Ashley Litwin is the proud director & owner of the Anna Marie Dance Studio! She started her dance career right here under the direction of her great aunt, Anna Marie Leo. Ashley attended College at the University of Delaware majoring in Psychology and minoring in Neuroscience while teaching at studios all over the tristate area.
Ashley has been dancing for over 35 years. During that time she has represented Delaware in the Los Angeles, California International Dance Festival, worked with Opera Delaware, Bob McGrath’s Sesame Street tour and preformed in Disneyland on several occasions. One of her greatest accomplishments was setting her own choreography for a Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theatre.
After college she returned home to help with her family’s studio. In August of 2012 Ashley and her husband Chris took over the business. They eventually moved AMDS to its current state of the art facility located at 801 Philadelphia Pike, complete with four class rooms.
Ashley’s passion for dance has been with her since birth. She dedicates her time to building the professional, family friendly environment that AMDS has always cultivated. She still finds time to be wife and mom to three little ones, and works with several local charities.
Anna Marie Leo or Miss Anna Marie as she is known to everyone, was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. She is currently 92 years young. Miss Anna Marie opened AMDS in 1951. Besides running the studio for many years, she became nationally known for convention teaching and judging competitions. She taught master classes for Dance Caravan, Dance Olympus, and Dance Makers Inc. She was also the National Vice President of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Artists. Miss Anna Marie is thrilled that in recent years her niece Ashley has taken over the Anna Marie Dance Studio. Miss Anna Marie is still actively involved with the studio and still teaches!
Sonny is a Wilmington native, having taught for The Anna Marie Dance
Studio for over 40 years. Although Delaware has been his home, his
performing career has taken him across the country and back.
Sonny’s professional performing credits span over four decades as well.These include touring with Freda Payne in the Broadway production of Sophisticated Ladies, working with Anthony Newley in the pre-Broadway show Chaplin, as well as working with many other greats including Maurice Hines, Dee Hoty and Marc Jacoby.
Locally, Mr. Leo has been a featured performer at TheWalnut Street
Theater in productions such as 42nd Street, State Fair, Forbidden
Broadway, Oliver, Elf, The Musical. Sonny has many local performing
credits including productions at The Kimmel Center, Society Hill
Playhouse and Act II Playhouse in Ambler, Pennsylvania where he was
featured in productions such as Kiss Me Kate and Souvenir, A Fantasia
on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins.
Sonny is thrilled to be a teacher and choreographer as we are headed into the 71st season of the Anna Marie Dance Studio.
Angela Boyd is an alumni of The Anna Marie Dance Studio and is thrilled to be a teacher and choreographer at her alma mater. Angela graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in Dance and Elementary Education. There she was able to work with notable choreographers, such as, Lance Westergard, Stormy Brandenberger, Katherine Posin, Robin Becker (Robin Becker Company), Cathy McCann (Paul Taylor Company) and Larry Keigwin (K+C Company). After graduating summa cum laude, Angela continued her dance training with a scholarship to Broadway Dance Center in New York City with training from Frank Hatchet, Michael Owen, Madame Darvash and Sheila Barker. Angela danced and travelled the world on several cruise ships. She has performed as lead dancer and dance captain in several Equity theatres along the Florida coast. Some of Angela’s favorites are West Side Story, JC Superstar, Evita, Beauty and the Beast and Aida, having shared the stage with Broadway performers, such as, Rachel Bae Jones, Danny Zolli, Julio Augustine and Henry Gainza. She has even performed in an Opera that performed in NYC and then toured the New England States. Angela has also had the great opportunity to work with Kimberly DeAcha at the University of Miami’s Performing Arts Institute. She is the mom of twin boys and a cocker spaniel and has the great support of her husband.
