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Studio marks decade of dance with opening of new location

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Lucy Reveco, owner of L.A. Dance Academy, says reality television and hip hop have driven a renewed interest in dance over the last 10 years. With more than 800 students, Reveco is moving into a new location in Riverbend to keep up with that interest. “I was turning people away,” she says.

MATT PREPROST Enlarge Image

Lucy Reveco, owner of L.A. Dance Academy, says reality television and hip hop have driven a renewed interest in dance over the last 10 years. With more than 800 students, Reveco is moving into a new location in Riverbend to keep up with that interest. “I was turning people away,” she says. Photo Store

It might not be hyperbole to say the first steps Lucy Reveco ever took were in fact dance steps, and so it’s fitting the Riverbend resident is celebrating a milestone by buying herself a new studio.

The owner of L.A. Dance Academy will throw open the doors of her new location at 2405 Main St. on Wed., Aug. 28 to mark its 10th anniversary.

It’s an extra 2,200 square feet of space over Reveco’s soon-to-be-former location in West Kildonan, and another link in the chain for Reveco’s growing business, which now includes more than 800 fledgling young dancers across more than a dozen disciplines, from ballet to hip hop, jazz to tap, cheerleading to performance dance.

"I was turning people away," Reveco said last week. "We run 80 classes a week. We were
jam-packed."

Reveco has been teaching dance in north Winnipeg for 25 years, ever since creating and running a dance program for five years at the West Kildonan Community Centre. Reveco continued that dance program when she found work as a fitness and dance co-ordinator for Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital.

"Many of my students followed me and it just grew, grew, and grew, and fast," said Reveco, who grew up in the North End and Garden City. "We couldn’t house a dance studio program anymore. So, I wanted to provide the kids with something more than they had. That’s when I decided to take a step across the fence and left a career there and said ‘I want my own dance studio.’"

Since she first opened L.A. Dance in 2003, dance has exploded in popularity thanks to reality television shows like So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew, Reveco said.

"The exposure that the kids are receiving now today over TV, social media, a lot of kids are becoming more aware of different styles and want to try these styles," she said, adding hip hop’s dominance of 21st century pop culture has also helped popularize dance.

On Reveco’s end that means allowing her program curriculums to breathe and evolve, sometimes blending the old with the new. Right now, the academy is rejigging its hip hop program to incorporate elements from the 1980s, she said.

"One of my teachers was presenting and it took me back to my ’80s," she said. "Back in the ’70s and ’80s, when I took dance, hip hop wasn’t existent in a dance studio and I was looking for that. I wanted to dance like Janet Jackson. Nobody was offering that in Winnipeg because it was always the traditional styles: ballet, jazz, and tap."

Reveco’s 20 instructors still teach those styles, of course, but they also train five competitive dance teams. Those teams play a big role in the community, from performing at the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Santa Claus Parade, Reveco said.

The open house runs from 6 to 9 p.m., and includes tours and free dance workshops for kids. Snacks and drinks will be served.

For more, visit www.ladanceacademy.com or call 204-334-0080.

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