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Our Teachers

Sandy Slayton-Mavrotheris

Sandy Slayton-Mavrotheris

Sandy Slayton-Mavrotheris is the owner and director of Pulaski Performing Arts Center. Sandy teaches all levels of dance classes at PPAC. Sandy began her training at the young age of 3 in Bury St. Edmunds, England. She received the highest award possible by the Imperial Society of dancing at the age of 10. Upon moving to the United States, she has been trained in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Alabama. She began her teacher training in Little Rock, Arkansas with Sally Riggs at Studio One at the age of 13. Sandy has been trained in the arts of ballet, tap and jazz, and trained to teach all three. She danced competitively as a soloist in Arkansas and Illinois. In 1989, Sandy became involved with the Giles Heritage Theatre, and decided to open the Pulaski Performing Arts Center. While at GHT she sang, acted, and danced in over 25 productions. She has choreographed many musicals at GHT such as "Camelot," "Carousel," "The Music Man," "Jesus Christ Superstar," and "My Fair Lady." Sandy was the choreographer for Martin Methodist College's show choir Daybreak for 14 years. While at MMC she choreographed "Godspell," "Cotton Patch Gospel" and several other musicals. She also choreographed "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" for the Lynnville Area Arts Association. Sandy is active at Southern Tennessee Area Arts Center (STAAR) with directing and choreographing shows. She directed and choreographed “Footloose,” “Aladdin,” “Wizard of Oz,” and “Little Mermaid,” and “The Miracle Worker” to name a few.” Recently, she choreographed "Grease" and "High School Musical," and "The Addams Family Musical," and "Nutcracker." In 2019 she directed "Lion King" and "Frozen" for STAAR. Sandy has also performed as Patsy Cline in the musical "Always Patsy Cline." Through the years, Sandy has choreographed many award winning competition dances for PPAC's dance companies. Sandy is a member of First Baptist Church, Pulaski. She has a B.S. in Business Administration and is a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer. Sandy and her husband, Micah Mavrotheris, have two sons, Hub and Nick.

Amanda Manies

Amanda Manies

Amanda has been at PPAC for 27 years. This year she will be teaching Senior 1 Level classes. She began her dancing career at the age of 3 in Huntsville, Alabama and became a student at PPAC at the age of 12. She was a part of Color Guard at GCHS and performed for two years with Arts Afire, a Christian based dance company in Huntsville. She performed at Vanderbilt University with the Band of Gold as a color guard member. She has also worked with local theaters including GHT, Lynnville Area Arts, and STAAR both on stage and behind the scenes. She has been the assistant director for PPAC’s recitals since 2004. She is the coach for the award winning Lawrence County High School Dance Team. Amanda lives in Pulaski with her husband, Dillon.

Abby Norwood

Abby Norwood

Mrs. Abby has been at PPAC since she was 3 years old. She has been teaching dance for 15 years. Abby is a Martin Methodist College graduate and has been a teacher at Pulaski Elementary School for 7 years. She currently teaches Kindergarten. Mrs. Abby took last year off to spend time with her husband, Ryan, and to enjoy their new baby girl, Lauren. She is so excited to be back this year teaching predance, prek, kinder and first grade classes.

Jessie Ballard

Jessie Ballard

Jessie Ballard has danced at PPAC for eight years and has been a teacher for four years. Jessie is a graduate of Giles County High School where she performed with the dance team. She is also a graduate of TCAT-Pulaski. Jessie loves working with children and is a Respite Foster Parent in her free time. Jessie will be teaching predance, prek, kinder, 1st grade at PPAC this year. She lives in Pulaski with her 4 dogs, and works at a local bank.

Cate Pride

Cate Pride

Cate was a student at PPAC for 15 years and will be teaching the Predance, PreK, Kinder, 1st grade and mini movers classes this year. She started teaching at the age of 15 as a student teacher and has continued to teach at PPAC until 2017 when she graduated from Giles County High School. She is a recent graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Education. While at USM, Cate trained heavily in ballet and modern dance, performed with the Repertory Dance Company and Performance Project, and worked with artists and companies such as Steve Zee, Chris and Lauren Grant, Melanie George, Collage Dance Collective, and artEmotion. She was a creative movement and ballet teacher for Stretch-N-Grow of Hattiesburg/Laurel for 2 years and is currently the dance teacher at Richland Elementary School.

Tala

Tala Gvozdas

Tala Gvozdas is a homeschool graduate. She has been a student at PPAC for 16 years and Mrs. Sandy's Assistant for two years. This year, she will continue to assist and will also be teaching 1st grade and 2-4 grade classes. Tala is very involved in theater and has performed in over 20 productions at STAAR Theater. Tala is also a part of PPAC's competition dance teams as a competitor and an assistant teacher.

Nick Mavrotheris

Nick Mavrotheris

Nick is PPAC's Office Manager. He has been dancing at PPAC since the age of three. He is currently a Sophomore at UTS majoring in Business Management. Nick also teaches summer classes and assists in classes year round. He has been involved in many productions at STAAR Theater and is a competition dancer at PPAC. Nick is also a musician and has performed as a drummer at many different venues.