Vega Dance+Lab was born and bred by Evie and Joe Graham, husband and wife team. Just little ol’ us. So you can expect a studio that two humans are capable of creating by themselves, and a studio that keeps improving over time, as good grace allows.
You will walk into a lobby with a front desk, concrete floor, and fun pictures on the walls, and a cute single dressing room with mirrors, lights, hooks, and shelves.
The studio is up some stairs, where they open up right into the big room. You will see posts (six of them) throughout the room. You will see a long wall of mirrors, another wall of graffiti done by a friend of ours, some exposed brick, a seating area, wood floors that have been refinished, but are definitely well-used, and well-loved, and a restroom.
Our classes are generally broken down into three parts:
A Warm Up - the teacher will most likely just get right into it. They will not typically explain what the warm up moves are going to be. All you have to do is follow along. The point is to loosen up your muscles and raise your heart rate a little bit, you do not need to worry about being awesome at the warm up. Unless you really want to be awesome at the warm up. By all means, be the valedictorian of it.
Stretch Out - the teacher will then lead you through a series of stretches. Each class might require a different amount of stretching.
The Choreography - the teacher will then present the dance routine to you. This is where they will verbally and physically explain each move or 8-count in the way that can be best conveyed to you. They will do each move and/or 8-count several times with you, turn the music on and do it several more times. They will add more moves on, go back to the top, review it a few times, and do it with music some more. This will keep progressing in this manner until the dance is complete at the end of the hour and then you will get to do the dance as many times as the clock allows before the end of class.
You made it! Check your pulse! Are you alive? You ARE?! Well, look at that. It didn’t kill you. It made you stronger! You’re a dancer now, baby.
The most important thing we want you to wear is whatever makes YOU comfortable (as long as you are not naked - we're sure you look great but we wouldn't want you to make lesser physical specimens feel inadequate). Truthfully, though, we do not require certain clothing or specific shoes for any of our classes. We do, however, get asked all the time about what most people usually wear to class, so here are a few tips and recommended footwear:
Hip Hop & Hip Hop Cabaret:
Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, such as sweats and tees, hoodies, track jackets (go get 'em, gangsta), etc. And we highly recommend athletic shoes on your feet!
Tease n Tone and Flex:
Most people rock whatever they would wear to the gym or yoga. The workout can be high impact at times so we recommend athletic shoes.
Burly Q, Jazz, Street Jazz, Lyrical, Technique, Modern:
Again, most people wear what some might wear to yoga. You want your movement to be easy, comfortable and free from restrictions. As for your tootsies, people wear anything from sneakers, to bare feet, to jazz shoes, to little dance paws. You will see more bare feet than anything, so don't rush out for special shoes until you know what you want or need, if anything at all.
While we don't require specific clothing, we do hope you are able to see your body, and that your clothing gives you ease of movement. The teacher wears ballet slippers, and so do some students, but they are not mandatory. She can help point you in the right direction if you need advice!
It’s SO OKAY to make mistakes! That’s why we have classes. You are here to learn something you didn’t already know before, so it may take a few times before it sinks in.
No one cares if you flub a dance move.
Bring a positive attitude with you and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. The first class is the hardest and it gets exponentially easier each time you come back!
What feels foreign at first, will become familiar very quickly. The first class is always an information blast: You have to drive to a new place you haven’t been to before, you have to fill out a registration form, take in your new surroundings and learn a dance routine. Your brain is constantly processing new information. It’s like doing a crossword puzzle and playing Twister at the same time. Once you are done, though, you never have to have a “first dance class ever”, ever again. The next time, you will drive straight here with no doubts, you will already know what it looks like, where the bathroom is, even what the warm-up feels like. It’s MUCH easier on the ol’ noggin!
While we have many beginner-friendly classes on the schedule, we do offer classes for the salty veterans, too. We all need a place to call home!
You may very well be in a class where not every single person is a beginner. Our beginner classes are open to any level of dancer. More experienced dancers enjoy all types of classes and levels because the truth is, there is something to learn from every class. As Evie always says in class, “Keep your eyes on your own paper”. We can all enjoy the same thing and get different takeaways from it.
I (Evie) have often seen a beginner feel frustrated at the end of class because they didn’t quite pick a up routine or a certain move as quickly as they expected to. It’s easy to chalk it up as disappointing, but I see it completely differently! I see it as that person made it all the way to the end of class without giving up! Seriously. They were successful just because of that. And the next time, it will get easier. Of the hoards of people I downright promise that the second time is easier than the first, every single one who came back a second time told me I was right. That might mean it’s only slightly easier, or it might mean it’s ten times easier. Either way, it will always get better, if it’s something you want. I have also seen a “Never Before Dancer” bounce around, barely get the moves and leave with the hugest smile on their face because they knew it would be challenging and they let it roll. They enjoyed the music, my jokes, their peers, the dance, the pure joy of MOVING THEIR BODY without judgment.
Your teacher wants you to succeed. They might offer tips and suggestions and push you to get it right. It is dance instruction, after all. Take whatever advice you can get!
Remember that some levels are geared for more advanced dancers, too. Make sure you know what class you are taking so that you don’t end up feeling frustrated or overwhelmed because you accidentally took a more advanced class than you were prepared for. The front desk staff is a great resource for guiding you in the right direction, and Evie is happy to help over email and phone!
While we are very casual and friendly, we also want every person to get the most out their classes they pay hard-earned money for. So here are some tips and suggestions to help you participate in what makes the studio so great:
1. Please refrain from chatting in the studio seating area if you elect to sit there while class is being held. Even whispers are very distracting to the dancers who might be in that corner of the room. When the music is on, it’s much less distracting. If it’s really imperative you have a conversation with a pal or on the phone, simply take it downstairs to the lobby or outside.
2. Please keep belongings in the seating area and not along the back wall. Someone could trip, or even step on a personal item of yours and break it.
3. Please refrain from eating food in the studio while waiting for your class to begin. (It has happened. And it’s painful.) The studio gets warm from the body heat, and Thai food, while super delicious, is not the most refreshing aroma while others are getting their boogie on.
4. Since you need to cross the back wall of the studio to get to the seating area, please make sure the current class is not doing their end-of-class performances before you walk through. Chances are, you will only have to wait about 30 seconds before they are done and you can jam through there.
5. Please oh please have phone conversations downstairs in the lobby or outside.
6. If you choose to sit in the studio seating area to wait for your class to begin, and there is currently a class going on, make sure you clap and cheer for them at the end of class. It is a privilege to observe someone else’s hard work, so please demonstrate your appreciation accordingly.
7. If you have a guest watching you in the seating area, please make sure they are aware of the above suggestions.
8. BE NICE TO EVERYONE.
9. CHECK YOUR BAGGAGE ( AND BY BAGGAGE, WE MEAN ANY YUCKY JU JU LEFTOVER FROM YOUR DAY) AT THE DOOR. Your energy is contagious - whether it is good energy or negative energy. There is so much to be thankful for, and one of those things is that you have two legs to dance with. Enjoy them! Chances are, whatever ails your mind and soul will feel ten times better after you take class.
When you arrive at Vega Dance+Lab, just check in at the front desk located right inside the front door. The front desk staff will ask you to fill out a registration form. You must fill this out before you attend class. This is also a liability waiver.You only need to fill this form out once. We will keep a record of it on our files. Take class! Have fun!
Walk into studio
Go to the front desk
Say hello and that you are new
Front desk will say hello back and smile :)
Front desk will point you to the registration form
Fill out registration form
Done! you are offically a new student!!! :)
You may buy classes at our front desk with cash, check or credit/debit card.