At The DanceXpress, the instructors believe in continuing their own dance education as a way of keeping their teaching fresh, correct, and FUN! They attend CNADM (Chicago National Association of Dance Masters); one of the largest dance education resources in the country. Our instructors have been promoting dance in Arlington Heights for over 30 years.


Sophia Ritchey (SR)

Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary Modern

In June of 2004 became owner and director of The DanceXpress Dance Studio (which opened in 1986 as Dorene’s DanceXpress under the direction of Dorene Wackerfuss). Ms Sophia started dance lessons at age 5 with Bonath Twins School of Dance and has been choreographing, performing, and teaching ever since. She is a graduate of 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. Having been a member of CNADM (Chicago National Association of Dance Masters) since 1995, Ms Sophia earned her CDE (Certified Dance Educator) accreditation in 2005 and has just earned her MDE (Master Dance Educator) status in March of 2017; and she continues as an active member of CNADM. Ms Sophia is also Director and choreographer for TDX competitive dance team. 


Dorene Wackerfuss (DW)

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theater, Ballroom

Founded Dorene’s DanceXpress School of Dance in 1986, which became The DanceXpress Dance Studio in June 2004. She started dance lessons at age three with Evelyn Lare in Chicago, has more than 30 years experience teaching a wide variety of dance, and is a graduate of Northwestern Illinois University. Professionally Ms Dorene 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, and she regularly choreographs for TDX competitive dance team. Ms Dorene also holds her MDE through CNADM where she has been an active member for over 25 years and has a seat on the Board of Directors. 




Margie Dziadzka (MD)

Flamenco, Tap, Musical Theater, Contemporary Modern

Is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and has a broad background in theatrical dance. She has served as choreographer and musical director for many local theater productions and regularly choreographs for TDX competitive dance team. Ms Margie is Founder and Director of Flamenco Expresivo Dance Ensemble, a non-profit Spanish Dance Company in residence at The DanceXpress. Flamenco Expresivo performs frequently and promotes dance education throughout the Chicagoland area. She is also a member of CNADM.


MaryAnn Oberschmied (MO)

Storybook Dance, Kiddiedance, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theater, Lyrical

Graduated with a minor in dance from Northeastern Illinois University. She also began her dancing career at Evelyn Lare’s in Chicago (with Ms Dorene as Assistant Teacher!). Ms MaryAnn is Assistant Director of Flamenco Expresivo Dance Ensemble and continues to perform with the dance company. She introduces our students to the world of dance with a wealth of creativity, talent, and experience.


Jill Tagas (JT)

Jr Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Jr Ballet

Is a graduate of Western Michigan University who started dancing at age three, teaching at age 18, 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. Ms Jill joined the teaching staff at The DanceXpress in September of 2004, is Assistant Director and choreographer of TDX competitive dance team, and is also a performing member of Flamenco Expresivo Dance Ensemble.