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Meet Whitney Dance

Posted September 26, 2012 in Community Featured, Pleasant Hill

Whitney Dance teaches kindergarten at Four Mile Elementary.

From the dry weather in Texas, to tornadoes in Kansas, to beaches in New Jersey, and now to the agriculture in Iowa, Whitney Dance has settled down in Iowa.

Because she has moved around, “I feel I am able to adapt to new surroundings easier,” Dance says.

Dance, who teaches kindergarten at Four Mile Elementary, was born in Texas. She was hired after graduating from the University of Iowa and started by teaching first and second grade. This is her first year with the kindergartners.

“They are so sweet, love school and are eager to learn. I love that about them,” she says.

Her family moved to Salina, Kan., when Dance was a baby. There she experienced the same wild weather that another little Kansas girl did.

“I remember I was at a sleep-over, and we were all outside on the porch watching a tornado.  The sky turned green; it was getting closer, and we had to go into the basement. It didn’t hit us bad, so we were lucky,” she says.

Later the family moved to what would be her favorite place to live — New Jersey.

“We would sightsee in New York City, take pictures on top of the Twin Towers and Statue of Liberty, attend Broadway shows and play in the New Jersey ocean waves,” she says.

It was in Jersey that Dance was inspired to be a teacher.

“I had a really good third grade teacher, Miss Hassler,” she recalls. She inspired me to teach; I wanted to be the teacher that got kids excited about reading. I wanted to be a teacher like her.”

The family moved to Ankeny a few years later, and it took Dance a while to get settled in.

“My fifth grade year was the hardest year,” she says. “It took a lot of time to fit in. Eventually I found friends, and I got involved in dance, band, choir, tennis and soccer.”

From there, to UNI and on to Pleasant Hill. Now Dance and her husband, Will, are getting ready for their next life journey at their Johnston home in November.

“I am expecting my first baby,” she says. I am so excited!  I can’t wait!”

The little boy’s name is still a secret.

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