Valerie Handy is a native to Houston. She began dancing at the age of five at Banbury School of Dance. She has training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and hip hop. A graduate from Lamar High School in 2003, she was a member of Lamar Dance Theatre. While there, a number of different companies were in residence, such as the Limon Dance Company and STREB. She then attended the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) where she studied from Michelle Ellsworth a known solo artist and a faculty member at CU as well as Kevin Wynn a proclaimed choreographer who taught an intense two-week residency. She continued her dance studies at Houston Community College (HCC). For the past thirteen years Valerie has taught and continues to teach young children ballet, tap, jazz, modern and hip hop. Valerie has she taught at many dance workshops for children throughout the Houston area held by Urgeworks, the ERJCC, FA-DANZ-AKE, Kandy Stripe Academy Starlite Danceteam, she was also the head choreographer for the Kandy Stripe Academy Starlites Dance Team from 2009-2011. Valerie also danced with some local dance companies in Houston, Second Generation Dance Company and HIStory Dance Company.
In 2007 Valerie began teaching at Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA), as the Hip Hop and Tap dance instructor and became the Contemporary Dance Director at MECA from 2009 - 2012 and created and directed the performing youth company MECA Dance Theatre in 2011-2012. In the Fall of 2012, Valerie decided she was ready to get back to her passion which is teaching children dance throughout the city of Houston. Valerie was selected to attend the National Dance Institute (NDI) Teaching Artist Training in New York in March 2013 and represented the ERJCC. She was a part of a collaborative program with the ERJCC and Houston Ballet named Jump, Jive, Move and Groove, a two week summer camp which was modeled after the NDI pedagogy. She continues to teach Early Childhood, Hip Hop and Jazz dance classes at the ERJCC and is excited to be able to share her passion for dance with more students in Houston.