Originally from the small Midwestern town of Table Grove, Illinois, Lauren has been dancing since she was 7 years old studying ballet, tap, jazz and hip-hop. Early on, Lauren discovered her love of tap dancing and decided to venture out to pursue the art and has studied under many world-renowned tap masters of our era including; Jason Samuels Smith, Dianne Walker, Lane Alexander, Barbara Duffy, Jason Janas, Chloe Arnold, Dormeshia Sumbery-Edwards, Professor Robert L. Reed, Bril Barrett, Ofer Ben, Avi Miller, Derick Grant and Cathie Nicholas. Additionally, Lauren has trained extensively under Julie Cartier, Nico Rubio and Martin “Tre” Dumas; three of Chicago’s most sought-after tap instructors/choreographers.
At age 11, Lauren joined the Dazzler Dance Competition Team of Macomb, Illinois, competing for 7 years and was awarded numerous regional and national titles. Throughout her competitive years Lauren acquired many dance scholarships, one of which landed her dancing at New World Stages in Manhattan, in the off Broadway Tap Production of “Slide” under the direction of Mike Minery. She was also awarded a Leo Harris Tap Scholarship from the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the oldest and most comprehensive annual tap festival in the world.
Lauren started teaching and choreographing at age 15 and from the beginning her students were being recognized regionally and nationally throughout the Midwest. She has received several choreography awards and most recently was presented with the “Edge Award” during Edge The Competition St. Louis regional for having the highest scoring group piece of the entire event. Lauren has participated in 2 NCAA College Bowl halftime shows; the 2006 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida and the 2010 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has been a tap instructor with Edge National Talent Competition. In 2013 and 2014, Lauren had the opportunity to perform during the All That Tap Concert at the conclusion of the St. Louis Tap Festival and her own students have been featured there as well. Lauren's students and choreography have also been showcased at The Big Apple Tap Festival in New York City.
Lauren is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting with a minor in Dance. She is co-owner of Project Dance Company and is director of Rhythm N’ Shoes, The Company. Her efforts to integrate all forms of dance while remaining faithful to tap’s traditional rhythms and character has set her work apart from others. Lauren’s diverse and energetic style of teaching continues to inspire her students to embrace tap dancing and appreciate its rich history and culture.
A native of Macomb IL, Kimmie is a co-owner of Project Dance Company. She has been dancing since she was 6 years old and enjoys teaching jazz, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre, hip-hop and most recently, Zumba.
Throughout Kimmie’s 7 years as a dance teacher/choreographer, she has been the recipient of numerous choreography awards. Her routines have received top honors at several competitions including a musical theatre piece which was awarded the “Presidential Cup” after being selected to compete a second time at a Live Finals. Kimmie has been given opportunities to travel to Las Vegas, NV and Branson, MO for national competitions. In 2010, she accompanied her dance team to New Orleans, LA where she performed in the halftime show of the Sugar Bowl.
In the course of Kimmie’s travels and studies of dance, she has trained under many nationally known choreographers. Her approach to fitness is established amid her background in dance and also gymnastics. This combined with her experience in various styles of exercise is what led her to become a Certified Zumba Instructor.
Kimmie is a graduate of Western Illinois University, with a B.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. She was a member of the University Dance Theater for 3 years. She enjoys teaching children of all ages what she was taught when she was younger, to love and mature in dance.
Jessi Brandt is originally from Macomb, a graduate of Macomb High School. She is currently pursuing her bachelor degree in Agriculture Business with a dance minor at Western Illinois University.
She started dancing at the age of eight, enjoying many styles. Through her competitive career she has won many placements, titles, and scholarships. Her senior year she maintained a undefeated season through five different regional competitions. Dance has also taken Jessi many places including: the 2010 Sugar Bowl to perform at halftime, New York City to take classes from broadway professionals and the famous Rockettes, Branson and Wisconsin Dells for National Competitions.
Jessi has been teaching and choreographing for three years. In that short time her routines have won many top placements, including a Judges Choice Award from Primetime Regional Competition and Highest Scoring Small Group at Showbiz Regional Competition. Jessi enjoys teaching the next generations of dancers a sport that she fell in love with at a young age.