In the dance world, taking a leap doesn’t have to happen only on the stage.
Just ask Lora Wood, who combined a leap of faith and hard work to fulfill her life-long dream of owning her own dance company.
Nearly 15 years after pursuing her dream and after expanding to her current location, Wood and her team of dance professionals now serve more than 280 families from across the Northwest Valley and beyond.
Woods started small, renting out available studio space in Peoria to teach dance classes. Her classes grew and so did her passion for dance as she continued to build her network as both an independent dance instructor and an entrepreneur.
Wood attended Arizona State University, double majoring in both elementary education and dance. In 2005, Wood was given the chance to teach dance classes out of the Vistancia Community Center, so she left ASU and began renting out the space.
“I had always wanted to open a dance studio since I was young and when this opportunity came about I knew I had to jump on it,” said Wood.
Wood’s classes began filling up fast, and she realized she needed a bigger storefront. Four years of tightly packed classes later, Wood decided it was time to open her own dance studio.
The thought of running an entire business on her own seemed daunting, but Wood continued to work hard to make her name known within the dance community.
Wood left the Vistancia Community Center and moved into her own studio at 9815 W Happy Valley Rd #1140. She then hired a well-equipped crew of dancers to be a part of the studio’s staff.
Thinking big, Wood named her studio L.A. Dance and began offering a variety of dance classes, including jazz, contemporary, ballet, hip-hop and tap.
“The studio has been a part of my life for so long, before I got married, before I had kids, so it’s been a learning process for me, not only as a businesswoman but as an individual,” said Wood. “Being able to watch my students grow and succeed after they leave the studio is amazing.”
All ages and skill levels are welcome to join the studio beginning at the age of two and a half. “We strive at teaching proper dance techniques since day one,” said Wood.
Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat recently awarded Wood and L.A. Dance as the Mayor’s Business of the Month for January.
The studio has paved the way for many students who have gone on to pursue successful careers as dance professionals.
“L.A. Dance is helping our youth achieve their dreams and it’s my honor to recognize this meaningful organization,” said Mayor Carlat.
For additional information, visit ladanceaz.com or call 623-572-8222.