The Heart and Soul of AFDS
Faculty & Staff
Artistic Director, Studio Owner, Teacher & Choreographer
Miss Abigail Fine, certified dance educator and Director Of The Year, is “Raising The Barre” at her state-of-the-art studio located in Needham, MA. Miss Abigail and A Fine Dance Studio’s mission is to bridge the gap between art and athletics. AFDS has been voted and named “Best Of The Best”, “Readers Choice” & “Hometown Best” 10 years running and is now a proud member of the International Dance Assoication and Star Dance Alliance Circle of Excellence. She is honored and humbled by the love and support surrounding her studio and philosophy of living a healthy, well rounded and full passionate life.
She is dedicated to offering each style of dancer a well-rounded education and lives to inspire dancers to have confidence in who they are. She encourages them to reach for the stars and always raise their own personal barre. Abigail has been studying dance since the age of three. Her classical and contemporary education is in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Modern, Latin Ballroom, Baton Twirling and Musical Theater. As a young dancer she loved performing. Abigail received numerous awards for her achievements in performance, including scholarships at conventions and high school and college. Growing up as a well rounded dancer, singer and actress Abigail quickly learned the importance of the fundamentals and keeping an open mind. As a teacher she sets out each day to inspire dancers and her teachers to open their minds to new concepts and movement sequences forcing them to improve on a daily basis. As Abigail entered her teenage years, her dance teacher who later became one of her best friends and her mentor for life, began the apprentice program and soon was invited to begin a teaching certification program through Dance Teachers Club of Boston and Dance Masters Of America. Once she completed the years of classes and passed the written and demonstration exams she received her teaching certification in Dance Instruction & Music Theory. Abigail was selected as part of the staff for the Britney Spears Camp For The Performing Arts and worked along side celebrity and famous choreographers teaching and inspiring hundreds of inner-city youths from all over the country.
Abigail has studied with top master instructors and choreographers from all over the world. To name a few; Mia Michaels, Brian Friedman, Wade Robson, Debbie Dee, Chris Judd, Greg Russel, Dave Scott, Bob Rizzo, Laurie-Ann Gibson, Shane Sparks, Tyce Dioriio, Nan Giordano and many more.
It is Abigail’s belief that dancers and athletes must understand their bodies and how to take care of them properly. In college Abigail received her Bachelors degree in Exercise Physiology with a double major Nutrition and Health, and her minor in Dance and Somatic Movement Therapy. It is Abigail’s fundamental belief that the fitness and dance world must be brought together to help dancers respect their minds and bodies.
Abigail strives to give each dancer the attention they deserve and understands that each dancer is an individual and learns at a different pace. Abigail’s reputation precedes her and her students have been known to fall in love with her infectious laugh and loving demeanor and warmth. Abigail has vowed to herself and her dancers to impart her love for dance, movement and self expression on them every day. In return she asks each of her dancers to try their very best, working each day at achieving more confidence, body control, strength, flexibility and understanding of choreography.
It is her lifelong dream and mission to inspire all of you!
Office Manager & Studio "Mom"
Miss Robin, our studio mom. The “stamp lady” to the little ones, brings organization and over 30 years of professional experience to maintaining and improving the efficiency of the front desk process and procedures. She strives to have all the answers to your questions, and if she doesn’t, she gets back to you in a timely manner. Miss Robin is the point of contact when joining our dance family. Her patience and warm smile will make you and your family feel welcomed immediately.
Miss Robin looks forward to all her hugs and smiles as the kids enter and exit the studio. She feels tremendous pride in watching them grow and thrive within our studio community and family.
Teacher & Choreographer
Miss Cailin graduated from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelors Degree in Performing Arts, where she was a part of the American Spirit Dance Company for four years under the direction of Jo Rowan. After graduation, Cailin moved to New York City where she worked professionally and continued her training with well-known choreographers. From there she was offered a contract as a Chorus Dancer with the Jubilee Show in Las Vegas, NV. Cailin was a part of the Jubilee cast during their 25th Year Anniversary and was one of the few chosen to promote this long-running Las Vegas show on both TV and in magazines such as Caesar’s and Las Vegas Magazine. During her contract in Las Vegas, Cailin also expanded her modeling resume by appearing in numerous runway shows. After moving back to the Boston area, she continued her performance career where she was a part of the Ensemble in shows such as 42nd Street and The Producers. She is loving living back in the Boston area with her husband and three kids and is enjoying teaching and judging on a competitive level throughout the US with Turn It Up Dance Challenge National Dance Competition where she also works as Show Director for their Convention and Competition Events.
