Gina Kennedy- Owner

Gina Kennedy began her dance training in ballet, tap and jazz at the former Take Five Dance Studio in Peoria, IL. She has also attended various master classes and conventions where she took classes from Gus Giordano, Joel Hall, Dan Karity, Chris Judd and Barry Youngblood to name a few. She has taught dance throughout Central Illinois for over 20 years. She is the owner of Water Street Dance Company in Washington where she teaches tap, jazz, hip-hop, and competitive dance. Gina has won several choreography awards for her works in competitive dance from Showbiz National Talent Competition, Starquest Dance Competition and Dancers Competition and Applause Talent. Her choreography has been performed multiple times at the Chicago Bulls half-time show and Walt Disney World. Gina’s competitive dance group has taken top over-all awards regionally and also nationally at Star Systems Talent Competition, Rainbow Dance Competition and Midwest Starz Dance Competition. Several of her students have gone on to dance at collegiate and professional levels. In 2003, she was awarded the YWCA Tazewell County’s Outstanding Arts Award for demonstrating achievement and leadership in the arts through her involvement in dance. She teaches recreational classes on Wednesday nights and works at the front desk on Tuesdays.


Devery McCoy – Artistic Director

Devery Christ McCoy grew up dancing from the age of three. After graduating fom Metamora Township High School, she looked for a university to develop her passion – the fine arts and in particular, dance. Devery graduated from Point Park Unversity in Pittsburg, PA with high honors and returned to Central Illionis to share her talents with young people. Since then Devery has been busy as an adjunct teacher at ICC and a coach for the MTHS Varsity and JV dance teams. She also choreographs for MTHS musicals and other dance teams in Cental Illinois. In addition, Devery serves as the guest teaching artist for the Chicago Opera Theater where she choreographs and teaches for inner-city Chicago public schools. Devery and husband, Ryan are poud parents of three daughters, Kameryn, Bronwyn and Aubrey and son, Hawkins, who reside in Metamora. She works with our competitive team on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays!



Samantha Riber

WSD13_1092Samantha Riber was born in Peoria, Illinois and began dance training at the age of 7 in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Acrobatics and Modern. She graduated from Metamora Township High School and then continued her dance passion at the University of Iowa where she recently received her B.A. in Dance and minor in Italian. At the University of Iowa she performed and choreographed many pieces and was a member of the dance department’s touring company, Dancers In Company. She has taken classes from artists such as Julie Bour, David Dorfman, Maria Gillespie, Nina Watt, Alan Sener, Jennifer Kayle, and Joanna Rosenthal. She has attended and performed at the American College Dance Festival and the Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary Dance Intensive in New York City. She is married to Bennett Riber and they have a son named Roman. We are so excited to have her back after taking a year off due to pregnancy! She teaches on Thursday nights working with the competitive team!


Sarah Cowan

WSD13_1043 Sarah began dancing at the age of 3 with Diane’s Dance World in Pekin, IL. Loving tap, jazz, ballet and tumbling, she began competitive dance at the age of 9 with the Rising Stars. It was a children’s dance group that was affiliated with the Peoria Riverkids. She continued competitive dance with Gina Kennedy until the age of 19. Throughout high school she assisted classes with Gina, then eventually became an instructor for Just Dance home of Water Street Dance Co. She also trained in tumbling with Jon Williams and Linda Laaker to be a well rounded cheerleader for high school competitions.
She also taught and choreographed dance at the Pekin Park District, United Starz Academy/Cheertime, USA, Eastside Center Dance, and Tumbling & Cheer. She was the High School dance team coach for Limestone for 2yrs, attended ISU Dance Camp and was a member of Black Pearls, the dancers for the Peoria Pirates Indoor Football league.
Sarah attended Illinois Central College and received her Associates in Arts and Science and majored in interior design. She lives in Peoria and is married to Cory Cowan with 3 sons, Jax and Knox, and Wyxon. She teaches on Monday nights with the competition teams!


Barbie Tiesman

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 1.42.06 PMBarbie comes to WSDC from Northern Illinois, where she acquired a B.S. in Education with a double major in Dance and Physical Education at Northern Illinois University. She spent time learning dance production, performance, education, and history. She also traveled with NIU traveling dance company. She studied Classical Ballet, Modern, Tap, Lyrical, Pilates, and Jazz, choreography, Exercise Physiology, Anatomy, personal training, and group fitness and earned a Physical Education K-12 teaching certificate. Since then, Barbie has taught Physical Education in the East Peoria Schools, choreographed several children’s musicals, taught dance and swim lessons for area park districts and has over 20 years of experience Personal Training and teaching Group Fitness Classes. Barbie has also been employed by the creators of R.I.P.P.E.D. and SilverSneakers as a Master Trainer, where she traveled, taught Master Classes, evaluated, and certified others to teach. Barbie currently also works at EastSide Centre in East Peoria where she manages Group Fitness, teaches, and trains. She lives in Washington with her husband, Darrell, and 2 of their 3 children, Adam and Kara. She teaches the competitive fitness classes on Thursday nights!

