The Heart and Soul of AFDS
Faculty & Staff
Artistic Director, Studio Owner, Teacher & Choreographer
Miss Abigail, certified dance educator and Director Of The Year, continues to strive to “bridging the gap between art and athletics” at her state-of-the-art studio located in Needham, MA. AFDS has been voted and named “Best Of The Best”, “Readers Choice” & “Hometown Best” 13 years running and is now a proud member of the International Dance Assoication and Star Dance Alliance Circle of Excellence. The studio has been awarded the ADCC studio of the year 4 times. 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. Miss Abigail is YPAD & CPR/First Aid certified and promises to provide and maintain an environment that is happy, healthy and safe for all dancers and teachers.
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" (12th Year at AFDS)
Miss Robin (YPAD & CPR/First AID certified) is our studio “Grandma”. The “stamp lady” to the little ones, brings organization and over 40 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 and the friendly face you see when you enter the building. 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, Choreorapher & Administrative Assistant (4th Year at AFDS)
Miss Morgan (YPAD & CPR/First Aid certified) 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 Acrobatic Arts. Morgan is ozzing with energy and enthusiasm and makes our dancers feel welcomed and loved.
Teacher & Choreographer (7th Year at AFDS)
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 (13th Year at AFDS)
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 12th year at AFDS and loves the talent and amazing students she continues to work with!
Ballet Teacher (13th Year at AFDS)
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.
Athletic Trainer / Fitness Professional & PBT Instructor (14th Year at AFDS)
Miss Jenna’s been with A Fine Dance Studio since 2009 and all 3 of her daughters have danced at all different levels within this program. Miss Jenna brings her athletic training and injury prevention expertise to our dancers education. It is her belief and passion that our dancers see themselves as the athletes they are and learn to love movement. She is certified in a dozen different fitness relhms and most recently became PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique) certified. She loves inpsiring our dancers to understand how to control their muscles and train in a safe way. Miss Jenna also assists our combo classes and steps in for teachers who are absent. She makes all classes she’s in fun and motivating. She loves her AFDS family and students and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Teacher & Choreographer (12th Year at AFDS)
Teacher & Choreographer (Returning Back To AFDS Faculty for the 5th Year On Faculty)
BIO COMING SOON
Teacher & Choreographer (1st Year at AFDS)
Miss Natalia comes to AFDS this season from northern New Jersey, where she began her dance training at the age of 4 in her first hip hop class. From there she went on to train in multiple styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, lyrical and cheer/pom at studios throughout North Jersey. During that time, Natalia also advanced as a competitive dancer and performed throughout the tri-state area.
Natalia proudly attended Elon University where she majored in Arts Administration and double minored in Business Management and Dance. While at Elon she was a member of “Elon’s Finest”, the University’s Hip Hop Team. The team would perform at various events and fundraisers around campus.
Following her graduation in 2019, Natalia followed her passion for teaching dance. Natalia is beyond excited to share her passion, love and gratitude for dance with the AFDS families, like her dance teachers did for her.
Teacher & Choreographer (2nd Year at AFDS)
Miss Michelle most recently was the owner and principal instructor of Michelle’s Dance Carousel as well as choreographer for the MDC Ensemble competition team. She opened the original Dance Carousel in 1992, was owner/director and principal instructor from 1992-2018. Prior to opening the studio she trained at the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (now “University of the Arts”). She is member of Dance Masters of America and was recently elected to the DMNE Board of Directors; Past President, Past Vice-President and Past Secretary of the Greater Brockton Dance Teachers’ Association; and served on the Board of Directors of the Dance Teachers’ Club of Boston — where, for twelve years, as co-Chairwoman of the Dance Education Training Course, she played a pivotal role in training hundreds of future dance educators throughout New England. Michelle has earned innumerable awards and accolades regionally and nationally for her highly imaginative and supremely entertaining choreography — including seven Outstanding Choreography citations at the 2008 StarQuest World Finals in Long Beach, California, and several American Dance Awards’ “Diamond Choreography” Awards. She also choreographs for a variety of theatrical and gymnastics organizations, including Gates Intermediate School, Notre Dame Academy, Boston Arts Academy and Scituate High School Drama and South Shore Stageworks where she was co-owner. She had been Scituate High School’s Varsity Cheerleading Coach for football and basketball since 2010 and Notre Dame Academy’s Dance Team Coach. She recently became an adjunct faculty member of Boston Arts Academy ( Boston’s Performing Arts High School).
