Teachers

Amy Murphy, Amy's School of Dance, Owner

Amy Murphy

Amy Murphy is the owner of ASOD and teaches ballet, tap, jazz, elites, modern and company. Amy has performed professionally with Iowa Dance Theatre and Valerie Williams Co’Motion Dance Theater in Ames. Recently receiving her membership to CNADM, she is now working towards her CDE with CNADM. Teaching is her 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, 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, Amy's School of Dance

Jill Kragie

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!         

Mackenzie Watts, Amy's School of Dance

Mackenzie Watts

Mackenzie Watts is from Huxley, IA, and was a dancer of ASOD for 15 years. She was on the Ballard High School dance team for 4 years, and was also on the DMACC dance team. Mackenzie attended Iowa State University where she took dance education classes and participated in the Dub H Hip Hop Club. She graduated from ISU in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Mackenzie previously taught dance and gymnastics for Ames Parks and Rec, and choreographed for the Ballard Dance Team. She is now in her fifth year of teaching at ASOD where she teaches Level 7 and leads the Competition, Tumbling and Hip Hop programs. Miss Mackenzie and the 2017 Competition Team were recently recognized as the Top Studio at the 2017 Thunderstruck regional competition in May. “I’m honored to be a part of the studio that made me who I am today, both as an individual and a dancer. We are truly a family here and I’m blessed to have built such great relationships with the teachers, students and parents!”  Mackenzie would like to thank her parents and boyfriend for their amazing support and spending their weekends watching hours and hours of competition dance!      

Cathy Van Maanen

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 Coordinator. There she gets to continue to work her work with children and tell stories for a living.   

Jamie Booth, Amy's School of Dance

Jamie Booth

Jamie Booth is a native of Carroll, Iowa. She started dancing at the age of six. Jamie graduated from Carroll High School and spent most of her dancing years at Renee’s School of Dance in Carroll. Jamie was the captain of the varsity cheerleading squad and dance team, and was honored as an All-State cheerleader and dance member. Jamie has been teaching at ASOD since 2004, and continues her dance education by attending conventions and Master classes. Jamie would like to say “thank you” to her fiancé, Mike, and son, Landon, for all the love and support they continue to give her.   

Hannah Kauble

Staff

Diana Anderson

Front Desk Manager

Mandy Weeks

Front Desk Assistant

Recital Coordinator/Stage Manager

Michelle Seipker

Front Desk Assistant

Alterations and Props

Katie Princehouse

Katie Princehouse

Communications

Recital Coordinator

Anna Jacobson

Front Desk Assistant