Lauren Bogren is a professional dancer in Chicago. To her dance is more than a career. It’s in her nature.

At age 3, her mother enrolled her in dance classes as a way for her to let out some energy. “As a kid I couldn’t sit still, so dance was an opportunity to move and be active,” Lauren recalled.

She still fondly remembers performing a dance called “me and my teddy bear” at her first dance recital. From a young age, she was hooked, and has spent the rest of her life pursuing her love of dance.

The life of a dancer is not a clear cut path, and there are many different directions one can take.

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“I was fortunate enough to have great mentors in my life who never made decisions for me or influenced me in one direction or another,” Lauren said, “They all encouraged me to find my own path because it’s so drastically different for everyone.”

So what was her path?

Well, long after her first recital, Lauren accrued many highlights in her career. She trained on scholarship at the Lou Conte Dance Studio, danced on the Harris Stage with Giordano Dance Chicago’s second company and main company, performed in multiple shows at the Marriott Theater in Lincolnshire, performed principal roles with the Schaumburg Dance Ensembles Nutcracker, and had the honor of dancing with Beyoncé at Oprah’s Farewell Show at the United Center.

And none of those opportunities happened by accident. Lauren’s family and friends described her as a driven, hard-working, devoted, relentless, and determined perfectionist.

But like many dancers, she reached a point where she had to make a decision, to shift her goals or to keep them the same.

“As a dancer your career is as long as you want to make it,” Lauren said. “You can dance until you’re 18 or you can dance through your 40’s.”

But she feels like for her, her goals are constantly changing, and she’s at a different place today than she was ten years ago.

Right now, her focus is on teaching and choreographing. She is the main ballet teacher at the Denise Sabala Dance Studio and also a coach and choreographer for the Denise Sabala Dance Company.

“For me, I feel as if I’m currently transitioning from being one of the ones onstage, to coaching the ones to love dance and shine onstage,” she said.

Lauren’s choreography has won both regional and national titles. She enjoys choreographing musicals for Glenbard West and Lake Zurich High School. She also co-coaches and choreographs for the Cary Grove Varsity poms team who have won and placed top two in multiple competitions under her leadership.

“In a nutshell I would say my goal for the future is to simply continue inspiring people to dance,” Lauren said, “There’s something so selfless about teaching and choreographing that fills my heart.”

This post is part of an ongoing series of profiles & interviews with professionals — created to motivate and inspire career aspirations and following your dreams. 

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