Kinner & Co. Dance Studio, Inc

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Mrs. Kathleen Kinner - “Miss. Kathy” - (Owner, Director, Teacher) Kathy has been teaching dance to students from the Springfield, Riverton, Sherman, Williamsville and surrounding communities for the past 36 years and is certified through Dance Educators of America. She is a tested and accepted member of Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and has served on the board of the Southern Association of Dance Masters. Kathy is currently serving as the President of this honorable Association. She began dancing at the age of eight at the Jo & Joey Mack School of Dance and taught at their school for four years. She also performed in the area for several years with Mack’s Dancing Dolls.

Kathy is dedicated to bringing quality dance to her local community. She formed the Shooting Stars Dance Team in 1996, and they have competed at numerous workshops, conventions and competitions, earning many 1st, Gold, Grand and Top Awards. Besides taking students to New York, Bermuda and the Caribbean to perform and take classes, she has also taken large groups to perform at Six Flags and Disneyworld. This summer The Shooting Stars Dance Team traveled to Memphis to attend the Southern Association of Dance Masters Convention and Competition where they scored many Top Awards.  A group of 16 Dance Team members danced at Disneyworld and performed in their electric parade this past summer.

Anna Washko - “Miss Anna” - (Teacher) Anna is 24 years old and danced with Kinner & Co. from the age of three until 18. She attended Southeast  Missouri State University for her first two years of  college and returned to Springfield in 2013 to finish her degree and rejoin Kinner & Co. as a   teacher and dancer.  While being a part of the studio, she competed with the dance team for a total of eight years and won numerous awards in groups and as a soloist in many  competitions. She has tested and been accepted as a member of the SADM and is a certified instructor for tap, ballet, jazz, and tumbling. Anna has been an instructor and choreographer for Kinner & Co. for 6 years, and was honored to be a recipient (along with her co-choreographers) of the Choreography Award at SADM’s 2015 summer competition for the production number, “Stars Align.”

As a member of SADM, she is currently serving as Co-chairperson of the Certified Student Members program. In summer 2015, Anna attended the 3-day Dance Teacher Summit in Long Beach, CA.

Aside from working for Kinner & Co. Dance Studio, Anna is also employed by Troy A. Washko, CPA and  Sacred Heart Griffin High School as the Golden Angel Poms Head Coach.  She volunteers as a Pageant Crew Member for both the Miss Sangamon County Fair Queen and the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageants. Anna graduated from the University of Illinois - Springfield with her Bachelor’s in Accounting. She will be returning to UIS this fall to begin her Master’s Degree in Accounting. She currently resides in Chatham with her three cats, Bella, Hayes and Charlie.

Abby Damm - “Miss. Abby” - (Assistant Director, Teacher) Abby has been with Kinner and Co. Dance Studio since 1991. She served as an assistant for several years and is in her 14th season as a teacher. Abby was a member of the Shooting Stars Competition Team from 1996-2010 and served as team captain from 2004-2009. While on Team, she was part of numerous top scoring routines. Her choreography has won numerous top scoring awards, special awards and choreography awards throughout the past several years.

Abby has attended the four Chicago National Association of Dance Masters (CNADM) Ballet Forum and Teacher Training School in Chicago, danced on the cruise ships Explorer of the Seas and Inspiration, performed at Disney World and Six Flags, attended Dance Caravan Convention, the Rhee Gold Dance Life Teacher Convention, and the 3-Day Dance Teacher Summit. 

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

Abby is a proud certified member of Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (YPAD). 

Abby is a 2011 graduate of the University of Illinois – Springfield, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice. She has been involved with many civic organizations, including the Festival of Trees, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Springfield Jaycees and the 9/11 Heroes Run. In addition to teaching at Kinner & Co. Dance Studio, Abby works for the  Illinois Terrorism Task Force through Western Illinois University as a Strategic Planner. She currently resides in Springfield with her husband, Brandon, amazing step-son, Braydan and rescue dogs, Tris and Buddy.

Jessica Bulinski - “Miss Jessica” - (Teacher) Jessica is 22 years old and has been dancing at Kinner & Co. Dance Studio since 2004. She started with tap classes and fell in love with the rest. Jessica enjoyed competing for 12 years as a member of the Shooting Stars Dance Team. Jessica served as an assistant for many years and is finishing her 7th season as a teacher.

