Meet our Teachers & Staff

Amy Murphy

Amy Murphy, Amy's School of Dance, Owner

Amy Murphy is the owner of ASOD and teaches ballet, tap, jazz, pre-professional classes, modern, company, hip hop and tumbling. Amy has performed professionally with Iowa Dance Theatre and Valerie Williams Co’Motion Dance Theater in Ames. 

As a member of Chicago's National Academy of Dance Masters (CNADM), Amy was recently honored by the organzation for earning her CDE (Certified Dance Educator) licensing and is now a member of the board. 

Teaching is Amy's passion. Amy started her dance studio in Huxley in 1998 and the business has been in the current location since 2006. It is Amy’s dream to extend her studio to a performing arts school some day, complete with an auditorium.  Amy cares for all her students, from the very young dancers to all those that have graduated and now considered ASOD alumni. 

“Without dance and dancers, the world would be missing something very special.”  

Amy has a son, Sean, and resides in Des Moines, IA. 

Jill Kragie

Jill Kragie, Amy's School of Dance

Jill Kragie was raised in West Des Moines and trained with Janice Baker at The Dance Place and The Dance Center in Ames. During her training, she performed with Iowa Dance Theatre. She studied in Madison, WI, at The Pointe Academy and Madison Professional Dance under Susan Marsden. While in Wisconsin, Jill was the head of the ballet and lyrical department and served as the director for the Stoughton Center for Performing Arts (SCPA) for 10 years. Additionally, Jill choreographed many dances for Stageworks Project Inc. such as "The Nutcracker" and "Peter Pan". She has had students go on to further studies and perform with Jennifer Lopez, NBA Oklahoma City Thunder, Ballet West, University of Arizona, Joffrey Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, River North Ballet, Oklahoma City University, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Utah Valley University and Western Michigan University. Jill moved back to Iowa and is now teaching at ASOD where she oversees the ballet and lyrical programs. She has choreographed and directed "Peter Pan Ballet" and helped with choreography for “The Nutcracker” with Iowa Dance Theatre.  Jill has recently started her own business, “Custom Made Tiaras by Jill Kragie”. She has been making headpieces for dancers for years to use in competitions, recitals, theatre productions, and more (everything from tiaras to turtle shells)!  Jill feels very blessed to be where she is today, as well as having so many wonderful students here at ASOD. She looks forward to many years to come!         

Cathy Van Maanen

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Cathy Van Maanen is the theater director at Amy's School of Dance and has held this role since 2011. Prior to that, she spent many years working in children’s theater. Cathy graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in speech and theater and has experience playing many roles such as Tigger and the Mayor of the Munchkins. Cathy has also held many "grown-up" roles and has directed many productions with casts of various ages. Cathy loves to work with kids and is passionate about helping children perform and build life skills (such as increasing confidence in front of an audience). Many may also recognize Miss Cathy at the Huxley Public Library where she is the Program Director. There she gets to continue to work her work with children and tell stories for a living.   

Hannah Kauble

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Hannah Kauble is from Slater, Iowa, and danced at Amy’s School of Dance for 15 years. This is her third year teaching at the studio and has loved every minute of it. Hannah was recently honored at Chicago's National Association of Dance Masters (CNADM) with her teacher certfication training and now a member of CNADM.  Hannah will also be leading ASOD's 2019-2020 Competition program.

Throughout her years at the studio, Hannah was involved with Company and Elite Classes, and also did various performances outside the studio, such as The Nutcracker,Peter Pan, and Dracula. 

“Teaching dance has been a wonderful experience and I have enjoyed getting to know my students and seeing them improve every week.” 

Staff

Mandy Weeks

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Office Manager

Recital Coordinator & Stage Manager

Michelle Seipker

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Front Desk Coordinator

Alterations and Props

Katie Princehouse

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Communications Manager

Recital & Volunteer Manager

Anna Jacobson

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Front Desk Assistant

Kelly Moss

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Front Desk assistant

Deb Malone

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Front Desk Assistant

Tiffany Kayser

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Front Desk Assistant

Jamie Cochran-Smith

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Office Assistant