Kinner & Co. Dance Studio, Inc

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Kinner & Co. Dance Studio Inc., under the direction of Abby Donaldson, provides quality dance instruction for the pre-school student through the advanced student. The abilities of each dancer are nurtured in an atmosphere of positive motivation, self-discipline and individual attention. Dance is a beautiful, compelling, and illuminating art form which stimulates thought and explores the wonders of human nature. Kinner & Co. Dance Studio offers classes taught by certified dance instructors. 

We are located on the north side of Springfield, Illinois and easily accessed from I-55 and State Route 54 for our widely located clientele. We offer classes for children ages three and up. We offer instruction in Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary and Acrobatics.

Why choose Kinner & Co.?

 "I love the life long, strong sisterhood bond my daughter has made with her classmates at Kinner & Co. over her 10 years and counting. All the girls show great compassion for the love of dance together!" - Emily, Dance Mom

"I like Kinner & Co. because everyone there is so encouraging and they all push me to be a better person and dancer." - Audrey, Dancer

 "Kinner is our 2nd home. Everyone there is like one big family!" - Kim, Dance Mom

 "My favorite thing about Kinner & Co. is how friendly all the teachers, Kathy & Dave are. My daughter loves it there!" - Christina, Dance Mom 

Our Team


Miss Abby

Owner, Director, Teacher

Abby has been with Kinner & Co. Dance Studio since 1991.  She served as an assistant, teacher, and assistant director for several years.  In June 2021, she took over as Owner & Director.

Her choreography has won numerous top scoring awards, special awards and choreography awards throughout the past several years.

In 2004, Abby tested and was accepted as a member of the Southern Association of Dance Masters (SADM).  She has served as a board member, Secretary, and in 2020 was elected as President.  She is certified to teach tap, ballet, jazz and tumbling through both SADM and CNADM.

Abby is a proud certified teacher for Youth Protection Advocates in Dance, Progressing Ballet Technique, Acrobatic Arts, Pirouette Surgery, Leap Surgery, and Alixa Flexibility.

In addition to teaching at Kinner & Co. Dance Studio, Abby works for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

Miss Jessica

Assistant Director, Teacher

Jessica  has been dancing at Kinner & Co. Dance Studio since 2004. She started with tap classes and fell in love with the rest. Jessica loved competing for 12 years as a member of the Shooting Stars Dance Team. Jessica served as an assistant for many years and has been teaching and choreographing since 2009.  During her time with Kinner and Co., Jessica has won numerous top awards and scholarships. Dances she has taught have won many top awards, special judge’s awards and a choreography award.

Jessica has been a member of the Southern Association of Dance Masters for 8 years, and a Certified Teacher in tap, ballet and jazz since she was sixteen years old.  Through SADM she currently serves as Co-Chair for the Certified Student Teacher Program as well as a member of the Media Committee.

Jessica has attended the week-long CNADM Ballet Form and the 3-day Dance Teacher Summit in Long Beach, CA. She is proudly certified to teach Alixa Flexibility. Teaching dance is Jessica's passion, she loves watching all her students grow into beautiful humans and dancers! She is so proud of all their hard work.

Jessica currently resides in Springfield with her husband Aaron, their beautiful daughter Evelina, and are expecting a baby boy in July!


Miss Kate


Kate started dancing at Kinner & Co. in 1996 after her mom bought a pair of used tap shoes for $2.00 from a family friend.  In 2000, Kate joined the Shooting Stars Dance Team, and performed and competed with the team until she graduated high school in 2010.  Some of her favorite dance memories include performing at local festivals and events, traveling to conventions with her mom, and sharing the stage with her “Dancing Dad” each recital.

At Illinois College, Kate majored in English and minored in Theater.  She was heavily involved in her school’s TheatreWorks program, both on and off stage.  She was also a member of the Baby Blues Dance Team, of which she was captain her junior and senior years.  Kate graduated from Valparaiso University Law School in 2017 and currently works as Policy Counsel in the Office of Child and Family Policy at DCFS.

Kate is an active member of the Springfield area theatre community, and has performed in multiple productions with Springfield Muni Opera, Springfield Theatre Center, and Hoogland Center for the Arts.  She has also choreographed three children’s shows for the Springfield Theatre Center, including 2022’s Moana, Jr.

After law school, Kate returned to Springfield and to her dance family at Kinner & Co. She joined the teaching staff and earned her teaching certification through the Southern Association of Dance Masters in November 2017.  She is certified in ballet, tap, jazz, and acro.  As a member of SADM, Kate has served as a board member, Treasurer, and currently serves as the Chairperson of the Competition Committee and a member of the Ethics Committee.  Kate also holds a certification from Acrobatic Arts.


