Director, April Bell began her dance career more than 20 years ago as a young girl in Virginia Beach under the direction of Lisa Wallace at Jean Wallace Studios. From a very young age, April knew she wanted to teach dance. As a child, her first students were her younger sisters whom she often forced to perform under her direction. Later, as a teen, April began to teach in earnest as an assistant dance instructor.
In an effort to make her dancing dream a reality, April moved to Philadelphia to attend the University of the Arts where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education. She studied ballet, jazz, modern, and tap with accomplished teachers Andrew Pap, Ronen Koresh, Ruth Andrien, and the late LaVaughn Robinson. While in college, April served as an instructor at the National High School Dance Festival in 2004 and was awarded the student teaching award from the University Dance Department faculty. While living in Philadelphia, she performed with Brian Sanders’ Junk Dance Circus at numerous venues in the area and taught for Hatch Dance Company. Additionally, April worked with the National Dance Education Organization on a research project to advance dance education in Washington, D. C.
Continuing her studies, April moved to New York City and danced with Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company under the direction of Enrique Cruz DeJesus from 2004-2006. Realizing how much she missed teaching and her family, April came back to Virginia Beach and began teaching tap, jazz, modern, and ballet. One lazy, summer day on the beach, her sisters reminded her that her dream of opening her own studio was within her reach and that it was time to take that leap. Enlisting the help of her family and friends, April poured her whole heart into creating a bright, engaging atmosphere where dancers would love to come every week. Nine years later, April has led bellA dance to multiple awards and public performances and has grown the student population to over 250 dancers. Additionally, developed three cohesive, dedicated dance companies (Junior, Intermediate, and Senior) as well as a Pre-Company which serves as a training ground for young dancers. Every year, new classes are added and new dancers come to experience the passion, discipline, self-confidence, and beauty that April exudes and models for every dancer.