Arrica Lagsding ’05 describes herself as someone who prefers to see the world through rose-colored glasses.
“My life’s motto is to have one positive thought at a time,” Lagsding said. “We’re all here to nurture each other. There’s a time and place for competition, but learning to love an art is not that time.”
At age 3, Lagsding’s grandmother took her to an after school program in Houston, where she first began to dance. Since then, her feet haven’t touched the ground. Lagsding fell in love with the art form and danced throughout her childhood at Banbury School of Dance, where she learned ballet, pointe, tap and jazz.
Later, she was a member of her high school’s drill team in Missouri City. She eventually enrolled at SFA to study dance and English and joined the SFA Repertory Dance Company, where she had her first experience with modern dance with former dance faculty member Christy Sadler Gorman.
“Prior to learning from Christy, I always described dance as joyful and exciting, but she brought peace to the art,” Lagsding said. “She made me look at dance from an organic view, and she gave me the craving to learn more.”
After graduation, Lagsding settled in Dallas and began working for a civil engineering firm during the day and performing with various dance companies and teaching at a local dance studio during her free time. Hours spent teaching dance to children made her reflect on her own childhood and what an important role dance played in her life. She knew she wanted to pursue her passion.
“When I initially settled in Dallas, I wasn’t thinking about an end goal — I was just living,” Lagsding said. “However, dancing and working at the studio planted a seed in me that I needed to start my own business.”
In November 2016, she opened Studio 6a Dance Academy in Plano. Her rose-colored-glasses’ outlook came in handy, as she focused her excitement on the project while still juggling a full-time job and her new role as mother to son, Rysan.
Studio 6a Dance Academy is a place where anyone interested in dance is welcome to come and learn. Students range in age from 3 to 60, and Lagsding offers lessons for students of all skill levels.
Lagsding said one of her most rewarding classes has been a special education dance class she teaches weekly. She partners with an organization in Allen that offers special-needs individuals the opportunity to participate in various activities. Lagsding said these students have taught her far more than she has taught them.
“When the organization first approached me, I didn’t think I was qualified to help. However, I quickly learned I was wrong,” Lagsding said. “Anyone with a passion for what they do has the capability to help others. No matter the physical or mental limitations, everyone can learn to dance and find joy in it.”
Lagsding often calls her young students “my loves,” and she rejoices when one accomplishes an arabesque on the first try. Her face lights up as she sees “her kids” confidently dance across the studio floor. She also likes to form a bond with her students’ parents. She greets them at the door and asks questions — whether it’s about their job or their child’s recent visit to the dentist.
Her caring personality and desire for a real relationship with the families helps her remain genuine, and it’s her love for people and dance that pushes her to continue expanding the possibilities of her studio.
“When I think of dancing, it’s a lifelong love, and my goal is to make people dancers for life.”