Cailin is always eager to continue learning and expanding her knowledge in the Dance and Fitness World and has enjoyed incorporating what she has learned from receiving her Barre Certification into the Technique and Strength and Conditioning taught in her classes. This is Cailin’s 10th year at AFDS and loves the talent and amazing students she continues to work with!
Teacher & Choreographer
Miss Kristin began flipping and dancing when she could walk. Her mother and father quickly noticed how strong she was and enrolled her in dance and gymnastics. With a well rounded dance education, having danced in every genre imaginable, Kristin quickly realized dance was her thing. She loved attending dance conventions and competitions every year and noticing over time how much better she was getting. Patience, persistence and growth are, and always will be, extremely important to her. Not only studying under some amazingly talented instructors and choreographers, but also beginning to apprentice at her studio early on, lead her toward her true passion; teaching. During her high school years Kristin apprenticed under Broadway dancer and famous Master Teacher, Lillian Carter, who taught her not only how to move but how to connect. Miss Kristin’s favorite performance experience was when she was hand selected out of thousands of dancers to be a back up dancer at Monster Jam in 2004. She loved being on stage and the experience of learning new things just thrilled her. No matter what experiences Miss Kristin had she always poured her heart and soul into her dancing. It is important to her to inspire our dancers to do their best, no matter who is in the room or the outcome. She learns everyday from her fellow dance educators and of course from her students. They love her infectious smile and laugh and come out of class feeling successful and challenged. She is proud to be part of AFDS and looks forward to watching your children grow and become the most confident they can be, in and out of the studio.
Mr. Sun has been teaching since 1989 throughout the Northeast, including at Boston Ballet School, Harvard University, Boston College, and Boston University, and continues to teach at Southern NH Dance Theater since its inception; at Tony Williams’ City Ballet Boston, as well as many other schools. He directs and choreographs for his own group, SundanceX (www.SundanceX.com) since 2012. Mr. Sun received his primary training as a scholarship student with the late Richard Thomas & Barbara Fallis at the New York School of Ballet, performing with their group, U.S. Terpsichore. He also performed as a dancer with the Houston Grand Opera, and with many regional dance troupes in New England and New York City. He is an accomplished photographer, with national credits in The New York Times, Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, Boston Ballet, Boston Opera, Tony Williams’ City Ballet Boston & Urban Nutcracker, Southern NH Dance Theater, Vogue magazine, amongst many other clients. He has also appeared as an actor on CBS TV. Mr. Sun is known for his distinctive sense of humor while instilling a strict work ethic in the studio.
Teacher & Choreographer
Teacher & Choreographer
Jenn Schneck Fink holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theater and Dance from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, where she studied under Julliard graduate Joan Karlen and James Moore, assistant for the legendary Jerome Robbins. Jenn grew up training and later taught at the Dance Arts Center in Franskville under the direction of Danelle Dalbesio Davies. Since college, Jenn has continued to train in Chicago with some of the best: Lou Cante Dance Studio (Hubbard Street Dance), Gus Giordano’s, Joel Hall, Visceral, and she has taken master classes across the country with the industries top instructors and choreographers. In 2009, Jenn received her Pilates certification and continually strives for higher education in the field of strength, alignment, and dancer injury prevention. Jenn’s credits include: head technical instructor and choreographer for the Soul2Sole Dance Company in Chicago, choreographer for the Racine Kid and Youth Players, master classes for inner city community programs in Chicago, and she is a visiting instructor and adjudicator for the Dance Arts Center in Mount Pleasant. In the competitive circuit, Jenn has judged for Rainbow Connection Dance Competition, and per work has been recognized both regionally and nationally, receiving Chorography, Technique, Critiques Choice Nominations, Best of Show, Judges Choice and High Point awards at Adrenaline Dance, New York City Dance Alliance, Move Productions, Jump, LADM, Velocity, Open Call, Talent On Parade, and Spotlight Dance Cup. Her current and former students are top ranked, nationally, and have gone on to have thriving careers collegially and professionally. Jenn has a fierce passion and sound understanding of dance alignment and technique and loves sharing it with her students whether their goal is to dance recreationally or professionally!
Teacher & Choreographer
Lisa Powers, a Rhode Island native, began her dance training at Legein Dance Academy of Performing Arts, where she trained extensively for 13 years in various forms of dance. Lisa’s education continued at the Dance Teacher’s Club of Boston Dance Education Training from which she graduated in 2004. She is a recipient of the Mary Jane Brown Tap Scholarship and a Dance Masters of America Scholarship winner. After graduating high school, Lisa continued her education and dance training with a full Performing Arts Scholarship to Dean College. Lisa’s love for the arts reaches beyond dance, she has trained extensively in voice and theatre. Lisa has a true passion for teaching and choreographing and has been doing so professionally since 2004. Lisa has been a 5 season choreographer for DanceWorks Boston, a Boston based performance company. Lisa is continuously awarded Outstanding Choreography awards on the Regional and National levels. Lisa is thrilled to be working with the students of AFDS and cannot wait to bring out the best in each and every dancer.
