Our History

Step by Step Dance Academy is a premier dance studio that was established in Avon, Ohio in 1998 by Kristin M Carney. The first studio, located in the Avon Plaza on Detroit Road, was a cozy 600 square feet, but it was large enough to handle our first year’s enrollment of 42. Over the next four years, the studio relocated twice, each time almost doubling the dance floor space. Our current location, at 37701 Colorado Avenue, boasts over 2000 square feet of dance floor space on two floors. Both dance floors, upstairs and downstairs, were custom designed to provide cushioning and absorb impact, a must for the everyday dancer. We are proud of our increasing growth but are also focused on retaining a strong connection with each and every student!

Our Mission

Step by Step Dance Academy was founded to show students of all ages the excitement, poise and self esteem that naturally develop with dance. Step by Step embraces students of all ages and all skill levels as long as they are true to themselves and the studio with an honest commitment to dance. The studio emphasizes proper dance technique in a structured yet fun atmosphere that fosters confidence, creativity and cooperation among students. As a performing studio, the classes are designed to build off of a technical foundation that develops into a choreographed number that each student has the opportunity to perform in a year-end production. In addition, the studio also offers competition level classes for students with the experience and commitment to showcase their talents to their peers. Our goal at Step by Step is to strive for excellence and continue to stand as a leader in dance training in the Avon, Ohio area.


Mrs. Kristin Carney, the founder and owner of Step by Step Dance Academy, is proud to celebrate 19 years of excellence, inspiring dancers one step at a time. Bringing over 30 years of dance experience to her students, Kristin has trained in Tap, Jazz, Lyrical & Ballet at several prominent dance centers in the Western New York area. As a 1995 graduate of State University College at Buffalo (New York), she was student choreographer for four years for the Buffalo State Dance Association. In addition, Kristin is also no stranger to the stage, having performed in Snow Queen at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre, George M at Artpark in Lewiston New York, as well as several other musical productions. She has lent her expertise as a judge for dance competitions on the East coast and throughout the New York area and continues to update her training by attending master classes at The Broadway Dance Center in NYC. Kristin has had students that were accepted to train in summer intensive programs for the Radio City Rockettes, American Ballet Theatre (Detroit) and The Joffrey Ballet (NYC). Her competition groups have won numerous platinum and first place awards, earned scholarships and have been honored with Best Overall Group, Best Precision, Most Entertaining and Top Choreography awards. Kristin is also a master instructor for Cathy Nesbitt-Stein of Candy Apple's Dance Center in Canton, Ohio.  She is always proud of the hard work and dedication exemplified in her students and expects 110% from all of them!
Mrs. Amy Faup is thrilled to be returning to Step by Step for her seventh season. An experienced dance teacher specializing in ballet, pointe, she began her dance career at age 7. Amy received instruction at several local dance studios, before enrolling at Step by Step in 2000. After a year teaching with us, Amy started her own dance studio, before returning to Step by Step in 2010. She is currently a resident of West Park, where she lives with her husband Jack, and three sons.
Ms. Joyce Petersen was born in Los Angeles, California where she started her dancing career at age three, taking Ballet and Tap classes before continuing with the Kennedy Tap Company where she also studied Jazz, Hip Hop, African, and Salsa. In 2006, Joyce moved to Avon, Ohio and joined the Step by Step family. Her training continued under Miss Kristin, and she excelled in our competition level Tap, Hip Hop, and Lyrical classes and also assisted as a class demonstrator.
In 2015 Joyce graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science and a minor in Dance, with a focus on both modern and contemporary dance. Joyce is currently working on her Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology at Kent State University while also interning at the Cleveland Clinic in Cardiac Rehabilitation.
Joyce is excited to be back at Step by Step and is looking forward to working with our wonderful dancers again - showcasing their talents, passion, and beauty.