(From left to right): Ms Margie, Ms Jill, Ms MaryAnn, Ms Dorene, Ms Sophia.
At The DanceXpress, the teachers believe in continuing their own dance education as a way of keeping their teaching fresh, correct, and FUN! We encourage our more serious students to attend workshops and dance performances during the season. They have recently performed at an area senior apartments complex, and participated in CNADM’s student competition. Our teachers have been promoting dance in Arlington Heights and other surrounding communities such as Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Mount Prospect, as well as other of Chicago's northwest suburbs.
Sophia Ritchey is Owner and Director of The DanceXpress Dance Studio (which opened in 1986 as Dorene’s DanceXpress – under the direction of Dorene Wackerfuss). Sophia started dance lessons at age 5 with Bonath Twins and has been teaching, choreographing, and performing ever since. Sophia graduated from Northern Illinois University, where she performed in residence and on tour with Northern Dance Theater. With a B.A. degree in theater dance, she has been teaching a wide variety of dance for over 25 years (many of those years right here with Ms Dorene). She earned her CDE through CNADM (Chicago National Association of Dance Masters) in 2005 and has been an active member since 1995.
Dorene Wackerfuss founded Dorene’s DanceXpress School of Dance in 1986, which then became The DanceXpress Dance Studio in 2004. She started dance lessons at age three with Evelyn Lare in Chicago and has more than thirty years experience teaching a wide variety of dance forms. Professionally she appeared in Jimmy Durante's club act and with the Athens Civic Ballet. In addition, she has choreographed many musicals and revues for local theater groups. Dorene holds her MDE through CNADM and has been an active member for over 25 years. She is a graduate of Northwestern IL University.
Margie Dziadzka is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and has a broad background in musical theater. She has served as a choreographer and musical director for many local theater productions. Margie is founder and director of Flamenco Expresivo, our non-profit Spanish Dance Company who performs regularly throughout the Chicagoland area. She is also a member of CNADM.
MaryAnn Oberschmied graduated with a minor in dance from Northeastern Illinois University. She began her dancing career at age 6 with Evelyn Lare (and Ms. Dorene was assistant teacher!). MaryAnn is also a member of Flamenco Expresivo and performs regularly with the Company. She introduces our students to the world of dance with a wealth of creativity, talent, and experience.
JILL KARMANN is a graduate of Western Michigan University with over 15 years teaching experience and continues her education by attending CNADM workshops. She has a wide range of dance training and is accomplished in both her choreography and performance background. Jill is in her tenth year here at The DanceXpress and is a valued member of our dance family.
Erica Wells – is a graduate of Southern IL University and has been dancing for “as long as she can remember.” At JD Darnell H.S. Ms Erica was a member of the poms squad, then later a member of the SIU Dance Team as she danced her way through school. After graduating from college Ms. Erica organized her own travelling dance team and toured with them while she kept teaching classes. In addition, she was a member of Graffiti Dance Co in Chicago for several years. We are very happy to welcome Ms. Erica back for another wonderful year at The DanceXpress!
Our Motto is:
Dance expression through quality instruction. Here at The DanceXpress, the teachers believe in continuing their own dance education as a way of keeping their teaching fresh, correct, and FUN! We encourage our more serious students to attend CNADM workshops and other dance performances during the season. They have recently performed at local senior living centers, and participated in CNADM’s student competition.
Visit us or give us a call if you would like to enjoy a lesson with us. Express yourself at The DanceXpress.