WATER VALLEY – April Pullen has fulfilled a long-time dream with the opening of Valley Dance Company on Main Street. The dance school opened Monday with about 40 students.
Pullen, an English teacher at Lafayette Junior High School during the day, will teach jazz, tap, and ballet on Monday and Tuesday nights to youngsters between three and 18.
“This is something I love doing,” said Pullen who started her dance training at age three. She continued to dance through high school in south Mississippi with the Amite School Center Rebelettes.
It was during high school that she was picked to be a member of the American All-Star Dance Team. During her four years with the group she toured London, Paris and Rome and also danced at the Super Bowl twice.
Pullen went to London when she was just a sophomore in high school. “I had never flown before in my life,” she said. “I remember thinking that my mommy and daddy are a long way away.”
She was also a member of the Hinds Community College Hi-Steppers from 1996 through 1998.
In 2001 she married Bill Pullen, a loan officer at Mechanics Bank. They have one son, six-year-old Beau and another child due in July.
Pullen says husband Bill encouraged her to open the school. He also has helped prepare the building by spending this past weekend putting down the dance floor.
The Pullens are active members of the Water Valley Main Street Association as are building owners Annette Trefzer and Mickey Howley. The new business is the first to open in downtown Water Valley since the city became a Main Street Community, according to Jessie Gurner, director of the WVMSA.
Pullen is a firm believer in the benefits of dance training. “It is one of the best exercises and dance also builds confidence and social skills,” she added.
There will be two, one-hour classes each Monday and Tuesday night. The deadline for signing up is Feb. 8. Eventually she hopes to add gymnastics and possibly some aerobics classes. For more information call 473-4607.