Juliet is from Norwell, MA and started her training at the Boston Ballet School located in Norwell. After 5 years with Boston Ballet she began training with South Shore Ballet Theatre and upon graduating received a contract with Columbia Classical Ballet in SC where she danced for two seasons. In 2020 she danced with the Paris Opera Ballet as an understudy for Concerto Barocco. Her repertoire includes Sugar Plum and Snow Queen from The Nutcracker, Shades Pas De Trois from La Bayadere, Cinderella in Cinderella, and Four Little Swans from Swan Lake. Miss Juliet is eager and enthusiastic about inspiring our dancers to love and truly understand ballet.
Choreographer & Teacher
Miss Hilary eagerly joins the AFDS faculty bringing with her joy of movement and infectious laughter. She has been dancing her whole life and is still surrounded by friends who have a deep passion for dance like she does. She is inspired by everyday situations and dancers of all levels and interests. During the days she spends her time at assisted living and nursing homes bringing dance/movement classes and performance to the elders of our community. She is a constant ball of energy and reminds everyone that dance is for everybody and every body. She attended UMass Amherst and uses her dance, music and movement education to inspire her dancers through all different genres of dance; including lyrical/contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, tap and acro. She teaches her students that diversity and exposure to ALL forms of dance is critical and helps to shape you into a great performer.
Choreographer & Teacher
Miss Kelly has always had a strong passion for dance, teaching and inspiring children to be confident in who they are. She began dancing at 4 years old and has never stopped. She grew up dancing at Paulette’s Ballet Studio and joined the faculty in 2000, when she was still a student with Paulette Harwood. Kelly participated in the 3 year Dance Teachers Club Of Boston teacher training program and she was inducted into DTCB in 2017. Kelly continued dancing at Emmanuel College, where she was a member of the competitive dance team. She also danced through her graduate studies at Boston College where she received her Master’s Degree in Severe Special Education. Kelly recently choreographed two musicals for the Dover Foundation and performed as a dancer in “It’s Christmas Time” with the Reagle Players in Waltham. She also recently performed in 3 Dancing With The Needham Stars events for charity. When she is not in the studio, she is hanging out with her three adorable young daughters, all of which now dance at A Fine Dance Studio. Kelly was also a special education teacher for children with Autism in the Boston Public School system. She created and designed an adaptive dance classes for students with intellectual disabilities at PBS, The Arc of South Norfolk, The Guild for Human Services and The League School. Kelly is excited to bring over 20 years of teaching experience to our dance family and can’t wait to meet all of her students and their families.
Creative Movement & Tippy Toes Teacher
Teacher & Choreographer
With over 20 years experience in the world of competitive dance, Mary feels extremely fortunate to teach and inspire the next generation of dancers. From the age of 4, Mary has trained and competed regionally and nationally in all styles of dance, including tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet, contemporary, partnering, and modern. She then went onto Syracuse University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Exercise Science. During her time there, Mary was also team captain of the Syracuse University Dance Team and was voted team MVP her senior year. Mary is a certified Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) instructor and is eager to bring the new and innovative technique to AFDS. Mary is thrilled to be a part of the AFDS family to share her love of dance.
Junior Faculty & Grit Team Member
Kevin, a member of our Grit team, began his dance training at the beginning of his freshman year of high school. Before that he dabbled in other sports and gymnastics. Under the direction of Abigail Fine and the AFDS faculty he has trained intensively in all genres of dance including; ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop, lyrical and acrobatics. Kevin has received numerous special awards and first place standings for his dancing in the competitive dance scene. He has been recognized for his well rounded talents and his “powerhouse” presence on stage. Kevin has also been awarded several financial scholarships from NYCDA, Revel, Radix, Nexstar, Turn It Up, EDC, and many more. Kevin is entering his senior year of high school and has shown immense growth not only as a dancer but also as a teacher and choreographer. His passion and love continues to grow for dance everyday within our studio and he is so excited to continue sharing that with the children he teaches. We are so excited to have such an exceptional dancer and great mentor to our students as part of our junior faculty.
