Northern Illinois Dance Center is dedicated to providing you with a premium dance education, but also a memorable experience. Consistent improvement is a top priority, but equally important is ensuring a fun environment that allows for team building and everlasting friendships.

We at Northern Illinois Dance Center value the importance of family. As a family-oriented business we strive to provide not only a comfortable, fun environment for our dancers, but also for their families. Our studio offers wireless internet and a homework lounge, allowing students and their parents a space to work and study while in our studio.

Our dedicated staff, most of which have a background in education aside from dance, offer a unique area of expertise. Focusing on their individual strengths, each member of our staff provides expertise-based instruction to allow for a fun, self-esteem boosting environment.

Our instructors have all been background checked through Good Hire.

Our Directors

Raelyn Joyner

Studio Owner / Director / Co-coordinator of NIDC's Preschool dance program / Teacher

Raelyn’s journey in the world of dance commenced at the tender age of 7, where she discovered her passion for movement and expression. Over the years, she has evolved into a dedicated dance coach and preschool educator, merging her love for dance and teaching. Presently, Raelyn channels her enthusiasm into crafting enriching dance experiences for preschool-aged children, seamlessly blending her two lifelong passions.

As the driving force behind the Northern Illinois Dance Center, Raelyn is committed to providing a platform brimming with distinctive opportunities for parents, families, and students. Recognizing the importance of continuous improvement, she has enrolled NIDC as an esteemed IDEA member, empowering her staff with invaluable resources to deliver top-notch classes. Raelyn’s relentless pursuit of excellence is evident through her participation in numerous classes, seminars, and certifications facilitated by IDEA and the “Dance Life Retreat Center.”

An accredited International Ballet Barre Fitness Association Instructor, Raelyn extends her expertise to offer exclusive adult barre classes at NIDC’s dedicated workout space. Leveraging the skills acquired through this certification, she spearheads the FlexFix class, a program meticulously designed to enhance dancer strength, flexibility, and stamina.

Above all, Raelyn is devoted to fostering a sense of safety and belonging at NIDC, envisioning the studio as a home away from home for dancers and their families. NIDC serves as a nurturing space where aspiring dancers not only refine their craft but also cultivate life skills. Raelyn takes pride in witnessing the transformative power of dance, elevating the confidence of young minds. With a diverse team of specialized teachers covering various dance disciplines, NIDC thrives under Raelyn’s guidance, ensuring holistic growth for its students.

Atlee Smith

Assistant Studio Director / Elevation Company Director / teacher

Atlee has been teaching for NIDC since our opening in 2009. She has danced herself since she was three years old and has competed in lyrical, jazz, and tap since age nine at both Summer’s Academy of Dance in Crystal Lake and Dixon Dance Academy in West Dundee. Atlee was on the Sycamore High School Varsity dance team for all 4 years in high school, and she was also the first president of the Orchesis Dance Company. She coached the Sycamore Middle School dance team for five years (the winter 2015-2019 seasons), and helped them win five consecutive NCJC championship titles.

Atlee received her bachelors degrees from Northern Illinois University and recently graduated with her Masters in social work from Our Lady of the Lake university. She is now a licensed and practicing elementary school social worker and a family and children mental health clinician with focuses on pediatric counseling, trauma, crisis management, school social work and children’s advocacy.

Atlee has had professional training in a variety of styles that brings a fresh aspect to her dance classes. She likes to incorporate new styles, techniques and ideas to create an edge in her routines. Atlee’s classes focus on the importance of strong technique, individual growth, artistic ability/performance quality, and overall dance quality. She runs our competitive experience, Elevation Dance Company—and brings a unique view to her teaching that stems from her years in competitive dance as a child and teen.

Abriella Joyner

Associate Studio Director / Office Manager / Community Program coordinator / Elevation Choreographer / NIDC's Performance Group Director / Teacher

Ella has been dancing since the age of 3, had danced at NIDC since 6 and competitively since 7. She is a Sycamore High School Graduate, where she was an Orchesis officer, a Track and Field athlete, as well as involved in many other clubs. She has taken almost every style but has a special spot for Musical Theater and Tap, and loves sharing her love of both to her students.

She is excited to bring her energy and personality into her classes and create a fun environment for her students and to collaborate with her fellow teachers.

Our Instructors

Courtney Scott-Frantz

Ballet Program Coordinator / Elevation Choreographer / teacher

Courtney has been dancing since the age of three. She has been teaching Ballet, jazz and Lyrical since 2005, and started with NIDC in 2012. She has studied with some of the nation’s leading ballet, jazz, and lyrical professionals.

While a company member of the Beth Fowler Dance Company Courtney was featured in roles such as the Russian Doll, and Chinese Soloist in the Nutcracker, and the Spring Fairy in Cinderella and various other roles. She has performed with Pastiche Dance Ensemble of Milwaukee, performing at multiple art galleries, Harley Davidson’s 100th Anniversary, and Summerfest, featuring multiple repertoires including the Matrix. While working with Studio A of Hampshire, she performed at a Rock River Raptors Football game and worked with the award winning competition groups. Courtney takes pride in all of her classes focusing on dance technique and ballet vocabulary in a fun fresh way, as well as keeping open lines of communication with all of the dancers.

