By Victoria L. Awkward
VICTORIA L. AWKWARD
"VLA DANCE is little Vicky's dream come true. It's so beautiful to work with artists who are intentional both regarding how they move in dance and in the world." - Director Victoria L. Awkward
"Becoming a member of the VLA Dance community reignited my passion for movement at a time where I was questioning my identity as a dancer and artist. Victoria has created a space overflowing with warmth and support that fosters growth, curiosity and individuality. As a queer woman of color, it is a breath of fresh air to be able to dance with such a diverse group of people that constantly inspire me. Grateful is an understatement. " - Aliza Franz
"In the last few years, working with VLA has reignited my belief that all working environments can be healthy, supportive, open, and strong. I have experienced compassion, understanding, challenge, and freedom in ways that I had only imagined possible in work relationships. VLA is a community where we are encouraged to 'go for it' in class, to try all the new things, to ask for help from one another, and allow space for each other to explore.
This is a working environment and a community that I would encourage everyone I know to participate in! I have never felt ashamed to say I work with them and do not fear bringing anyone into this community, because I know they will not be harmed. There is no malicious intent, no manipulation, no secret doors or access, and we are actively striving to be and do better for our community and each other." - Mitzi Eppley
"VLA is a space where I’ve made a home to grow and can be myself. I know in this community I can learn freely, love and be loved unapologetically in and out of the studio and let myself live truthfully. I feel constant support from beautiful souls alike and a love for each other and the morale to be uniquely ourselves in every aspect." - Tabitha Hanay-Reaves
"VLA DANCE has been crucial to me this past year in a myriad of ways. At the base of it, I am so lucky to be able to dance during this time. On top of that, to move in a safe environment. On top of that, to share this movement with my fellow company members and collaborators—continually learning from and inspiring each other—and eventually, share it with an audience in live and virtual performances! And last, but not least, to begin to work towards earning a living doing all the above. What gifts VLA DANCE has brought me: movement, community, knowledge, inspiration, abundance." - Sasha Peterson
"Dancing with VLA DANCE and our community is food for your soul. It's heartwarming to be in a space where people can challenge you to grow while accepting you where you are at." - Theo Victoria
"I feel so grateful to have found such an incredible and inspiring community at VLA DANCE. Victoria’s focus on community empowerment through dance fosters so much joy, creativity, and connection in a way that I have never experienced anywhere else. To see a team of strong individuals not much older than myself build this company from the ground up fills me with ambition to make and produce my own work someday. I love how VLA DANCE collaborates with so many other artists, and I’m honored to be a part of the company and its growth!" - Cassie Wang
Support our dancers at vladance.com/donate!
Photos by Melissa Blackall