Abbey Steger

Abbey Steger began dancing with Gina at the ageabbey of 3. She started competing at the age of 5 and competed all the way through her senior year of high school. She also danced for Pekin Community High School all 4 years and was captain junior and senior year. The dance team won 2nd place at State her junior year. After high school, she danced for the University of Wisconsin-Madison dance team for 4 years. The team placed top 10 in the nation at Nationals each year. Abbey has been teaching and choreographing for Just Dance since high school. Abbey now teaches on Monday and Thursday working with the competitive team!


Gweny Kennedy

Gweny Kennedy began dancing wheIMG_7773n she was 2 years old and has been dancing at Water Street since it opened! She started competing at the age of 8. She was also on her high school dance team at Peoria Notre Dame. She was an assistant teacher at the studio when she was 15 until she graduated high school. After her senior year of high school, she became a teacher at Water Street. She now is a sophomore at Illinois State University majoring in Kinesiology. She teaches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays this year working with both the recreational and competitive kids. She also runs all of our social media platforms.


Megan Armstrong

Megan began dancing at age four in Metamora, Illinois. In high school, she competed with Water Street Dance Company for three years. Megan attended Lindenwood University as a dance major. She was also a member of the Lionettes dance team for two years. While attending Lindenwood, she had the opportunity to perform at the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, the American College Dance Association in Kansas, Grand Center’s Dancing in the Streets, and more. Senior year, she was a member of Ashleyliane Dance Company in St. Louis. She then taught at Heavenly Rhythm Dance Studio in Collinsville, Illinois. She is looking forward to being back at Just Dance! She teaches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Carli RussellIMG_3229

Carli began dancing when she was three years old at Water Street Dance Company. She started competing when she was 8 years old. Carli continued to dance until she graduated high school. She was also on the dance team at Metamora Township High School all four years. Carli started assistant teaching at Water Street Dance Company at the age of 15 until she graduated high school. She started teaching at the studio in December 2018. Carli is currently attending Bradley University and majoring in nursing. She loves teaching dance and cannot wait for another amazing dance season! She teaches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


Kenzie Johnson 

2Kenzie Johnson began dancing at the age of 3 years old with Gina and continued dancing competitively all the way through her senior year of high school.  Kenzie was also a 4-year member of the Pekin Community High School Dance Team where she served as captain her senior year.  During her senior year, the dance team won 2ndplace at IDTA State in both the lyrical and jazz division with routines co-choreographed by Kenzie.  Kenzie continued to choreograph competitive routines for both this studio and the PCHS dance team in college and graduate school.  Kenzie has taught several classes at summer intensive and taught Thursday night technique/ competitive class at this studio during the 2015-2016 dance season.  Kenzie now works at UnityPoint Health-Pekin as a speech-language pathologist and will be one of the assistant coaches for the PCHS dance team this fall.  Kenzie is so excited to be back at her home studio and can’t wait to be involved with the dancers again! She works with the senior competitive team on Sundays.

McKenzie Schroeder45365639_742683902739008_3156753387207262208_n

McKenzie began dancing when she was three years old. She danced at Water Street from the age of 8 until she graduated. She was also on her high school dance team for four years at Metamora Township High School. She also did competitive cheerleading and tumbling for many years. She was an assistant teacher at the studio when she was 15 until she graduated. She is so excited to be a teacher this year and teach flips and tricks! This year she will be a freshman at Bradley University majoring in elementary education. McKenzie loves to work with kids and watch them succeed and achieve their goals. She cannot wait to be back at the studio. She teaches the flips & tricks classes on Wednesdays!

Madalyn Bachman

IMG_3207Madalyn began dancing at the age of 3 in Metamora, Illinois. She was on her high school dance team and danced at Water Street for 3 years. She competed in Miss Lauras School of Dance competitive dance team with a large focus on tap. She is very excited to be teaching at Water Street this year! She will teach on Tuesday nights this year!

Kenzie Johnson

Kenzie JohnsonKenzie is a 2015 graduate from the University of Iowa and is currently completing post-graduate work to become a speech-language pathologist. She began her dance career with Gina Kennedy at the age of 7 and continued dancing through high school. Kenzie is currently living in the Central Illinois area and is thrilled to be back teaching at her home studio!



Summer Tharp

dance bioSummer came to WSDC during her high school years and then joined our competition team. She was accepted into Columbia College Chicago’s dance program, where she is currently working on her Bachelor’s in Dance. During her studies, she hopes to be a part of a contemporary/modern company, which is her favorite style of dance. In the future, she plans to go on to do the Master’s in Dance/Movement Therapy.