Miss Tara

Teacher, Receptionist

Tara is a 2020 graduate of Athens High School.  She has been dancing with Kinner & Co. since the age of three, and has enjoyed every minute of it.  She has been teaching classes at Kinner since 2017 after serving as an assistant for many years.

Tara took the membership exams in July 2017 at the Southern Association of Dance Masters convention in Memphis, Tennessee, and is now a certified teacher in tap, ballet, jazz, and acro.  Last spring, Tara became a certified instructor for Acrobatic Arts’ Preschool Program.

She serves as Co-Chair of the Certified Student Teach Program and a board assistant.  She teaches Creative Movement and Pound, and also loves to help with the dance team as the official team photographer and all-around hype woman.

Tara attends Lincoln Land Community College, where she participates in the Honors Program and the Associate Degree Nursing Program.  When not at the studio, Tara enjoys babysitting, photography, working multiple jobs, spending time with her friends and family, and playing with her dog, Lily.

Our Team


Miss Ashley


Ashley danced with Kinner & Co. Dance Studio from 1989 to 2007.  She served as an assistant for several years and taught from 2003 to 2010 and again from 2017 to 2019.  Ashley competed with the Shooting Stars Competition Team from 1996 to 2007, where she was a member of numerous award-winning dances.

Throughout her years at Kinner & Co. Dance Studio, Ashley attended SADM Convention, the four-day CNADM Ballet Forum, danced on the cruise ship Inspiration, and performed at Disney World and Six Flags.  She has also performed for many civic organizations and attended several other dance conventions.

In 2004, Ashley became certified through SADM to teach tap, ballet, and jazz.  In August of 2018, Ashley became certified to teach Progressing Ballet Technique in Chicago. In 2022 Ashley was appointed to the SADM board. 

Ashley is currently working for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Springfield and has been with the company for 12 years.  She currently resides in Mechanicsburg with her husband Bobby, two sons, Ty and Gage, and two dogs, Midas and Winnie.

Miss Carmen


Carmen began dancing at Kinner & Co. in 2005 when she was four years old.  She joined the dance team at the age of 10.  Carmen assisted for many years and started teaching when she was 16 years old and has loved every minute of it!  Since then, Carmen has choreographed many award-winning solos, duets, trios, and group dances.  One of her proudest moments was choreographing the highest scoring dance of Starz competition in 2019 with the Level 6 tap dance “Green Mountain State”.

Carmen is certified to teach tap, jazz, ballet, and acro through the Southern Association of Dance Masters, where she serves on the Competition Committee.

Carmen resides in Springfield with her three younger sisters, Carissa, Clair, and Chloe and loving parents Chris and Rhonda.  She is so proud of her sisters and all they accomplish both on and off the stage!  Carmen is also a proud Air Force fiancé (we love and miss you Blake)!

In May 2021 Carmen graduated from Lincoln Land Community College with high honors and an Associate Degree in Science.  She is currently continuing her education at the University of Illinois at Springfield.


Miss Mariah


Miss Mariah, also known as Miss Flo, began dancing at Kinner and Company at the age of six. At the age of seven she joined Team and began dancing competitively. Mariah throughout her dancing career received various accolades and scholarships including being a Dupree Dance Allstar in 2013 and 2015. In high school Mariah became choreographer and Co-Captain of the SSHS Poms team, while also competing individually at competitions in the area. 

Mariah attended Boston University where she studied Film/Television and African American Studies. While in school, she was director and choreographer for Afrithms, Boston University’s African Dance Team, and a member of Vibes, an all-female Hip Hop Dance Team. Mariah now teaches Hip-Hop at Kinner and Co. and choreographs for various local projects and artists. 

When not dancing, Mariah enjoys Spoken-word, playing with her adorable cats, practicing Yoga, and aerial arts. Miss Mariah is grateful for her awesome students and the amazing staff for welcoming her back with open arms.

Miss Carissa


Carissa is  a 2021 graduate of Williamsville High School.  While at WHS, Carissa was the drum major of the marching band, a member of madrigals and vocal jazz, played varsity soccer and was recognized as the October Student of the Month for her senior class.  This year, Carissa is attending Lincoln Land Community College to study biology and hopes to one day become a pediatric occupational therapist.  She continues to teach at Kinner & Co. and manages the Combination Class Program.

Carissa has been dancing with Kinner & Co. since she was three years old and joined the dance team when she was 10.  During her time on the dance team, Carissa has been a part of many award-winning dances, including top placing solos.

Carissa started assisting classes as soon as she could and fell in love with it right away.  As a result, she made the decision to become a Certified Student Teacher through SADM.  Last summer, Carissa transitioned to full membership in SADM.  Carissa is certified to teach in tap, jazz, ballet, and acro.




