Catherine’s Dance Studio

We believe students should have fun and work hard.

Proper dance technique is the key to developing better dancers. We achieve this is through our smaller class sizes. It is our sincere hope that with love, dedication and support, students will do amazing things through their training at our studio.

About a Passion to Teach

When she was little, Catherine dreamed of being a ballerina. As Catherine grew older, she realized how much she loved teaching ballet. At the age of 14, Catherine created a dance studio out of her bedroom – wood floors, a wall of mirrors, a ballet barre and painting the room pink! Catherine followed her dreams to expand the studio to what we see now.

Catherine’s caring nature and ability to make each girl feel special makes her an even better instructor. Students come to class to have fun and work hard. Each one of our instructors are able to combine their unique gifts to help each girl grow and become beautiful dancers.

All who enter are welcomed with love

Our 6,000 square foot studio space offers three ballrooms: Loretto, Carmelina and Marjorie. Each studio space is equipped with a private entrance and restroom.

Catherine’s Dance Studio is more than a place to dance. For many, Catherine’s Dance Studio is another place to call ‘home’.  A student wrote a paper on Catherine’s Dance Studio and said the studio was like a ‘family’ to her. This is a true testament of the place we have created and we cannot wait for your dancer to feel the same way!

“I love to dance. I love everything about it. When I don’t dance – I miss it. I look forward to teaching students to dance and to see what they think of the dance. It is exciting to see their growth. To see how they develop, to watch them become dancers and become individual people. It is amazing for me to be apart of that.”
Catherine Stephenson

Blessings when you believe

Dancing. Teaching. Inspiring.

Dancers of all ages and levels are instructed to grow their love of dance and community!

Learn more about our instructors below!

Catherine Stephenson

Co-Owner/Dance Instructor

Catherine is the owner of Catherine’s Dance Studio. She is from Parkville, MO and started dancing at the age of three. At 14, Catherine became passionate about teaching dance and began giving lessons out of her house. She attended St. Pius X High School and was a member of their dance team. Catherine taught dance out of her home through high school and college. She attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City and was a member of the UMKC dance team. At UMKC, she graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. She has a passion for teaching children and dance, and believes every child should be taught in a fun, loving and creative environment. Catherine has choreographed pieces that have won entertainment, choreography, and technique awards.

Her favorite part of teaching dance is watching her dancers grow, develop technique, all the little hugs she gets, and watching her girls kill it on stage.

Catheirne's Dance Studio is a family affair with mom Judy helping with day to day operations of the downtown Parkville, MO dance studio

Judy Murray


A mother-daughter team, Catherine and Judy own Catherine’s Dance Studio.  When calling on the phone, Judy will usually be your first contact.  Family is the most important aspect of life to Judy.  She loves spending time with her husband Tom, daughter Catherine, son T.J., her grandkids Claire and Charlie and son-in-law Brad.  Judy believes with her entire heart and soul that children are our future and she loves children.  Judy and Catherine work tirelessly to make Catherine’s Dance Studio a place where dancers feel like they are a vital part of the studio (part of Catherine’s Dance Studio family).

You can’t walk into the studio without seeing or hearing:  “Nothing is Impossible for God.” Dancers tend to be high achievers and excel at public speaking, the definition of failure is not getting knocked down, but not getting up again.  This is who we are at Catherine’s Dance Studio and we love what we do.

Kristen Le

Dance Instructor

Kristen grew up in Kansas City, MO and started dancing at the age of three and never stopped. She attended St. Pius X High School and was on the dance team there. After graduating high school, Kristen attended Northwest Missouri State University to get her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood Education. While she was there, she was a member of the Northwest Dance Company for four years. For two of those years, she also took on the role of being a choreographer for the dance company.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she began teaching and became an instructor at Catherine’s Dance Studio in Fall 2015. Kristen also has a year of experience coaching for the St. Pius X JV dance team. Kristen completed her Master’s degree in Reading from Park University and currently teaches first grade. Kristen teaches all ages of hip hop and a variety of jazz classes. She feels so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful studio environment. Kristen truly looks forward to the recitals, where she can watch all of her dances shine and show off everything they have learned throughout the dance year.

