is visiting Disneyworld!
ETHAN KONIG, Assistant Coach
Ethan has been teaching and training in ballroom dancing for more than 9 years. He specializes in Theater Arts (lifts, dips and drops) and his favorite dance styles are smooth and International Standard. He has won awards in both rhythm, and smooth dancing competitions throughout Ohio, and nationally. He performs and teaches throughout the Greater Cleveland area with his partner, Shannon Taylor for news channels, RNC events, and more. “Dancing saves my sanity,” Ethan says. “It can make any situation better, and I can’t wait to pass that along to my students each day.” Ethan’s love of dancing shines through every moment of the day; and he can help you find the passion and joy in your life, too.
Off the dance floor, Ethan likes playing video games as well as learning new languages. Ethan loves a great pizza and his musical tastes include Phil Collins and Indie folk rock band, The Decemberists. A favorite vacation spot for Ethan takes him to Beaufort, NC and he is also really looking forward to team time in Austria!
Kara Shubert is a 44 year old, divorced mom of two: Michael (20 yrs.) and Ella (14 yrs.) and lives in Mentor. She is a recreation specialist at the Lake County Board of Developmental Disabilities (LCBDD) and has worked there since graduating from Gannon University some 20+ years ago! Kara is a friend and coworker to many and she loves to spend time with friends and family. She is also active with her daughter’s school and coaches her daughter's school volleyball team. Her daughter is involved with travel volleyball so they are on the road a lot!
Kara enjoys cooking and cleaning, reading and gardening, crafting and home décor and also loves to golf and do anything outdoors. She loves the beach! Even with so many interests, Kara says “I will take spending time with my kids over anything!” She adds, “now that they are getting older they are ditching me a lot! So, I guess its time for Kara!”
Dance does it! For Kara, dancing makes her feel young and she sees dance as not only a way to socialize but as an energizer. “Dancing brings back the fun, the memories, the joy!”
Kara loves the musical, “Mame” and all Christmas musicals. She listens to country, R&B, and hip hop and lists Jennifer Lopez and Janet Jackson as favorites. Kara takes pride in knowing most of the current songs and credits her daughter for that! The two of them like to sing in the car like rock stars!
Rounding out a few of her favorite things are the TV shows, “Designated Survivor” and any of the “Housewives…” shows. She loves a good steak and anything chocolate as well as anywhere tropical for a vacation. She said she sees great things ahead for our team and is very much looking forward to our trip to compete in the Special Olympics!
Lani is a very sweet, thoughtful and kind person and is always on the go. She keeps up by making to-do lists and loves to create them especially for holiday events! Lani has loved music and dancing every since she was a toddler. Her favorite singers are Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Shania Twain, and the Spice Girls. She also loves musicals, especially Jersey Boys, Mary Poppins and Lion King.
When she’s not singing and dancing she has a rescue kitty named Buffy that she loves taking care of and she is also very responsible taking care of anything that needs done around the house. Outside, Lani enjoys gardening and this year she planted her own flowers that she started from seed!
Lani loves celebrating holidays with family and friends and she can be found decorating for her favorites (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas) often earlier than everyone else. Baking is part of her preparing and Lani loves decorating cupcakes. She recently became an aunt and is in love with her nephew!
When asked what Dance does for her, Lani said “Dancing has given me new friends and makes me really happy. I meet people, move around and its so much fun!” When she’s not dancing, she might be playing softball, volleyball or perhaps ice skating. She also enjoys crafts and video games and loves the color purple! When relaxing you might find Lani having some stuffed crust pizza or lasagna and watching ‘Once Upon a Time” or “The Good Witch”
Lani loves vacationing with family and some of her favorite places are: Niagara Falls, NYC, Disney World and Ft. Meyers, FL. She is super excited about the trip to Austria!
SHANNON TAYLOR, Assistant Coach
Shannon has been with Fred Astaire Dance Studios for over 6 years. She has done choreography locally, and competed/placed in rhythm and smooth categories. She, along with her fiancé Ethan Konig, often performs and teaches throughout the Greater Cleveland area. She has been a featured dancer on Channel 8, RNC Cleveland events, PRIDE Cleveland, NBA halftime performances, and more. Shannon started in theater and vocals at 5-years-old, has been training in belly dancing since she was 12, and began studying ballroom at 16. She has been known to put together local and national competitions (Transplant Games 2016), large events, and showcases. “I can’t imagine my life without dance in it, my world is a brighter color! Everything is better when dance is involved.”
When she is not dancing, Shannon enjoys singing and getting creative with make up artistry. She also likes John Mayer and Michael Buble, any type of potatoes and Disneyworld is her first choice for a vacation getaway!
Dance does it offers unified dance fitness classes for people with special needs. In addition to weekly fun and dance fitness, opportunities are provided to perform and/or compete locally as well as globally to help promote awareness of the abilities of those with Down’s Syndrome and similar special needs.
Save the Date
February 9, 2017
LaVera Party Center
32200 Chardon Rd, Willoughby Hills, OH
We are honored and excited to be invited to perform in Austria at the World Dance Contest being held as part of the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games!
It would mean the world to us if you could help this dream become a reality by donating to our team. Every dollar will be highly appreciated and they do add up.