Dance Instructor Bios
Meet our Teaching Staff
Catherine L. Tully
Catherine L. Tully has 45 years of experience in the dance field, and for 30 of those years she has also been a teacher. Catherine has served as the Outside Europe Representative for the National Dance Teachers Association in the UK, and her dance writing has appeared in publications such as Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, youngARTS and Highland Dancer. She is also the owner and editor at 4dancers.org, an online publication that has been serving the dance community since 2009.
Holding a BA in Exercise Science and Fitness Management, Catherine studied dance at Chicago City Ballet under teachers such as Maria and Marjorie Tallchief, Inessa Alexandrovich (Bolshoi trained), and Paul Mejia. She has also taken classes with Claire Bataille and Rick Hilsabeck, as well as other faculty at Hubbard Street Dance Company’s Lou Conte Dance Studio. Her background is most extensive in Ballet, but she has also studied jazz dance and Russian character dance.
In addition to teaching in studios, Catherine has years of experience as a dance instructor in the Fine Arts Department of an all-girls college preparatory school, and as an adjunct professor in the Human Performance Department at a private university in Illinois. She has also taught, choreographed and performed in many places in northern Japan, where she lived for three years in the 1990′s.
Terry Zeeman and Sharon Parker
Terry has been dancing for 35 years and interned with Ray Molina of Fred Astaire Studios. He is well known throughout the Chicagoland Latin Dance clubs, Ballroom and Swing communities. He has been inspiring the Oak Park community of children and adults to dance for 15 years. Terry is passionate about changing peoples lives by opening their eyes to something new, helping people find confidence, and providing "fun nights" to spend with other people. His classes are one of Oak Park's popular Monday social events. Terry is a music afficionado whose love of music was sparked by his travels to Rio. He enjoys discovering new music and dance venues throughout the country.
Sharon has been a teaching assistant for 15 years at the PDOP. She began dancing in 2000 as a way to meet new people and discover new cultures. She enjoys the fun and excitement of dancing throughout the Chicagoland Latin, Ballroom and Swing dance communities. She participates in regional dance events around the country from Hawaii to South Carolina. A dance highlight for Sharon was being an audience member on Dancing with the Stars as a personal invite from Evan Lysacek. She is a former flight attendant and was a managing partner with The John Casablancas Modeling Agency in Chicago. Sharon believes dance is great exercise without feeling like you're exercising!
Coach D, Deanna Paloian, has eaten, slept and breathed cheerleading and dance her entire life. Starting as a cheerleader and dancer at a young age, she developed a passion for the sport and loves to share this passion with her students. With years of experience coaching Recreational, High School ICCA, All-Star and all things cheer, there isn’t a Cheer situation she isn’t prepared for. Her love of the sport inspires her to continue coaching, but what really makes Cheer her life is working with the athletes themselves.
Seeing children grow through sport, make friends, overcome hurdles and gain self worth and confidence through cheerleading is the real goal of any class she is teaching. She’s got spirit, yes she does, and if you take her class, you will too!
Shalane Walker originally hails from Houston, TX, although she has made Chicago her home these past 11 years. She began cheering at the age of 13 and continued through high school, college and then into adulthood. Her accolades include being one of the first members of Michigan State University's All Girl Team (now called STUNT) as well as co-founding and leading the first Adult 18+ Cheer Team in Dubai (aptly named Cheer Dubai). When she's not practicing back handsprings at the GRC, Shalane is spending time with her 10 year old daughter Leila, and teaching Sunday school to her favorite group of 4 year olds at Park Community Church. Her life motto is "Bloom where you are planted". She recently relocated from South Loop to Oak Park last October and is enjoying this "city suburb" to the fullest.
Katie Iler was born and raised in the Bay Area, California. She began dancing at the age of 5 with Melody’s Dance Studio in Antioch where she danced for 25 years before moving to Oak Park with her boyfriend and 2 cats. She attended Solano College’s Actors Training Program where she learned to hone her Singing, Dancing and Acting skills and participated in Community Theatre. Her favorite styles of dance are Ballet and Tap but she enjoys all styles and loves the challenge of learning new techniques.
Michaela Williams grew up in Dubuque, Iowa and moved to Chicago in 2019 after graduating from Millikin University. She started dancing at five years old, found her passion for musical theatre in middle school, and continued acting, singing, and dancing in high school and college, graduating from Millikin University with a BFA in Musical Theatre with a minor in Dance. Michaela began teaching dance while at Millikin, focusing primarily on ballet, tap, and jazz. After graduation, she spent the summer touring the Midwest with Prairie Fire Children's Theatre as an actor/director, and then during her first Holiday season in Chicago, Michaela performed on the Polar Express Train Ride at Union Station. She is so excited to be teaching dance at PDOP and finds so much joy in helping young people find the confidence to creatively express themselves.