Outside of dance Courtney works as a front office staff member at a psychiatry office and enjoys assisting and helping all clients.
Courtney hopes to continue to share her love of dance with the dancers and staff of Northern Illinois Dance Center.

Analisa Joyner

Hip Hop program coordinator / Elevation Choreographer / teacher

Analisa has been dancing since the age of 2, and has been dancing at NIDC for about 12 years, competitively for the last 10. She is a graduate from Sycamore High School, where she was an officer for Orchesis, the school’s dance program, and involved in many clubs and activities. She has been well versed in many styles of dance, and has continued her dance education with master classes with renowned choreographers such Mia Michaels, Travis Wall, Katherine McCormick, and the Shaping Sound Dance Company, among many others.

Outside of dance, Analisa is a hairstylist, and the owner of Wrangled Roots Salon in Sycamore.
Ana is excited to bring new techniques and approaches to create an exciting and fun environment for her students. Excited to be taking on the hip hop program, and sharing her love of dance with the future of the art themselves.


Alex Schlosser

Elevation Choreographer / Teacher

Alex has been dancing since the age of 3, and enjoyed learning Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, and more. Alex was also heavily involved in her church dance group for 14 years, dancing on missions trips across the US and in Ireland. She taught a dance team of kids ages 5-11 at her church for 4 years and that is where her love for teaching dance started.

Along with dancing, Alex also love playing and teaching piano. She’s been playing piano for 15 years and teaching for 4 years.
She currently teaches a variety of classes at NIDC, and teaches ages 5-18. Some of her favorite styles to teach and dance are Ballet, Jazz, and Lyrical. One of her favorite parts of teaching at NIDC, is getting to watch and help students work hard, make new friends and improve their dancing abilities.

“One of the things I try to do as I teach, is never underestimate a dancer. No matter what age, height, or experience level, I will always work to help each dancer be comfortable in class, be the best dancer they can be, and be confident in their abilities.”
-Ms. Alex

Mindy Walker

Co-coordinator of NIDC's Preschool Dance Program / Teacher

Mz. Mindy Walker has been teaching Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Creative Dance, Preschool Dance, Character, Hip Hop, and Tumbling for over 30 years.  Her love for dance started at the age of 5 at her hometown dance studio in Kentucky.  She studied dance and was trained in their honors program.  Her training led her to extended classes, advanced training, competitive dance teams, and many community performance opportunities at local events. 

She began a teacher apprentice teaching program at the age of 14 and fell in love with teaching dance. She began assisting and teaching her own classes while in high school at the studio and also performed for the local H.S. poms/cheer squad. She continued her technical training into college and after through professional workshops and masterclasses with CNADM, Rhee Gold Dance Life Conferences, and many more. Her extensive training includes instruction from dance greats such as Gus Giordano, Al Gilbert, Patricia Dickinson, and Bruce Stegmann.

Her love of teaching children led her into many jobs like Nanny, Camp Counselor, Preschool Teacher, Daycare Provider, Dance Teacher, Studio Owner, Certified K-5 Teacher, and currently an ELL/ENL Specialist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree and an ELL/ENL certificate from Western Governors University. She has been an ELL/ENL teacher for 6+ years and 20+ years teaching students of all ages. She currently works with students in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade and services 12 different languages.  In her spare time, she enjoys teaching dance, reading about history, being a tech geek, spending time at the lake, and spending time with her husband of 33+ years. She also enjoys teaching international students online in a one-on-one English immersive classroom to Chinese students.  Her passion is building a strong dance foundation for early learners and beyond.  She is excited to be a part of your dance student’s dance journey.  She has shared her passion with so many dance students that call her Mz. Mindy, Mz. Min, or Coach Mindy for our Curtsy Team.

Samantha Calligan


Sam has been dancing competitively and recreationally at NIDC since the age of 5. Sam is a junior at Sycamore high school, and is involved in the musicals at their school. Sam aspires to be an actress when they are older, but would also love to continue dancing.


Sara Hamilton

Teaching Assistant

Sara has been dancing with NIDC for nine years and has been on elevation for seven years. Sara is a junior at Dekalb High School, where she hopes to be in the National Honors Society. Her favorite styles of dance are tap and musical theatre. Along with dancing, Sara loves to volunteer around the community. Her favorite place she’s been volunteering at currently is Tails. She is excited to share her love of dancing!


Katy Napientek

Student Helper

Katy has been dancing since she was 3 years old. All of those years have been at NIDC. Katy has been competing since 4 years old and this year is competing in Tap, Jazz, and a Musical Theater Solo. Her favorite styles of dance are Tap and Jazz. This is her first year teaching at NIDC. Katy is in 7th grade at Sycamore Middle School and is apart of Art club and Conscious Kids. Katy hopes to be a school and dance teacher when she is older. Katy is excited to teach for years to come!

Shop for your students needs and by clicking on the link or image you will get the NIDC Discount on your purchase. For Shoes, tights, apparel and more.

Shop for your students needs and by clicking on the link or image you will get the NIDC Discount on your purchase. For Shoes, tights, apparel and more.
NIDC NIMBLEY NIDC Online Store >>>>

Sign-Up Northern Illinois Dance Center Mailing List

* indicates required
Email Format