Ann Paitel teaches at the Michael Patrick Gallagher School of Irish Dance in Phoenix, Arizona. She began Irish Dancing in 1993 when her mother stumbled on a summer school class taught by Heather McElligott. No one expected the summer mother-daughter activity to become a life-long passion. After completing the 6 week course, Ann begged her parents to let her continue classes with the newly founded McElligott School of Irish Dance, and Irish Dancing quickly became a central part of her life. In 2002 Ann was one of the first dancers from the McElligott School to compete at the World Championships.
While attending Arizona State University for a B.A. in English, Ann was one of the founding members and dance captain of a local Irish Dance performance troupe called Gaelic Thunder, performing at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, and other events from 2002 through 2005. In 2010, Ann retired from competition to pursue becoming a certified Irish dance teacher (TCRG) and successfully received her certification in the fall of 2012.