Though a passion for dance has been with her since childhood, it wasn’t until the age of 34 that former insurance executive Ofelia de La Valette dedicated herself to her true calling. For 10 years in pursuit of her passion, she navigated her corporate career, being a mother to two, and intensive training in jazz, hip hop, ballet and modern dance. Showing natural talent early on, she was asked to teach adult beginner jazz classes at Emory University. Having learned to dance later in life, Ofelia developed a unique method of teaching dance to adults in accordance with how adults process and apply information. Her teaching method was so successful that after two years at Emory, she took a huge leap.
Ofelia left her insurance career and opened Dance 101 in 2004, the first studio of its kind that specializes in adult beginner and returning dancers. The success of Dance 101 pioneered a new industry that blends the art of dance with fitness, paving the way for other like minded boutique dance exercise concepts to appear across the country. In 2017, Dance 101 was recognized by Billboard Magazine as ranking 4th in the top 10 most successful dance studios in the nation. In 2020, Dance 101 debuted its virtual studio with more than 400 classes available for streaming online. This platform presently reaches dancers across the globe, expanding Dance 101’s concept internationally.
Ofelia and Dance 101 have been featured in local as well as national publications, webisodes, podcasts, CNN Small Success Stories, Passion to Portfolio, and CNN’s Making It In America. In July 2011, Ofelia was invited by the White House to deliver the afternoon keynote speech at the Atlanta Urban Entrepreneurship Forum and was presented with The Phoenix Award by Mayor Kasim Reed. She was featured in the “Top 10” in Atlanta’s Best Self magazine’s Over 40 and Fabulous Atlantans and was one of 50 women profiled in Marlo Thomas’s book, It Ain’t Over…Till It’s Over. In 2019, Ofelia published her first book: “Exercising Your Dream: How to teach with passion, express your purpose & earn a living bringing happiness to others in the boutique fitness industry”.