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About Us

AVA Dance Company offers adult dance classes to dancers of all levels and backgrounds.  Founded by former professional dancer Leah Mariner, her vision is to offer a fun and motivating community for adults to exercise their passion for dance.   AVA Dance Company's mission is to provide adult dancers the opportunity to enhance their technique, learn cutting-edge choreography, and stay fit and active. 

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Founder and Director

Leah Mariner

Director of Digital Marketing

Lauren Hight

Director of Operations

Wendy Cassidy


Founder and Director Leah Mariner has been dancing and sharing her passion for dance with others for over 20 years. Leah danced professionally for the Washington Wizards for three seasons, serving as co-captain of the team during her third season.  During her time with the Wizards she had the opportunity to dance in Rio de Janiero, Brazil at the NBA 3x Events; Atlanta, Georgia for the annual All P-R-O Dance Convention; as well as New York City for the 2015 NBA All Star Events.  Leah has also performed in the Cherry Blossom Parade alongside renowned artists such as Lance Bass of N'Sync, Jay Sean, and Elliot Yamen.  Leah was featured on CBS-affiliate WUSA9 discussing her career as a professional dancer and has performed live on FOX5 News. 


Leah was born and raised in Long Island, NY, where her dance career started.  Throughout her 22 years of dance experience, Leah has taught several genres of dance to both children and adults. Her choreography has won leading scores in competitions, and under her mentorship, dancers have grown to superior levels.  Leah has always loved sharing her passion of dance with her students and is thrilled for the opportunity to help dancers fulfill theirs! 


Lauren's love for dance didn't develop in the studio, but instead on the field & court! Born & raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, she performed in her first pro-dance style halftime routine at age 12 with the Philadelphia Jr. Pro Soulmates & Platinum All Stars dance teams. Over her 6 years with the teams, she travelled the tri-state area to dance in arenas and stadiums for thousands of NBA, NHL, AFL, MLL and NCAA fans as well as with the Harlem Globetrotters and at Madison Square Garden during their inaugural lacrosse season. 


Her degree in communication, graphic design and leadership from Cabrini College brought her down to the DMV to launch her career as a Digital Content Coordinator with 10 of DC + Baltimore's top radio stations. When she's not behind the scenes at a local venue or capturing content for work, she's expanding her dance training with her favorite community...AVA Dance Company! Since moving to DC, AVA has been a consistent source of support & growth for Lauren and she's thrilled to share that love with our dancers and to be a part of such a special team! 


Wendy grew up in a small town in Upstate New York where she began her dance career at the Marya Kennett Dance Center. Her love for dance quickly grew as she expanded her training to a variety of styles including ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, and hip hop. She often traveled to Broadway Dance Center in NYC for classes and workshops. She graduated from Penn State University where she earned a BS in Finance and was a member of Rêve Dance Company for four years, serving on their executive board. After graduation, Wendy moved to the DMV to work full-time as a federal consultant and continued her dance training with AVA Dance Company. Wendy loves sharing her passion for dance with the amazing dancers in our community and is excited to be a part of the AVA team!



AVA Dance Company offers a variety of dance styles to all adult dancers.

The classes available are outlined below: 

Jazz ​

Jazz dancing is a form of dance that showcases a dancer's individual style and originality. This type of dancing is energetic and fun, consisting of unique movement and technical elements such as leaps and turns. Class typically consists of stretching, warm-ups, across-the-floor, and learning a combination of choreography. 

Hip Hop

Hip Hop is a popular form of dance usually characterized by "funky" movements such as popping and locking, breaking, etc.  Hip Hop often incorporates loose or structured, upbeat and energetic movement set to popular music. Class typically includes: stretching, conditioning, warm-ups, and learning a combination of choreography.  


Contemporary and Lyrical dancing is a more relaxed, expressive style of dancing that allows for more fluid, graceful movement rather than structured steps, as in traditional ballet dancing.  It combines elements of several dance genres including modern, jazz, lyrical and classical ballet. Class typically consists of stretching, warm-ups, across-the-floor, and learning a combination of choreography. 


Heels class infuses sultry jazz movements with street jazz vocabulary leaving you feeling strong, sexy, and empowered! Wear your heels and get ready to get sweaty!  


This class will focus on dance technique.  Class will consist of deep stretching, conditioning, across the floor, working on leaps, jumps and turns!  



AVA Dance Company's Performance Showcases will be Saturday, April 15th at BlackRock Center of the Art's Dance Festival at 3pm & 5:30pm

Ticket Sales Open March 24th 


Our 2022 Performance Showcase

was a huge success! Check out the highlights below:

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Class Schedule

View our schedule to sign up for a class today! Class style and instructor varies every week.

Download our booking app to view our class schedule and book classes in one easy click.

Join us for our open level dance classes!  

6/4: 2pm Street Jazz with Leah & 3pm Contemporary with Cierra

6/7: 7:30pm Hip Hop with Ashleigh & 8:30pm Musical Theatre with Jessie

6/11: 2pm Street Jazz with Jeremy & 3pm Contemporary with Olivia

6/14: 7:30pm Contemporary with Sadie & 8:30pm Heels with Candes

Prices and Policies

In-Studio 60 Minute Classes: $22 per class 

In-Studio 75 Minute Classes: $25 per class 

5 Class Package: $100 ($20 per class) expires 2 months after purchase. 

Gift Cards now available for purchase for $40, $100, or $200!  

Cancellation policy for regularly priced classes ($22/$25)*   
*This policy has been updated for classes beginning 7/1/21

- Due to class demand and limited capacity, no refunds will be issued for classes that are cancelled within 12 hours before class start time.
- To request a refund, please cancel your booking on the AVA Wix App within 12 hours of class time AND email to request a refund. 
- If you cancel your booking and email 12 hours before class time, we will put a class credit on your account to be used within 2 months. 
- We will not be able to accommodate any exceptions. Thank you for your understanding! 



Check out our latest Concept Video!

Choreography: Leah Mariner 
Videography: Understand the Vision