Michelle has adjudicated for On Stage America, That’s Entertainment, Step Up to Dance and Crowns for a Cure and has served on the guest faculty for Turn It Up Dance competition/convention and coordinating consultant/ on site management as well as adjudicator for Sheer Elite International. She has received the Carol Miller Award for “Upholding the Highest Standards of Choreography and Teaching”, and the Destination Broadway Award, presented by acclaimed Broadway musical director Michael Rafter, for “Outstanding Efforts to Develop Young Talent”. Michelle was the Federation Of Dance Competions ( FDC) selection as VIP Gala Honoree at the Industry Award Conference in Cancun, Mexico. She was the proud recipient of StarQuest’s “ Studio of Excellence Award” for 2019 and “ Classic Apogee “ award for 2019.
Michelle’s greatest accomplishment by far is her five children who continue to surprise and amaze her with their talents constantly.
Teacher & Choreographer (New to AFDS Faculty)
Khristopher Henry is a native of Boston Massachusetts, and is a dance performance, BFA graduate of the University of Hartford at the Hartt School under the artistic director Stephan Pier. Khristopher began his training at the Origination Cultural Arts Center in 2011 under the instruction of Shaumba-Yandje Dibinga. There he has studied Contemporary, Modern with Horton based technique as well as Hip-Hop and African dance. In 2011-2015, Khristopher was a dance major at the Boston Arts Academy where he began his ballet training with instructor Chris Alloways Ramsey; former dancer with the Boston Ballet. During his time at Boston Arts Academy he was able to work with choreographers Nathan Trice on a new work titled Conversions as well as Katherine Young; artistic Director of the Boston Conservatory. In 2013 Khristopher attended Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Code 3 workshop where he was able to work with Desmond Richardson, Dwight Rhoden and Jae Man Joo. During his time at the Hartt School, Khristopher began to further his ballet training under the instruction of Hilda Morales and the other exquisite Hartt School faculty and modern dance, specifically Limon and Graham technique under the instruction of Nina Watt and Miki Orihara. In addition, he was able to work with choreographers Norbert De La Cruz and Brain Arias and Yoshito Sakuraba. Khristopher is currently a dancer with Boston Dance Theater.
Teacher (3rd Year at AFDS)
Boris Richir, originally from Antwerp, Belgium, received his dance education at the Paris Opera Ballet School, one of the world’s top three dance schools. He started his professional career in 2009 when he joined the prestigious Semperoper Ballet in Dresden, Germany. In 2014, he joined the Boston Ballet followed by the Atlanta Ballet for the 2017/18 season.
Boris has performed soloist, and lead roles in a vast repertoire ranging from The Nutcracker to contemporary pieces such as the revolutionary ballets of W. Forsythe. Boris Richir appears in the 2012 filming of The Nutcracker of the Semperoper Ballet Dresden by ARTE.
In 2012 he became assistant director of ARTof Ballet Courses and masterclasses where he was responsible for the organization of high-level dance summer courses across Europe. During his career with the Boston Ballet, he worked closely together with their Adaptive Dance department where he developed a passion for inclusive dance education. In 2017 he founded United Dance. A dance company and program that’s core values are inclusion, respect, and excellence. United Dance aims to ensure all individuals can enjoy exceptional dance classes in a safe and accessible environment.
Ballet Teacher (3rd Year at AFDS)
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.
Creative Movement & Substitute Teacher
Social Media Director & Alumni Faculty (11 years at AFDS)
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 is a veteran Grit Team member and active AFDS alumni. Beyond winning numerous awards as a performer and scholarships at regional and national competitions Kasey 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 trained and inspired young dancers to give back to our senior community. Kasey is a Junior at Emerson College where she will be studying Marketing Communications with a minor in dance. Kasey is our social media guru and responsible for the studios Facebook and Instagram fan pages.
Choreographer & Alumni Faculty (7 years at AFDS)
Kevin, a veteran 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 is an aspiring choreographer and a Junior Commercial Dance Major at PACE University in NYC. Kevin has also been awarded several scholarships from NYCDA, Revel, Radix, Nexstar, Turn It Up, EDC, and many more. His passion and love continues to grow for dance everyday within our studio and out in the real world 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 faculty.
Choreographer & Alumni Faculty (11 years at AFDS)
Zoe Lemelman, a veteran 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. Currently a Sophomore Commerical Dance Major training and living in NYC, Zoe come back home to us often as she loves being at her home away from home, AFDS. Zoe has trained in all forms of dance, acting and singing. 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 our dancers how to be more confident while picking up choreography faster and paying attention to details. She is so excited for this season with all of you!
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.