Kimberly Martin grew up in Tampa, Florida. At a young age, she began studying ballet with the Classical Ballet Center under the direction of Haydee Gutierrez. She was invited to be an apprentice with the Tampa Ballet Company while still in high school. During this time she was
also awarded scholarships to attend and train with the San Francisco Ballet and the Chicago City Ballet for their summer intensives. Ms Martin is a graduate of Wake Forest University and danced professionally for many years upon graduation. She has worked with many well known choreographers and has had the opportunity to perform in many national and international dance festivals. She realized her passion for teaching early on and since moving to Wilmington, Delaware, Ms Martin has been a resident faculty member and guest teacher for many studios in the tri-state area. She helped design and launch an outreach program which brought dance,
music, and theater to over 1200 inner city children while working at the Grand Opera House. She has over 30 years of teaching experience. Ms Martin was selected to attend the Royal Ballet’s teaching seminar and she is certified with the Progressing Ballet Technique program.
Many of her students are selected each year to attend prestigious summer dance programs, are awarded dance scholarships for college, and are offered contracts to dance professionally.
Bethany Stark began dancing at the Anna Marie Dance Studio at the
age of two. Over her sixteen years at the studio, she participated in
many performances including The Nutcracker dancing the roles of SnowQueen, Dew Drop Fairy and many others. She competed in Dance
Excellence representing the state of Delaware along with the studio for
several years culminating in dancing in the Company show. At the age
of ten she competed in the Youth American Grande Prix International
Ballet Competition receiving a silver placement. She was selected to
train with the Orlando Ballet on scholarship for a summer intensive.
She briefly moved to Texas and furthered her dance education with
Houston Ballet. Bethany also has a background in Gymnastics and
cheerleading. She began her dance teaching career in high school interning for Miss Anna Marie and teaching younger dancers. After graduating high school, she went on to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst to study Kinesiology and Athletic Training, she was a captain of the UMASS dance team and won 2 nd place at Nationals. After graduating from college and returning home to Delaware, she went on to get married and start a family and went back to her first love of dance and becoming a teacher at AMDS. She loves working with the younger dancers and seeing them grow and achieve over the years! While not at the dance studio, she enjoys time with her husband Kevin, two sons Camden and Colton, and little one on the way! She loves the beach, shopping, and spending time with family! Fun fact: Bethany was Miss Delaware Teen USA 2008!
With 28 years as a student and 20 years teaching and choreographing, Jim grew into the dance world virtually his whole life. After over a decade on stage in the competitive circuit, he ventured onto becoming a team director at his family’s dance studio where he would eventually earn numerous studio director and choreography awards. Even though his primary focus is hip hop, he also enjoys teaching Acro, contemporary and jazz. Throughout his summers in high school, Jim performed in off-Broadway shows with Dan Karaty’s “Shake the Floor” summer intensive. He would then move on to be a featured dancer in Santalina’s “Kick In the Door” music video. After that, Jim performed as a backup dancer with Jade Starling and Pretty Poison for almost 15 years traveling from New York to Florida, across the country to Texas and California. In 2009 he performed at the “Eat Bulaga” Philippine Festival in Atlantic City. One of Jim’s proudest moments includes being invited to continue onto “Vegas Week” in Fox’s hit show “So You Think You Can Dance.” Honored to be an original founder of Point Blank Dance Crew, they opened for America’s Best Dance Crew’s Kaba Modern at Philadelphia’s Transit Night Club. Together the crew performed at venues in Boston, Chicago, Virginia Beach, New Brunswick, Cherry Hill, Atlantic City, and their hometown of Philadelphia. In 2014, Point Blank had the opportunity of competing at Hip Hop International in Las Vegas. Aside from that, they have taught nationwide, raising money and donating to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Since 2006, Jim has traveled with Monsters of Hip Hop where he trained with well-renowned international choreographers. In 2016, he was honored with the “Monsters 4 Life” award, allowing free training at any Monsters convention for life. Jim continues to teach and choreograph for various studios and companies across the tristate area. He is committed to educating the dance community. His passion for dance and music inspires and invokes dancers to appreciate and excel in the art.
Miss Gail performed in area theatres for many years, but realized her true passion was teaching dance. She has taught dance for over 40 years at several local studios and ran her own studio. She has also choreographed for several local productions, including the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Miss Gail is thrilled to be teaching the youngest dancers at AMDS. She has recently had the opportunity to teach beginner adult dancers and loves watching the progress of these dancers.
