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New dance studio opened in La Veta

The studio offers classes for all ages and skill sets

by Bob Kennemer

LA VETA — Whether you are young or old, boy or girl, a beginner or experienced – the new La Veta Dance Arts program has something for your dancing needs. Located in the Yoga Studio on La Veta’s Main Street, spring classes started on February 13.

Ashley Proctor-Vandagriff, has just opened the La Veta Dance Arts program in La Veta. She recently relocated here from Houston, Texas with her boyfriend and 12 year old son. Vandagriff has more than 15 years of experience as a dance performer, choreographer and instructor. Noting that the studio is a grass roots effort, Vandagriff states, “A successful studio has the support and backing of its community. The reason there are so many successful studios in Houston is because there is a lot of backing for them. We have a Go Fund Me page to hopefully raise the funds to give these dancers the best training possible.” https://www.gofundme.com/help-la-veta-dance-arts-get-started. The classes will be held in the Yoga Studio located on La Veta’s Main Street. Photo by Bob Kennemer.

Ashley Proctor-Vandagriff is the talent and driving force behind LVDA. Vandagriff is a prominent dance teacher and choreographer from the Houston area, who recently relocated to La Veta. Her boyfriend Johnny Simmons had arrived in La Veta last summer working as a farm to table intern with a local non-profit. Says Vandagriff, “We instantly fell in love with the quaint town of La Veta. Coming from a big city, we are used to people going out of their way to NOT talk to you and here it’s a tight, close-knit community. And that is one of the reasons why we’re extremely excited to open a studio here rather than in a big city.” They owned property in Houston and sold it to relocate to La Veta.

As a dancer Vandagriff has performed on many national venues, held top positions within her dance companies and teams and trained with the top teachers in Houston. Vandagriff possesses an amazing resume. Vandagriff has numerous Teacher Excellence, National Championship Titles, Technique and Choreography accolades to her name, and her students have even more. Under her instruction and guidance, she has had many students go on to successful college and professional careers.

Currently, most of the classes are for children. The classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays and run from 45 minutes to 75 minutes in length (depending on age and dance style). The dance styles for the younger ones include the following: Creative Dance (3 – 4 year olds), Children’s Combo 1 (5-6 year olds), Children’s Combo 2 (7-9 year olds), Children’s Hip-Hop (7-9 year olds), with additional classes in the works for the future. For ages 10 and up, the studio will offer: Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary+. Coming soon are classes on Strength and Flex, Broadway, Tap Dance, Leaps and Turns, and Adult Tap.

In her 15 plus years of expert involvement in the dance industry she has served in all aspects of studios and companies, and her dancers have received numerous scholarships and apprenticeships, as well as access to the best training and mentoring in the Houston area. Ashley has been a teacher in demand at many Houston area studios and the Houston Met. Vandagriff says, “I have a quirky approach to the art [of dance] and it brings to life my passionate teaching techniques, which reflect in my work and my students.”

Vandagriff stated, “This is a grass roots studio, meaning we are starting from nothing. Which is exciting! We can start with a strong foundation of building a passion behind the dance arts. The community needs to be behind it 150% or it will just go away, as sadly many arts programs do. But that’s the great thing about La Veta, it definitely has a strong arts community.”

Vandagriff is excited to bring her extensive training and background to La Veta, to share her passion and love of dance with a new generation of budding dancers.

For more information, check the LVDA website at: lavetadanceartsash.wixsite.com/lavetadancearts

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