Lauren Janssen is a young ballerina poised for big things. She’s currently raising funds to compete in the Youth American Grand Prix, a prestigious ballet competition and gala event in New York City. She’s also an honor student at Mendive Middle School. For more information, or to donate funds for Lauren’s New York trip, visit www.balletnevada.com or call 320-2026. There are upcoming fundraisers for Lauren, including a poker tournament organized by the fathers of Nevada Ballet ballerinas.
So you’re trying to save up money to go to New York, is that right?
Yes, I’m going to the Youth American Grand Prix intensive. Basically, when I go to New York, I’m going to do a lot of classes for two days with the Youth American Grand Prix and then a two-day break, and then after that we go to the Youth American Grand Prix gala. It’s called “The Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow.” And I get to watch all of my idols and every person in the dance world perform their solos.
Who are some of your idols?
Natalia Osipova is one of them. I’ve always looked up to her—that’s the person I chose to do my solo from.
How long have you been dancing?
I’ve been dancing since I was 4.
Did you click with it immediately, or did you hate it at first?
Not really. I was put into something called Teddy Bear Dancers, and then I quit for awhile until I was about 8 years old and went to my current studio, called Ballet Nevada.
And how old are you now?
I’m 13, and I’m turning 14 tomorrow [April 1].
Turning 14 tomorrow! You’re an April Fool!
Yes, I am. [Laughs.]
How does that affect your ballet skills?
It makes me clumsy. [Laughs.]
So what’s next after this New York adventure?
I’m not sure. I’m interested in Broadway dancing, so I plan on exploring that, and doing a bunch of ballet to just train myself and be prepared for whatever dance career I’m interested in pursuing later.
So you do lots of different kinds of dance?
Is ballet your favorite?
Yes, ballet is my favorite.