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About Us

About Us

"I am so proud of the community we have built that truly feels like a family."

- Leah Mariner, Founder/Director, to CanvasRebel

AVA Dance Company offers adult dance classes to dancers (18+) of all levels and backgrounds in the Washington DC and Northern Virginia areas. 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 learn cutting-edge choreography in an encourage space, find a sense of community and stay fit and active.

In addition to their weekly classes, AVA provides dancers with a variety of performance opportunities throughout the year. Click here to learn more!

Group of dancers wearing AVA Dance Company merch posing for a photo in the studio

How AVA Started
as told by Leah Mariner

How AVA Started

Dance has been a huge part of my life for almost 30 years. Growing up in the dance studio, competing on dance teams, and dancing professionally for the NBA has been such an integral part of my life. After I finished dancing professionally for the Washington Wizards Dance Team, I tried to find a place to dance in the DMV to continue to share my passion in a supportive environment and wasn’t able to find a studio that I could do that. I decided that I wanted to create one myself. I began teaching once a week to dancers in the community. For months I hardly had anyone show up to my dance classes, but I knew that what I could provide was special and I believed that I could make a difference in our DC dance community. I never gave up on my dream and gradually our dance community began to grow. Eventually I started having more classes, more instructors, and more studios. Now since 2016, we have had hundreds of dancers join us in the studio to dance, perform, and share their love of dance!

Meet The Team

Meet The Team
AVA Dance Company's Founder/Director, Leah, posing in the studio


Founder & Director

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!

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