Get to Know Our Dance Teachers

It's Miss Lauri's birthday! Miss Lauri opened Fitzsimmons Dance Factory 30 years ago, and what a 30 years it has been! She has changed the lives of so many students that have walked through her door; and her dedication and loyalty is admirable. Get to know our beloved studio owner and jazz & lyrical teacher with our latest blog post.


Where did you grow up dancing/get your education?

Virginia Beal School of Dance, 2nd - 6th grade and then Joyce Winters School of Dance, 7th-12th grade. Can never thank my parents for the 45 min car ride (one way) to take me to Joyce's! I then continued taking classes 3-4x a year in NYC, tons of conventions and adult ballet classes 2x a week. I have always said "the day I become a bad teacher is the day I think I know it all and don't continuing growing and educating myself as an artist."

What is your first memory as a dancer? As a family we only had one car when I was in 1st grade.. Our elementary school offered an after school tap class that I really wanted to take but we had to work out a carpool in order for me to take the class. We did and the class was so much fun but I wasn't able to continue because my carpool buddy didn't like tap and wanted to quit. The very next year my parents enrolled me into a "real" dance class/studio.

What is your first memory in a performance? Performing a duet with my Aunt Carol "Lady and a Tramp" I was probably 8 or so...I was dressed in a pretty ballet costume (the lady) and my Aunt was dressed as a hobo (the tramp). Don't remember the story line but do remember it was the first time I realized how much story telling could be told without words even being spoken.

What drew you to dance?

Don't remember .... But what kept me loving dance is making other people feel what I feel through the movement of dance.

What is your funniest memory dancing in class or on stage?

Funniest moment for me would be when I was maybe 16 or 17 years old, our dance recital was held at a local high school and the entire cast shared dressing rooms in the gymnasium. Of course being in June it was extremely hot and they had the upper windows in the gym open.... June bugs were flying in and nestling into our tutu's ..we didn't know that at the time and we ended up bringing the June bugs onto the stage with us during our ballet number. The funniest part of the story is I remember a class of 3 year olds were performing their dance and the littlest one on the end of the line started doing her tendus she must have seen a June bug on stage because her tendus ended up being a step and a squish... And I thought those parents just spent all this money for their daughters dance recital and she spent her entire dance trying to squish the June bug.

What dancer was your inspiration growing up?

My Aunt Carol

What was the color of your first costume or description?

Probably pink

When did you realize your dream was to open up your own dance studio?

I had never even thought of it until I started teaching and fell in love with the profession.


How many years have you been teaching?

35 years

What is your favorite part of teaching?

Every year watching the graduating seniors perform their solos and reflecting how much they have grown into strong and gifted women.

What is your first memory of teaching?

Teaching a class of 8 kids.... Of the 8 five of them were named were: Kristen, Kirsten, kristie, Krista and Christina! And none of them wanted to be called just Chris..

What has been the funniest moment of teaching? Probably walking into room A and having lystra bartholomew plastered against the wall imitating a dead fly on a car window...

What has been the most rewarding part about opening up FDF and having it be what it is today, 30 years later? Giving every dancer no matter the level or ability the opportunity to dance on that professional stage! Another gift of being in business for 30 years is being able to teach alumni's children.


What is the most recent played song on your iPod?

Mumford and Sons - To darkness

What's your favorite... color? Red

Book? Divine secrets of YA yA sisterhood

TV Show? Past: Life on Mars, current: Peaky Blinders

Movie? Wizard of oz

Broadway Show? Lion King

Dancer? Vivian

Artist? Van Gough

Season? Spring

Game? Euchre

Food? Seafood

Travel Spot? Hilton Head Island


Anything you want to say about family?

So thankful for all of the love and support from my family!

Happy Birthday, Miss Lauri!! We love you and can't thank you enough for everything that you do for us. Hope you have a wonderful day!

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