Meet the Owner

Darcey Sunken

Darcey Sunken has 30 plus years of experience in the dance world. At just the young age of 2, Darcey began dancing at her local studio where she grew to not only love dance but also teaching. During her teenage years she quickly realized that owning her own dance studio someday would be a dream!

In 2009 Darcey followed her dreams and opened The Next Step Dance Studio. From 2009-2013 she owned and operated the studio. In the Fall of 2013 Darcey took a break from being the owner and decided to take on the role of studio director. BUT....... a few years down the road, Darcey once again followed her dreams and retook ownership of the studio in 2020.

Darcey is supported by her husband Tyler and two children.

Our Staff

Melissa Dougall

Studio Manager/Instructor/Studio 4 Mini's Director

Regina Davis

Studio Director/Instructor

Jessica Matthews

Studio 4 & NSDS Premiere Ballet Co. Artistic Director

Jessica Matthews has been dancing and teaching in the Chicagoland area for the past thirty years. While she is classically trained in all genres of dance, gymnastics and tumbling; her emphasis is on ballet, contemporary, and jazz. Jessica attended Illinois State University as a dance major, was a company member to the Illinois State Dance Theatre, and has traveled the country to perform in the American College Dance Association. Jessica has danced for Brian Brooks, Eddy Ocampo, Joffrey Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Company. She has taken classes from American Ballet Theatre, Joel Hall, Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Company and Lou Conte. Through Jessica's teaching career she has been recognized both regionally and nationally for her choreography and costuming. She has earned myriad chorography awards, was awarded 2015 Teacher of the Year, and was named 2016 Choreographer of the Year. Under her directorship her students have equally shared in great success as they too have won numerous judges awards, first place overall awards, and grand champion awards on the regional and national competition circuit. Additionally, Jessica is a dance competition judge for Starpower, Revolution, and Believe Talent competitions. Jessica is currently the Artistic Director of the Studio 4 performing arts company in Central Illinois. The art of dance and performance has given Jessica many wonderful opportunities which have thus far defined her as an individual, and she is excited to share her knowledge and love of dance!

Sarah Kennedy

Instructor Staff Coordinator/Instructor/Summer Camp Director

JoAnn Cavanaugh

NSDS Billing

Miss Eva


Miss Evanna

Tumbling Coach



Miss Jacee

Instructor & Studio 4 Choreographer

Jessica D.

Front Desk Admin


Ballroom Instructor

Lacey W.

Front Desk Admin

Miss Morgan

Private Lesson Director/Adult Class Instructor

Miss Natalie


Miss Tahvia

Instructor/NSDS Premiere Ballet Co. Instructor

Mr Ty



Fine Arts Club Teacher


Front Desk Admin




Bloomington Park and Rec. Instructor

What We Believe

We believe in providing fun and educational classes for all ages and levels.
We believe each child should be given personalized attention and proper instruction.
We believe in providing a nurturing environment for children to grow.
We believe every child is different, which means they have different goals.
We believe in family and unconditional support for everyone who chooses to call our studio home.

Happy Parents and Dancers

  • This is our first year with The Next Step Dance Studio. Our three-year-old Wynne is in Miss Sarah‘s Tappin' Tutus class on Thursday mornings. It's the highlight of her week! She absolutely loves all of her new friends and learning how to tap dance!
    Bridget V
  • Grace M
  • Brandi W
  • Hayley T
  • Bethany T
  • Julie N

The Next Step Dance Studio
1 Auto Row Dr #400
Bloomington, IL 61704

(309) 585-1370