GO ART! honors Dance Reflections by Miss Heather as ‘Organization of the Year’

Provided photos: (Left) Amanda Nowicki congratulates Heather Hapeman on receiving the “Organization of the Year” during the annual Genean Awards celebration by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council. Heather Hapeman is shown with some of her dancers, including from left: Taleana Farell, Paisley Nowicki, Miss Heather, Coraline Hapeman, Madelyn Ingersoll and Dixie Nowicki.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 May 2023 at 2:23 pm

ALBION – A dance studio that has been part of downtown Albion for 17 years was honored as the “Organization of the Year” on Saturday by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts.

Dance Reflections by Miss Heather received one of the Genean Awards given by GO ART! Those awards are given to artists, arts supporters and organizations in Genesee and Orleans counties.

Heather Hapeman started Dance Reflections in 2006. It has grown to 127 dancers. The recital on May 13 drew the biggest crowd yet at about 700 people.

Hapeman works with dancers beginning at age 2 right through high school.

“My heart has always been with dance and teaching,” Hapeman said today. “I can see them grow up and their personalities come alive.”

Heather and her husband Jared have upgraded their downtown building at 50-52 North Main St., with new windows on the second and third floors that were previously boarded up. They have a new black steep ceiling in the dance room, and also remodeled an office and bathroom.

Dance Reflections was the lone winner from Orleans County during the genean celebration on Saturday. Other winners included:

Individual Artist Lifetime Achievement: David Burke, a painter from Bergen

Supporter of the Year: the late James R. Owen of Batavia (GO ART!’s library is now named in his honor at Seymour Place in Batavia.)

GO ART! Volunteer of the Year: Don Fryling, a photographer from Batavia

“It was really a wonderful experience,” Hapeman said about the awards event. “I commend GO ART!”

Photo by Tom Rivers: Heather and Jared Hapeman and their daughter Coraline, then 5, are shown in May 2021 in the dance studio that Mrs. Hapeman opened in 2006. Dance Reflections by Miss Heather has been a mainstay in the Albion downtown. They celebrated their 15th anniversary in 2021.