Kaitlyn Fry


Kaitlyn is a 2016 graduate from Williamsville High School. She started dancing at Kinner & Co. Dance Studio when she was 6 years old in 2003. Kaitlyn was a part of the Shooting Stars Dance Team competing at all of the team competitions and several extra competitions, winning many top overall awards and scholarships. Kaitlyn tested at Southern Association of Dance Masters (SADM) in 2014 where she became a Certified Student Teacher in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Acro. Kaitlyn found her true passion in the dance industry when she started choreographing and teaching young dancers. 

After Kaitlyn spent 3 years overseas in Spain with her husband while he served in the United States Navy, Kaitlyn has moved back home to start her career and get back to fulfilling her passion. Kaitlyn is back as a teacher and choreographer and she is also a licensed Real Estate Agent with the Real Estate Group. Kaitlyn is very excited and thankful to be back at the studio she loves dearly and can not wait to help young dancers find their passion in this industry. 

Suzanne Specha


Suzanne has been dancing since she was three years old and got her start at the Dance Factory in Taylorville. She continued to dance until she graduated from high school, and then took a few classes at Illinois State University while pursuing her bachelor's degree in Education. After a few years break, two wonderful children, and a master's degree, she is back to wearing  her dancing shoes and happily dancing with the Creative Movement students at Kinner & Co. Dance Studio. 

At Illinois State University, Suzanne earned her degree in Education, while taking almost enough classes to complete a dance minor. She continued her education by attending Eastern Illinois University and earned her Masters in Educational Administration in 2011. Suzanne currently works as a 7th grade English Language Arts teacher at Taylorville Junior High School, where she recently completed her 22nd year of teaching.  In her free time, she enjoys being a dance mom here at Kinner & Co., traveling with her family, and crocheting.  

Katrina Johnson


Kat is a 2021 graduate of Williamsville High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, chosen as an Illinois Scholar and active in the art and music departments.  Kat recently finished her freshman year at the University of South Florida in Tampa as a Public Relations and Advertising major.

Kat began dancing at Kinner & Co. when she was three.  She began assisting when she was 12 and became a teacher when she was 16.  In 2018 she passed her tap, ballet, and jazz exams to become a certified teacher through SADM.  Kat taught for two seasons as well as when she comes home on school breaks.

In the past few years, she has developed a love for choreographing.  During her time on the dance team, Kat competed around the country and danced at Walt Disney World.  Kat also enjoys graphic design, photography, and horror movies.

Katie Collins


Katie is a 2021 graduate from Williamsville High School where she was a member of National Honor Society, captain of the varsity soccer and cheer teams, and on the yearbook committee. She is currently attending the University of Missouri where she is studying Health Science is on the Dean’s List. She is currently a member of Alpha Chi Omega, which allows her to continue her dance career in several different competitions and fulfill philanthropic duties for domestic violence awareness.

Katie began dancing at Kinner & Co. Dance Studio when she was 3 years old and fell in love with dancing and being on stage. Her love of being on stage spurred her to join the dance team where she had the opportunity to dance around the country earning multiple overall awards, judges’ awards, and scholarships.

She currently teaches turns and leaps for ages 9-18 and choreographs for the dance team. Katie is working on getting certified in WERQ, which is a new and fun dance fitness program and she cannot wait to bring it to Kinner & Co.

Teachers & Staff



Bio coming soon!

Miss Ava


Ava is a recent graduate of Rochester High School.  Ava has been dancing at Kinner & Co. since she was three years old. She has been a member of the competitive dance team for many years where she has participated in award winning pieces. At 15, she began assisting and loved it so much that she decided to become a teacher.  She is certified to teach through the Southern Association of Dance Masters. She had a great first year of teaching and hopes to continue doing it further down the line.

Ava loves reading, spending time with her cats Cinder and Max, watching horror movies and TV shows, and creating award-winning artwork.  She will continue her education at Northern Illinois University in the fall, where she plans to double-major in studio art and art history.

Miss Rylee


Rylee is  a recent graduate of Riverton High School.  She plans to continue her education at Illinois College in the fall, where she will be a member of the competitive dance team.

Rylee has been dancing at Kinner & Co. for nine years and competing for seven.  She has been part of many award-winning dances. Rylee is certified to teach dance through the Southern Association of Dance Masters. 

This was her first year teaching and she thought it was amazing.  She plans to come back and teach when she can when she isn’t too busy with college life.

Nana & Papa

Support Team

Nana & Papa are the most amazing support system we could ask for!

They have been actively involved with Kinner & Co. since Miss Abby and her sisters started dance in the 90's.

Currently, they serve as the best sounding boards, maintenance crew, painters, general fix-it crew, tear wipers and hug givers. 

We are so thankful to have them here to help guide us and support us!