Junior Faculty, Choreographer & Grit Team Member
Zoe Lemelman, a member of the grit team, has been training in all styles of dance since she was 2. She began competing and age 4 and has been acknowledged for both her technique and stage presence from a variety of respected judges. At AFDS she has been given the opportunity to teach and has grown to love choreographing especially contemporary and hip hop. Zoe has trained in all forms of dance with her passion being ballet hip hop jazz and contemporary. Zoe’s favorite parts of dance is having the ability to express herself and have a creative outlet through movements. She looks forward to teaching her kids every week how to be more confident while picking up choreography faster and paying attention to details. Taking over the Kicks program the last two years from the founder Avery Ambrefe has given Zoe the opportunity to give back to the community and spreading joy makes her feel amazing. She is so excited for this season with all of you!
Social Media Director & Substitute
Kasey is a proud alumni of AFDS and she has been training in all styles of dance since she was the age of 2. Kasey took the leap over to A Fine at the start of her 6th grade year and ended up competing all 7 years she was with the studio as a student. Under the direction of Abigail Fine and the amazing faculty Kasey has tranformed not only as a dancer but as an athele and mentor to our students. Kasey was a founding member of our highesyt level competition porogram, the Grit Team. Beyond winning numerous awards and scholarships at regional and national compettions Kasey’s found a deep passion for teaching. She was one of the instructors and mentors of our community service based Rockette program, “A Fine Kicks 4 A Cause” which trains and inspires young dancers to give back to our senior community. Kasey is attending Emerson College where she will be studying Marketing Communications with a minor in dance. She will be taking on a new role as the social media director responsible for the studios Facebook and Instagram.
Acro Teacher & Substitute
Morgan has been training since she was a child in multiple styles such as Acrobatics, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical and Tap. Throughout her competitive history, she has been recognized for her strong and powerful Acrobatic technique and skills from multiple competitions such as Turn It Up, Showstoppers, Imagine & Nexstar. Morgan is attending Emerson College, where she will be studying Business Of Creative Enterprises, with a minor in dance. She will be finishing her certification in Dance Kinesiology through the International Fitness Professional Association, and is also currently working on a certification through AcrobaticArts. Morgan is so excited to be joining the AFDS family to share her love and passion for dance.
Lauren has been high-kicking and shimmying her way through life since a young age when she trained in Ballet, Tap, Modern, and Jazz at the Academy of Movement dance studio in Nashua, NH. She realized her true passion for the culture, art, and technique of dance when she studied at various summer programs in high school: ProDanza Italia in Tuscany, Italy, University of the Arts Summer World of Dance in Philadelphia, PA, and the Bates Summer Dance Festival in Lewiston, ME. During her four years at Boston University where she earned a BS in Education (and loved it so much she went back to earn her EdM in 2010!), Lauren performed with the BU Dance Team at school sporting event, serving as Co-Captain her junior year, and with Vibes, an innovative all-female Hip Hop crew. Lauren’s post-college dance experience includes: three seasons with the Boston Cannons and one with the Boston Blazers professional lacrosse dance teams, training in Jazz and Hip Hop at Jeannette Neill Dance Studio, and five seasons (and counting!) with DanceWorks Boston. Recently Lauren was selected out of thousands of dancers, two years in a row, as a New England Patriots Cheerleader. When not dancing, Lauren can be found teaching Physical Education for Wellesley Public Schools, enjoying nights out in Boston with friends, and spending time with her daughter, Cora.
Regular Guest Faculty
Taryn Scott-Kolbe began her ballet training in Londonderry, NH at the Londonderry Dance Academy. She attended summer ballet intensives at American Academy of Ballet, Yorkshire Seminar and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Point Park University and has gone on to perform contemporary and classical work with various companies in the New England area including Sundancex directed by David Sun. Taryn is also a certified yoga instructor and holds a masters degree in movement therapy with a mental health concentration from Lesley University in Cambridge MA.
Morgan Brown Sanborn
Regular Guest Faculty
Miss Morgan is currently a member of City Ballet of Boston. She danced with Nevada Ballet Theater from 2016-2018, Teatrul Balet de Sibiu; Romania from 2013-2014, and Portland Ballet Company from 2009-2013 & 2014-2016. Throughout her performing career she has been featured in many classical and contemporary works.
Sanborn is a 2009, magna cum laude, BFA dance graduate of Point Park University. Originally from Standish, ME she began her training at the Darcy Leavitt School of Ballet before graduating from the Portland Ballet pre-professional CORPS program. Morgan studied many styles of dance at several local studios and attended summer intensives at American Ballet Theatre, Festival Ballet of Providence, Point Park University, and Boston Conservatory.
Her choreography has been featured in works by professional companies and students in many recitals, performances, and competitions. She has over 17 years of teaching experience at a variety of studios in Maine, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Sanborn is an ABT® Certified teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is also a certified Pilates Academy International instructor and former high school and college field hockey coach. She has also held several administrative positions of all aspects in arts organizations in the past.