Isabel Garcia Kaplan is a Delaware and Philadelphia Area based professional dancer and choreographer. A Maryland native, she trained most notably at Edna Lee Dance Studio with Ashley Canterna Hardy and Mary Moran. Isabel received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Dance and in Communications from DeSales University, where she trained under Trinette Singleton, Timothy Cowart, Tara Madsen Robbins, and Lynn Mariani. She then moved to New York City, where she was based for six years pursuing professional Musical Theatre and continuing her dance training.
In New York City, Isabel trained primarily at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway with various industry experts and Broadway Choreographers or Associate Choreographers. She has also attended several workshops, including a Fosse Legacy Workshop with Anne Reinking. Isabel has worked with accoladed choreographers such as Alex Sanchez and Richard Hinds, and she has performed the original choreography of Jerome Robbins (West Side Story), Bob Fosse (Chicago), and Alwin Nikolais (“Tensile Involvement”). Her professional performance credits include musicals with various regional theaters and Shakespeare Festivals, as well as a Christmas show at Hersheypark.
With over 25 years of dance training, Isabel has also choreographed since her youth and taught for twelve years. She has guest taught at studios in Alabama, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and in Maryland, where she served ten years as a guest teacher and choreographer for Studio Dans. Her choreography has earned multiple top-score awards, choreography awards, and special recognitions at dance competitions. Recently Isabel has been teaching dance at Paul VI High School as a temporary long-term substitute instructor. You will find her most frequently teaching Jazz and Musical Theatre classes, as well as substituting in additional disciplines such as Ballet and Lyrical throughout the Delaware, Philadelphia, and South New Jersey regions.
Jessica Ice has been dancing since age 3 and has no intention of stopping anytime soon! Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa, Jessica grew up dancing at the Maryen Lorrain Dance Studio. She danced for 15 years and competed in the regional and national spectrum for 12 years, earning many awards and scholarships including Dance Educators of America’s Miss Dance of America. Jessica attended Broadway Theatre Project at the age of 17 and began making professional connections she continues to work with today. With the training and confidence, she gained at BTP, Jessica decided to attend James Madison University and pursue her Bachelor of Arts
degree in Musical Theatre. While at JMU Jessica performed in 14 musical theatre and dance productions and worked as a choreographer for another 5. She graduated from JMU summa
cum laude and was the recipient of the outstanding musical theatre graduate award. Jessica then moved to NYC and has been working professionally ever since. She has worked on cruise ships, backup danced for pop singer Ashley Allen, performed at many regional theaters across the country, been a resident ensemble member at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and toured during the holidays with Elf, the musical. Jessica has also dipped her toe into the professional
choreography world, choreographing a piece “This Is Me” for the NYC 2020 Dancers Against Cancer Gala, dedicated to her childhood dance teacher. When Jessica is not performing, she stays busy as the owner and artistic director of a new convention/competition The 360 Dance
Experience. Jessica is currently a student at NYU gaining her Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics with the intent to use her degree to help dancers and athletes struggling with disordered eating. Jessica just returned from spending the summer on the road with Sister Act,
serving as dance captain and ensemble swing. Jessica, her husband, and two cats currently live in Wilmington, DE, and enjoy exploring the parks and beaches together when they have time off.
Miss Kuhl is our office manager and has been an AMDS mom for 15 years. Her daughter, Violet, graduated in 2021 after dancing with us for 13 years and Is a sophomore at Hofstra University majoring in dance and psychology. Her daughter, Sarah is a junior at Concord and this is her 12th year at AMDS. Her son, John is a freshman at Concord. She and her husband just celebrated 21 years of marriage. This is Kim’s fifth year in the office.
Jordan is a recent graduate of AMDS, attending Delaware Technical Community College, studying human services. Her favorite style's of dance are lyrical & contemporary. Jordan assists in our offices as well as substituting whenever possible. Her passion for dance is undeniable!