Obit: Ann Shea

Obit: Ann Shea

October 16th, 2013 in Obituaries
Location: Hamilton county

Ann Kathleen Shea, 67, died Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease, she died surrounded by friends and a caring nursing staff who loved her.She was a lifelong dance educator with the belief that dance was for everyone. Her career included work with numerous populations including K-12 students, professional dancers, and those with special needs. As founder and director of the Orange Grove Dancers in Chattanooga, she was a champion of dance education for the disabled. Under her direction, the Orange Grove dancers performed regionally and the program received national attention while enhancing the quality of life for its participants on a daily basis.She was formally trained in both ballet and modern, with an BA in history from Florida State University and MA, and Ph.D degrees in dance from Texas Women's University. Her higher education teaching credits included Bowling Green State University, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. the University of Nebraska and Middle Tennessee State University. Dr. Shea was also a tireless advocate of dance in K-12 public Very Special Arts Tennessee, and the National Dance Education Organization, she was an active arts advocate on both the regional and national scene.Her professional accolades include the 2009 national Dance Teacher Award for Excellence in K-12 dance education presented in New York City, the 2006 Outstanding Dance Educator from Tennessee Association of Dance, and the TAD Professional Development Award. A longtime member of Tennessee Association of Dance, as an artist-in-residence with the Tennessee Arts Commisson, Kentucky Arts Council, North Dakota Arts Council, and Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga she was instrumental in bringing dance to thousands of public school students. In Chattanooga, she served as adjunct dance faculty for its performing arts high school, and choreographed and taught for numerous public and private schools, Chattanooga Ballet and Nancy Lane Wrights Dance Theater Workshop.She is survived by her niece, Allegra Shea and nephew, Denton Shea, of Texas; and brother, Carey Shea, of Florida; along with numerous friends, colleagues, former students, the dance community and all those who have been touched and inspired by her teaching, unwavering kindness, generosity and devotion.A celebration of her life will be held at a future date.In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to Tennessee Association of Dance (www.tennesseedance.org) or Orange Grove Center (www.orangegrovecenter.com).Visit www.heritagefh.com to share words of comfort to the family.Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421.