DJ & Dance Instructors
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Ballroom Dance Instructors
Lauren was born and raised in Layton, Utah. From a very young age she would create her own dances and pretend she was a ballerina. She would spend hours in the basement with her sister dancing to the “Flashdance” and “Star Wars” records. At age 11, Lauren and her family moved to Atlanta, GA where she started taking ballet lessons at a local studio and preformed in “The Nutcracker” and “Swan Lake”. Her ballet teacher told her that her ankles were too weak to ever reach pointe so it was a waste of time to train her. That was a harsh lesson but it made her work harder to achieve her dreams. It became her goal to strengthen her ankles and learn to control her movements. It also confirmed for her the kind of teacher she wanted to be so as to encourage dreams and not harm them. Her first step was becoming a cheerleader in middle school and then joining the dance team in high school. One year later, Lauren was approached by a community competition dance team and asked to join because they had seen her level of commitment and choreography in her school dances. She turned it down in order to continue her commitment to her dance team since she was the co-captain. She returned to cheerleading her senior year and continued cheerleading throughout college. After college she taught cheerleading through New Hope’s Upward program to 3rd and 4th graders for two more years.
Lauren also has years of experience in choreography, modern, and interpretive dancing. She performed at her church for Christmas and Easter services as well as for special events in Peachtree City. She took modern dance classes at Shorter University to expand her dance horizons.
The love of dance is an integral part of Lauren and when she met her future husband in 2009, she passed that love of dance to him. He joined the Bristol University Ballroom Dance Team and competed around England in Latin and Standard. He even competed a few times at the prestigious Winter Gardens in Blackpool. In 2010, Lauren joined Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta as a student and studied Smooth and Rhythm dances as well as Standard and Latin so she could dance with the love of her life. She trained and served at the studio for four years and in January 2015, she joined the staff at the studio as a professional instructor until October 2015. She has competed as an amateur and as a professional. Because of her unique training, she has a deeper understanding of what students go through as well as how professionals teach. This has enabled her to be a top instructor at the studio and relate to her students. She was able to use her background in choreography and interpretive dance to teach couples their special first dance and fulfill their expectations for their wedding. She became the first Wedding Specialist at the studio. She also has experience with the father/daughter and mother/son dances.
Her love of dancing, performing, and teaching will always be a part of her life, no matter where God leads her next. “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”
aka: Herb, Herbie, HJ
Born in Jacksonville, Florida; dancing has always been a part of my life. I first learned to dance watching James Brown, Chuck Berry, and Motown Groups like the Temptations, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles when my family had moved to Tampa,FL when I was 4 years old.
In 1964 my late father’s ministry, took us from Tampa to Thomasville, GA. There while in the third grade, I discovered Fred Astaire on TV in the movie “Royal Wedding”; where he not only danced Jane Powell, but did his famous solo ‘dancing on the ceiling’ and ‘coat rack’ dance numbers.
We later moved to Fitzgerald, GA in 1967 where as a Monitor High School seventh grader, I received my first musical instrument — a beautiful, brand new Selmer Alto Saxophone! My brother Bill (Baritone Sax) and I quickly formed a neighborhood R&B band, “The Cobras”, that included the Brown brothers (bassist and guitarist), my best friend Marvin Dunham (drummer extraordinaire), and our star, tenor sax player, Rickie Jefferson. Our daily after school jam sessions lead us to enter the Monitor High School 1968 Talent Show. To our joy and excitement, our practice paid-off, as we won the Talent Show by playing the mega-hit of the year: “What Does It Take (to win your love)” by Junior Walker & the All-Stars.
After my father passed, my brother Bill and I attended high school in Paoli, PA in 1971. I came home to attend college at Morehouse and Georgia Tech. My Industrial Engineering degree helped land a job at IBM in Lexington, KY in 1981. Five years later, IBM transferred me to San Francisco, CA.
After relocating with IBM to San Jose, CA in 1995, I met a dedicated American Rhythm (Cha Cha, Rumba, Mambo, EC Swing and Bolero) Dance Professional, Renee Gallagher, who welcomed me to the Starlite Ballroom Hall in Sunnyvale, CA.
Renee insisted that all of her students perform at Starlite Ballroom’s quarterly Student Dance Showcase. The purpose was to show your family members and friends what you had learned during the previous three months.
She did not stop there, Renee encouraged me to join http://usadance.org/ (formerly The United States Amatuer Ballroom Dancers Association (USABDA)) and compete in their amatuer and proam dance competitions to sharpen my dance skills even more.
Thanks to Renee, I became a proficient Bronze and Silver level American Rhythm Dancer, competing at Dance Competitions like the Holiday Dance Classic (Las Vegas), the Emerald Ball (Los Angeles), the Ohio Star Ball (Columbus, OH) the Sapphire Ball (San Jose) and the San Francisco Open (Burlingame, CA).
Renee was about one thing when it came to dancing: constant improvement! To that end, she encouraged me to take lessons from professional and expert social dancers, whose dance technique I admired.
To that end, she arranged coaching sessions with professional dancers that included: Anna Trebunskaya, Roberta Sun & Jonathan Roberts, Michael Mead & Toni Redpath, Nick Kosovich, Ron Montez, Toni Merideth & Melanie LaPatin, Buddy Schwimmer, Michelle Kincaid, and Victor Verrasey & Heather Smith.
These dancers have instilled in me the idea that through dancing, one can learn how to express their innermost feelings in a most humane way.