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Tel: (323) 9 DANCE 0 / (323)  932-6230
731 South La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
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Dance Arts Academy is the result of Carla Luna’s determination and long held vision to see such a place in the heart of Los Angeles. Tapping into the rich cultural heritage of the city, Carla’s goal is to provide a forum for cultural interchange and to foster an appreciation of dance and music from around the world. “I know from my own personal experience that dance is a powerful vehicle for changing lives. It enriches the spirit, heals the soul and gives direction to people’s lives. Dance Arts Academy is both a testament to the power it has had in my life and a vehicle through which I hope to provide it for others by offering the best dance training and outreach programs in our community”.

A Brief History of Dance Arts Academy
Did you ever wonder how this magical place came to be? Dance Arts Academy Founder/Director Carla Luna discovered this beautiful 1939 art deco building after an exhaustive search for a place to start her dance academy. Carla’s dream was to start a school, which would serve the culturally and artistically diverse communities of Los Angeles. No small feat; it took much more than a dream to make it happen. Carla’s determination coupled with much hard work and a few miracles brought this vision into being.

The vision was beautiful, but how to realize it without money? Carla never thought her dream to build Dance Arts Academy was remotely possible. In a conversation about dreams with an associate who said, “Why don’t you go to the SBA (Small Business Administration) to ask for a loan”, to which Carla replied, “Oh, please, the SBA would never lend money to an arts-related business”. “You would be surprised,” he said, “the government loans are being offered now to women and minorities”. Convinced that she would not qualify; however, with that relentless internal voice, she began calling banks that offered SBA loans. Finally, finding a responsive loan officer, she made an appointment. Armed with the business prospectus she had been preparing over a 5-year-period, she met with the loan officer.

Unbelievable! The bank was impressed with her plan and awarded her the loan. But, it did not cover all the costs, so with her own retirement money and several personal loans from friends who believed in her dream, she headed into the most incredibly difficult journey of her life.

With loans in hand, one big hurdle crossed. Now, began the lease negotiations, and then the construction phase. With no prior experience in either, yet a solid idea of what she wanted, Carla began the process. In order to realize her vision, she knew that she needed a lot of square footage but with a monthly lease that was manageable. Even before securing the bank loan, she had actually begun negotiations with the landlord of the now current Dance Arts Academy location. He was, at that time, in the process of purchasing the building and was in escrow. While he waited for escrow to close, and Carla waited for her own loan approval, she began the lease negotiation. She was convinced that this was the right location, even though there would be soooo much construction to do. Eight months of lease negotiations, first on her own, and then finally with an attorney, resulted in a long-term lease. OK, another hurdle crossed, then what: an architect to draw up the plans and help her get through the maze of building codes, etc., and, a contractor to build out the space. By this time, turning back was not an option…………………………………