To Top

Meet Valerie Ramirez of The Lab Creative Arts Studio in West Covina

Today we’d like to introduce you to Valerie Ramirez.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Valerie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
At the pulse of every thriving community, there is a creative culture, often overlooked and underappreciated. Our schools do a great job of reaching the kids through academics, but what about the kids who are driven by movement, music, and self-expression? Too often, these are qualities seen as extracurricular and not nurtured into anything beyond a side hobby. I believe the youth need a place to go to feel safe to express, create, and learn about the importance of physical activity, hard work and overcoming obstacles.

Anyone who steps foot in The Lab Creative Arts Studio will be the first to tell you that the energy there is contagious. There is a fire that is ignited in the students that spreads good to every other part of their life. Dancers will tell you walking through the doors day after day is life changing for them. It has become a safe haven and very frankly, the reason they get up in the morning. Students and parents alike literally live for the moment they are in the studio, exploring their talents and building relationships that last a lifetime.

The mission of The Lab Creative Arts Studio is to be the supreme training facility in Southern California, where performers, athletes, and artists of all kind come to explore and learn to reach their full potential through instruction, collaboration, and creativity.

In short, to give people the tools to let nothing stop them in fulfilling their dream. Our West Covina studio is a refuge for hundreds of students. Our students are partially composed of first gen students, ESL students, LGBTQ students, low incomes students and many other diverse backgrounds.

I have an extensive 15-year background in studio ownership, team direction, and dance production in the dance industry. I am committed to greatness, forward thinking, and find it very important to remain philanthropic in my approach to working with kids. I try to strengthen my ability to identify strength and skill in others who may not have realized it in themselves. I try to give students lessons in hard work, humility, commitment, and humor. This approach is meant to help dancers develop their greatness and feel empowered to tackle the necessary steps to reach their goals. My passion to create a facility where dancers and athletes are home-grown and my love for collaboration/taking on new projects, has made The Lab what it is today. I am excited about laying the foundation for the next generation of movers, creators, and world changers to reach their full potential.

The team of family and friends who have been a part of this dream have become The Lab’s staff, crew, and continue to be involved in the growth of the studio behind the scenes and in the day to day activities.

Over the last three years, over 5,000 students have taken more than 4,500 classes and workshops at The Lab. TLxWC is a collaborative team between The Lab Creative Arts Studio and the West Covina High School Hip Hop team (both under the direction of The Lab). In the last three years, they have won the USA Junior AND Varsity Division Gold Medal at Hip Hop International, are 3 peat State & National champs for CADTD and USA high school circuits. The team won 1st Place at Maxt Out, 1st Place at Bridge Juniors, 1st Place at Vibe Juniors and their junior team at The Lab was featured on this season’s tv show on NBC, “World of Dance”!!! In 2017, they honored Kendrick Lamar on the legendary BodyRock Junior stage and won 1st Place with a PERFECT SCORE!!!! The sound of the audience was the highest decibel level the performing arts center has ever recorded.

I am also proud that while we have classes for beginners and teach kids who have never taken a dance class before, many of our younger students are working dancers in the industry have had their own successes because of their training at The Lab Creative Arts Studio in our community, landing roles for Sketchers, Walgreens, Lip Sync Battle, America’s Got Talent, Target, America’s Best Dance Crew, So You Think You Can Dance, The Next Generation, The Ellen Show and Justin Bieber’s “Purpose” tour.

We had over 20 athletes in our kickboxing and weight lifting program compete in sanctioned fights and lifting competitions, and our MMA instructor, Ed Ramirez (my father!!!), continues to coach his trainees from amateur to professional status in the world of Muay Thai.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As with any business, there have been many trials and learning curves that I have experienced along the way. I think the biggest being self-funding the venture with no outside support. I have relied on my parents, grandparents, and the generous time and investment of my friends to keep me afloat! The dream that started so many years ago is one that has only been realized because of my determination to make things happen even when the resources weren’t available. While the obstacles vary, what remains the same is the focus on positivity and being willing to be flexible and adapt to circumstances that didn’t go as I originally planned.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Lab specializes in customized dance and fitness training, dance production and studio rentals. Our customers and students would say that we are known for our commitment to the process of excellence. We do not take shortcuts, we put in the hard work and teach others what it takes to be unrelenting in the pursuit of their dreams.

We are really proud of the 10 kids that were a part of representing The Lab on the new TV show on NBC, World of Dance. These young artists (ages 9-15) were really pushed to their mental and physical limits and showed the world that age is just a number and that if you commit yourself to being open to critique/change and focusing on reaching your actual potential, anything really is possible.

What were you like growing up?
I have had a pretty strong mind set and a laser focus on what I wanted to accomplish from the age of 13. Uninterested in the normal activities of my peers, I was begging my parents to let me open up my own dance studio at a very young age. I spent several years proving to my parents I had it in me, teaching at a handful of local community centers and creating a following, and by age 17, with a lot of help from my parents, I had opened the doors to my first studio. I’ve worked hard to perfect my role as a dance/life educator, and if my personality could be summed up in a few words, they would be: honest, hard-working, strategic, diligent, philanthropic, competitive. My passions include: dance education, life coaching, fashion, and self-improvement.


  • $15 single class
  • $25 weight room – 4 week unlimited pass

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
The Lab Creative Arts Studio

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in