Garcia Dance Studio is the latest recipient of the Economic Development Committee’s Economic Vitality Award, or EVA.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary last January, Garcia Dance Studio has filled a formerly empty storefront in the Northside Shopping Center at 1006 North H St. The studio has a long history in the Lompoc Valley and has grown to three locations in Lompoc, Santa Maria and Buellton, with 150 male and female students (ages 2 through adults) and three instructors teaching Flamenco, Salsa and Bachata.

In 1986, Laura Garcia was chosen as the coveted Santa Barbara Old Spanish Days’ Spirit of Fiesta during the flamenco dance competition. Garcia continued to express her love of flamenco and community service by founding Garcia Dance Studio in 1997 with just a handful of neighborhood children in her garage in family housing on Vandenberg Air Force Base.

By 2000, the studio had grown to 30 students and relocated to Mission Hills. The studio continued to grow, and in 2015 the main studio was moved to downtown Lompoc.

The new location was refurbished and adapted to the studio’s needs. The improved space sports new signage, window treatments, a special dance floor, mirrors, and accommodations for dancers. The dance studio’s presence has also increased foot traffic at the Northside Center, which contributes to the success of other businesses located there.

Laura’s tradition of supporting community groups continues today as the studio provides dance entertainment for many community groups. The dancers perform two recitals each year and at various community events every month all over the Central Coast and Southern California.

Recent shows include Relay for Life, Flower Festival, Co-Op Festival, Lompoc Christmas Parade, Elks’ Rodeo Parade, Solvang 4th of July Parade, Old Santa Ynez Days, nursing home and retirement community performances. During Santa Barbara Old Spanish Days, they perform in the televised Fiesta Pequeña at the Santa Barbara Mission. Last December, the studio sent 15 young dancers, who ranged in age from 7 to 15, to Disneyland to take part in the theme park’s “Dance the Magic” parade. The studio performs competitively and has taken honors for adult Flamenco and children’s Salsa at competitions in Southern California.

Starbuck-Lind Mortuary is another one of the latest recipients of the Economic Development Committee’s EVA award.

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The business has a long history, beginning in the 1800s, with different owners and locations through the years, before settling at 123 North A Street in 1972, where it remains to this day. The current owners are Alan and Becky Grant, who bought the business in 2006.

The staff at the mortuary are caring and experienced professionals who seek to make the funeral planning process as smooth as can be.

The Grants are in the process of remodeling the old DMV building on B Street as an event space for funeral receptions and other events. Their commitment to keeping services local and expanding their business makes them a fitting recipient of the EVA. Alan is currently serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau and he is a member of the Rotary Club of Lompoc.

Starbuck-Lind Mortuary may be contacted at (805) 735-3773, or find them online at www.starbucklind.com. Garcia Dance Studio can be contacted at (805) 717-9273 and emailed at garciadancestudio@gmail.com. They are also on Facebook.

To stay updated on the EDC’s progress throughout the year, like the “Lompoc Economic Development Committee” page on Facebook.

Building the Future Today is a column by the Lompoc Economic Development Committee. The column runs on the first and third Sundays of each month. To contact the committee, email lompocedc@gmail.com. Lompoc Economic Development Committee can also be liked on Facebook.

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