Abby Jeans

Dance Instructor

Abby is from Platte City, MO and was a member of the Platte County high school dance team. Abby began taking dance lessons from Catherine when she was 12, while Catherine was still teaching from her home. After graduating high school, Abby attended Park University, where she was a member of the Spirit Squad her freshman year and later started the Park University Crimson Dancers. As the founder of the Crimson Dancers, Abby choreographed routines, led practices, and managed the team’s appearances and performance schedule.

While in college, Abby auditioned and made the Kansas City Royals KCrew team, where she would make public appearances, sing, and engage and interact with fans. Abby teaches many of the little girl classes and many competitive dances. Abby enjoys teaching younger students because she loves watching the dancers grow, learn, and find their passion and love for dance like she did!

Leigh Benton

Ballet Program Director

Leigh is originally from Chicago, Illinois where she trained at Summers Academy of Dance and Berkshire Ballet Theatre in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, and contemporary.  While a member of the BBT Company she performed leading roles in Cinderella, Coppelia, Giselle, and The Nutcracker.  She danced at Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensive, Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive, and Chicago Dance Connection on a full scholarship before venturing off into the world.

Leigh has a Bachelor’s in Dance from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  While a student there she was able to work closely with choreographers from various companies such as Chieko Imada (Ballet Tucson), Michael Phillips (Pascal Rioult), Thang Dao (Thang Dao Dance Company), and Amanda Edge (NYCB).  In addition, she was also one of the few dancers to be brought on an international tour that included cities in Germany, France, and Denmark. Upon graduation from college, Leigh joined the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble in Detroit, Michigan as a company member until moving down to the Kansas City area with her husband in 2011.

Leigh enjoys instilling a passion and appreciation for ballet into our dancers every single class!

Connor Washburn

Dance Instructor

Connor is from Hutchinson, Kansas and started dancing at the age of six at her local dance studio called Judy’s School of Dance. Connor started competing at the age of ten and has won many regional titles, placing in the Top Ten at Dance Masters of America Nationals, three times. She then went on to train at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., trained at Friends University and kept up at her own studio in Hutchinson, Kansas. In High School, Connor decided to audition to become a Tremaine Dance Company Apprentice in Los Angeles and made it. From 2010-2013 she traveled the country with Tremaine and assisted the teachers.

After graduating, Connor went on to study at the University of Kansas and was on the Rock Chalk Dance team her freshman year. After studying at KU for two years, she took an opportunity that couldn’t be passed up as an Au Pair in Paris, France. For one year she lived on a houseboat in Paris, on the Seine, with a French family and nannied for them. Traveling is her greatest passion, next to dance and she is grateful she gets to continue dancing and teaching as an instructor at Catherine’s Dance Studio and hopes it will bring all of her dancers the same amazing opportunities!

Madi Guerra

Dance Instructor

Madi was born in Chicago, Illinois and now lives in Parkville, Missouri. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old recreationally and competitively. She was on the Park Hill South high school dance team and was a captain her junior and senior year. She also made the All American Cheer Team her freshman year and the All American Dance Team her sophomore, junior, and senior year. Madi was one of a couple students who founded the Sparkle Effect Team at PHS high school. She taught the special needs students how to dance and cheer and follow their dreams of getting to perform on the sidelines and at assemblies.

After high school graduation, she made the Kansas City Chiefs Cheer training team. She then got her associates degree at Maple Woods Community College. Madi is currently attending nursing school at the University of Saint Mary’s and is captain of their dance team. After nursing school graduation, she plans on furthering her education and becoming a nurse practitioner. Madi is now teaching our little girl classes and hopes to have a positive impact on their dance experience. She enjoys teaching the little girls because she loves seeing their pure passion and enthusiasm for dance.

