Ann Marie Frank has been working non-stop for years building an environment where students not only learn the arts and life-long skills, but are always made to feel welcome as they step through the doors of AMA. Her lifelong love of the arts is richly based in music and dance.
Having studied music and primary education at Northeastern University, Ms. Frank learned all instrumentation applications and also studied trombone and piano privately for over 12 years. She studied dance at Lou Conte’s Dance Studio in Chicago, home of the Hubbard Street Dancers, and with numerous professionals such as Ruth Page and tap legends, Ben Ofer, Avi Miller, Gregg Russell, Jimmy Payne, Tommy Sutton, and Bruce Stegman.
Continued study is the mark of a true artist and Miss Ann Marie has participated in hundreds of dance workshops over the years. Most recently, she has traveled to Los Angeles, Scottsdale, New York, Orlando and Vancouver to learn from the best dance masters in the industry. “I want to be able to expose our AMA students to everything dance has to offer,” she says. “It is very important to me to be able to bring the latest styles of dance being taught all over the country to our AMA students!”
Ann Marie has taught dance for over 25 years in the Park Ridge and Des Plaines communities, and is well known for her energetic style (video), original choreography and contagious excitement. She attributes her current success in part to attitude, greeting every new AMA season with unshakable enthusiasm and optimism.
Passionate about the performing arts, AMA began offering private music lessons in 2008. Miss Ann Marie’s dream is to create a performing arts school where children and adults can come together, grow and excel in a nurturing cultural environment.
Planting flowers in her front yard every summer and traveling to warm climates are some of the things Ann Marie loves to do outside of AMA. She also loves to play Scrabble and see every Broadway musical possible with her kids!
Shelby Moran began her early training at Bataille Academie of the Danse and continued at Dance Center Evanston under the direction of Béa Rashid. During her early education,
Shelby had the opportunity to perform with the Evanston Dance Ensemble and Elements Contemporary Ballet.
Shelby continued her dance education at The Juilliard School (BFA ‘15). While at Juilliard, she performed repertory such as Jose Limon’s Missa Brevis; William Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, reproduced; Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen; and Merce Cunningham’s Biped. She also performed original works by Monica Bill Barnes, Emery LeCrone, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Larry Keigwin, and Danielle Agami. She also participated in summer programs including the Contemporary Program at Jacob’s Pillow in 2014, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2009 and 2012, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet in 2010.
Shelby began her professional career performing with Thodos Dance Chicago for two seasons. In her time there, she had the opportunity to dance starring roles in director Melissa Thodos’ original story ballets including “Anne Sullivan” in A Light in the Dark and “Sono, the Matriarch” in Sono’s Journey. In addition, she performed world premieres by Robyn Mineko Williams, Brian Enos, and Kevin Iega Jeff. She also had the opportunity to perform as a soloist in renowned repertory such as Bella Lewitzky’s Nos Duraturi and Melissa Thodos’ original role in her Wheel Trilogy.
Miss Shelby is entering her first season dancing with Visceral Dance Chicago. She is excited to be amongst such inspiring artists!
Sandy Schillinger, Office Staff
Miss Sandy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Concordia College in 1986. She has taught both primary grades and early childhood for 9 years. Miss Sandy’s extensive background in teaching children, along with her 8 years of directorial experience has made her a valuable addition to the AMA support staff!
Sandy was born and raised in Chicago and has lived in Des Plaines since 1991 with her husband and two children. She has been a cheer coach for 15 years!
Even though she spends only one day in the AMA office, Miss Sandy has spent many days at the studio, with her daughter being an AMA alumni and Sandy continuing to take Adult Tap class with Miss Ann Marie!
In her spare time Sandy likes to read, garden, and spend time with family and friends.
Annie Schrieffer, Office Manager
She comes to AMA as a highly organized and analytical person, skills that will make her a great addition to the AMA Team.
Jessica Walker, Piano Instructor
In addition to studying piano for over 16 years, Jessica has learned to play many other instruments, including the guitar, ukulele, clarinet, and flute. She also enjoys composing. Jessica has been teaching piano for over a decade and it is her passion. “There is nothing more fulfilling than to take what I have learned and be able to share it with others,” says Miss Jessica. She excels in making lessons a fun learning experience for her students, and she loves teaching at AMA!