“One of our goals is to share more different cultures from all over the world and bring them to PB,” said Grafte, founder, director, and producer of Ooh La La Dance Academy and Ooh La La Revue (her adult latin cabaret performance troupe).
Grafte quit her six-figure Xerox corporate sales job at 29 when she competed at the ESPN world salsa championship and placed 15th in the cabaret salsa division.
“One of my biggest accomplishments has been being a first generation dreamer and achieving my dream as a dancer despite starting later in life and not having technical training,” Grafte said.
After diving into the professional dance world, she combined her dance experience and International Business degree from SDSU to open Ooh La La’s first location in La Jolla in 2011.
For the last six years, the studio has won “Best Dance Studio” in La Jolla. She is thrilled to open a second location on Garnet Avenue.
“I found a perfect spot next to Pacific Beach Middle School where the kids can walk to dance class after school. Trader Joe’s is also next door so parents can drop off and easily run errands,” Grafte said.
Students at the academy can expect to compete in local competitions and participate in annual winter productions.
However, she is hoping to reach the adult population of PB as well. “We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary of Ooh La La Revue and I’d like to continue the legacy even after I’m gone. There’s a lot of young people who we can teach and train to perform and tour,” Grafte said.
Ooh La La Revue has been featured on “America’s Got Talent,” and is similar to Moulin Rouge where the performers dance, sing, and entertain guests through cabaret comedy burlesque shows at Tango Del Rey.
The Pacific Beach location will offer unique classes such as a Monday night salsa social with a live DJ, and a late night Milonga Tango party every third and fifth Wednesday of each month.
Grafte is excited to share her passion for performing arts with PB.
“It allowed me to live my best life possible… It turned me from a shy timid wallflower to now a social butterfly. I’d like to share the blessings with others which I had the opportunity to enjoy,” Grafte said.
Ooh La La’s grand opening will take place 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 3. Attendees may enjoy the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony and complimentary champagne, cider and cake.
The new studio will offer classes for all levels and ages 2-plus. Ooh La La PB is offering a week of free classes for kids and adults to enjoy from Aug. 6-11. Walk-ins are accepted, or locals can register at ollda.com.
Ooh La La Dance Academy
Where: 1562 Garnet Ave.