Karoline Wiens

Dance Instructor

Karoline is from Shawnee, OK where she began dancing at age 3 at the Shawnee Academy of Ballet. Her time as a competitive dancer started at age 8 and completed at age 23. An alumnae of William Jewell College in Liberty, MO, she graduated with her Bachelors degree in Business Administration in 2018 after 3 years on scholarship for the William Jewell Crimson Dancers. After what she thought was her “retirement” in her senior year, she rejoined the dance team to aid in their 1st Place Challenge Cup and 6th Place Overall Achievements at the NDA College National Competition in Daytona Beach, FL.

Karoline was a Kansas City Royals KCrew Member for 2 seasons where she would sing and dance to the 7th Inning Stretch alongside CDS’s Abby. Besides teaching at CDS, she is a Lead Planner with a local wedding planning company – Events by Elle, as well as a Group Fitness and Barre Instructor at Power Life Yoga and Fitness Studios. Karoline was thrilled to join Catherine’s Dance Studio after many visits to judge competition team placements! Her love and passion for dance continues to shape her life and bring about countless opportunities!


Jamie Fender

Office Manager

With a background in dance, Jamie lives and breathes the mission and vision of Catherine’s Dance Studio. Jamie started dancing when she was 3 years old. She  danced in high school and was on the dance team during her Junior and Senior years. She was also a cheerleader during her Senior year and was even offered a full-ride dance scholarship. Her daughter dances at Catherine’s and loves it!

Jamie assists with the operations at Catherine’s Dance Studio. If you are new to our dance studio, Jamie will find the best class fit for your dancer and her goals.

Contact Jamie at office@catherinesdancestudiokc.com for more information, studio visit or to schedule your daughters’ classes.


I am so happy to have enrolled my 5 year old at Catherine’s Dance Studio. She loves dancing and wait for Thursday. Ms. Judy and Ms.Catherine are so supportive and always ready to help.

Jui Buch

An amazing dancer, an amazing teacher, an amazing friend, and two amazing mothers. I would never trust my daughters’ dance education to anyone else.

Jessica Lee

They are wonderful and such passion for what they do.

Andrea Jones

Catherine’s Dance Studio is an amazing and special place! EVERYTIME my girls leave there, they have a SMILE on their face, and are positive and confident!

Kathy Diemer

Absolutely love Catherine’s Dance Studio! What a wonderfully uplifting environment for young dancers to learn and grow!

Jenny Wooten

I am so proud to call Catherine’s Dance Studio our dance home. Judy and Catherine are always so supportive of my daughter, They see her special gifts and unique talents more than any teacher we’ve ever had. They encourage her and that is amazing to see as a parent. The Parkville days Parade was a testament to the support and love that Catherine’s Dance Studio has from students and parents. It was a sea of Pink down Main Street in August! It was awesome to see! The recitals are wonderful! This mother-daughter duo is incredible!

Catherine Kolkoski

I started dancing at Catherine’s Dance Studio when I was 13. Most girls begin dance very young, but even with my lack of experience Catherine took the time to teach me everything I needed to know. Because of the individual attention I received from Catherine I was able to accomplish many things I never thought possible. Catherine’s Dance Studio helped me fulfill my dream of being on my high school dance team and now I am a Cheerleader at Park University. In just five short years I learned to perform at a high school level and now a college level, and I owe all of that to Catherine’s Dance Studio.

Abby Jeans

Hi, just wanted to touch base with you and tell you that we attended the dance recital dress rehearsal on Saturday as grandparents of Annie and Emma Jones.   Your girls did an awesome job and I was so impressed that you were so calm and focused the whole time before and during the rehearsal.   I was also very happy to see my granddaughters in a studio where the costumes and dances are modest and appropriate.   That is very important to me as a grandma.   That’s it – just thought that good feedback is always welcome :o)    God is good!

Jolene Klassen

I’ve learned so much here about not only dance but about life and myself. This is more than just a dance studio; its a family.

Hannah Franklin