During her time with Kinner and Co., Jessica has won numerous top awards, scholarships and a choreography award. Jessica has been a member of the Southern Association of Dance Masters for four years, and a Certified Teacher since she was sixteen years old.  Through SADM she serves as Co-Chair for the Certified Student Member Program as well as a member of the Media       Committee. Jessica has attended the weeklong CNADM Ballet Form and the 3-day Dance Teacher Summit in Long Beach, CA.

When not at the Studio, Jessica works for a local flower shop, enjoys photography, is animal mom to 10  different pets, and is planning her wedding. She currently resides in Springfield with her fiancé,  Aaron.

Ashley Lemmon – “Miss Ashley” – (Teacher) Ashley is 30 years old and danced with Kinner & Co. Dance Studio from 1989 to 2007. She served as an assistant for several years and taught from 2003 to2010. 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., Ashley attended SADM conventions, the four-day CNADM Ballet Forum, danced on the cruise ship Inspiration, performed at Disney Word 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. She will renew her certification this summer. Ashley received her Cosmetology License in 2008 from The University of Spa and Cosmetology Arts in Springfield and still does hair for close family and friends when she has time. She is currently working for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Springfield and has been with the company for 7 years. She currently resides in Mechanicsburg with her husband Bobby, two sons Ty & Gage and a Silver Labrador, Midas. 

Tara Sholtis - "Miss Tara" - (Teacher. Intern) Tara is 16 years old and is currently a sophomore at Springfield High School. She has been dancing with Kinner and Co. since the age of 3, and has enjoyed every minute of it. She continues to take classes and compete with the Shooting Stars Dance Team and loves attending competitions and conventions.

Tara took the membership exams this past summer (2017) at the Southern Association of Dance Masters Convention in Memphis, Tennessee, and is now a certified teacher in tap, ballet, jazz, and tumbling. Tara will be teaching Level 1 and 2 tap as well as Level 1 jazz and Level 2 Tumbling this year. When not at the studio, Tara enjoys babysitting, spending time with her friends and family, and playing with her dog, Lily. Tara resides in Springfield with her amazing parents, Kelly and Joe, triplet brothers, Colby and Kyle, and her perfect dog, Lily. Tara can’t wait to begin teaching, and to see what this year holds for her and her dancers.

Studio Assistants:  Tara Sholtis, Audrey Fuiten, Katie Collins, Katrina Johnson, 

Carissa Carter, Ava Martin, Rachel White, Morgan Chastain

Substitute Teacher: Kate Von de Bur

Demonstrators: Mia Capranica, Audrey Bowden, Rylee Dodd, 

Maddy Gebhardt, Abella Mann, Cassidy Jennings, Ryan Camille

Jennifer Harness – “Miss Jen” - (Teacher) Jennifer has been dancing with Kinner & Co. since the age of five and has enjoyed growing up at the studio.  

She competed on the Kinner & Co. Dance Team for numerous years. She has attended Dupree, Star Systems, Company Dance, SADM, and many other conventions and competition. She has been part of award winning numbers.

Jennifer has also performed through Dancing at Sea on the Cruise Ship Inspiration, at Disney World, Six Flags, Festival of Trees and many area nursing homes and civic organizations. Jennifer has won many individual awards. She also has award winning hip hop choreography in the Junior Solo Division. 

She is a Certified Teacher through Southern Association of Dance Masters, and has been teaching at Kinner & Co. for over 11 years. 

Jennifer specializes in teaching our Creative Movement program.

Carmen Carter - "Miss Carmen" - (Teacher-in-Training, Intern) Carmen is 16 years old and a junior at Williamsville High School. She has been dancing with Kinner & Co. since 2006. She is a member of the Dance Team and will be serving as a teacher in training and an intern this season. 

Carmen will be taking the membership exams this fall at SADM. 

Kate VonDeBur – “Miss Kate” – (Substitute Teacher) Kate started dancing at Kinner & Co. in 1996 after her mom bought a pair of used tap shoes for $2.00 at a garage sale. In 2000, Kate joined the Shooting Stars Dance Team, and performed and competed with the team until she graduated high school in 2010.

At Illinois College, Kate majored in English and minored in Theater. She was also a member of the Baby Blues Dance Team, of which she was captain her junior and senior years. Kate recently graduated from Valparaiso University Law School and sat for the Illinois Bar Exam, and hopes to practice law in the Springfield area.

Kate has been involved in productions at the Springfield Muni Opera and the Hoogland Center for the Arts, as well as Illinois College’s TheatreWorks program.

Kate plans to test for her teaching certification through the Southern Association of Dance Masters in November 2017. She is very excited to return to her dance family and help spread the joy of performing to the next generation of dancers.