Lauri followed her dreams and passion for dance by opening Fitzsimmons Dance Factory in the fall of 1985. At the time, she had hoped to create a vibrant and energetic place for learning dance, while still maintaining a family-style environment for all levels of dancers. One of Lauri's main goals was (and still is) to give every dancer, regardless of age or ability, their moment to shine at our annual recitals. For 20+ years, Lauri has provided dancers this chance by giving them the opportunity to perform at the Auditorium Theater and beyond.
Lauri grew up in Rochester, NY which is where she gained her first love of dance. Upon graduating high school, she continued her dance training by commuting to Buffalo on a weekly basis to study jazz, lyrical, and tap. She also traveled to NYC three to four times a year to further her education and to study under master teachers, starting back in the early 80's. Lauri continues to attend local and national workshops to continue her growth in dance. She strongly believes that you can never stop learning or being inspired by what others have to offer in the art of dance.
Lauri has been happily married for 20 years to her wonderful husband, Carter. She is so thankful for the "Mom role” Carter plays with their two children, Dillon and Vivian, during the nights when she’s teaching.
Heather has been a teacher at Fitzsimmons Dance Factory since 1993. In high school she was an advanced level, award winning student at FDF and in the FDF apprenticeship teacher program. Heather attended SUNY Brockport where she received her B.F.A. in Dance in 1998. Since then, she has worked on our camp staff and is currently the co-director of FDF Summer Camps. From 2001-2003 Heather directed the FDF daycare program.
In addition to being an award winning FDF choreographer, Heather also choreographed for high school, college, and professional dance teams. She has donated her time to choreograph for charity events including a fashion show benefit sponsored by Midtown Athletic Club and L'Avant Garbe that featured the Buffalo Jills. Heather loves being part of the FDF family and is so happy to be able to share her love of dance with her students.
Jacqueline began dancing at the age of three at Sandy Stramonine School of Dance in Macedon, NY. Since 2003, she has been a teacher at Fitzsimmons Dance Factory in both Fairport and Mendon locations, along with local daycares and The Harley School. Her focus is on creative movement, tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop for ages three to teen. During the summer, Jacqueline is the co-director of our summer camp programs at both the Fairport studio and The Harley School.
Jacqueline attended Monroe Community College and Brockport State College where she studied tap and Irish dance and performed in several showcases. During college, Jacqueline took the opportunity to work for Walt Disney World as an entertainment character. She continued her dance training while in Florida with Spotlight Dance Center. Today, Jacqueline continues to take classes at conventions and competitions in Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls.
Laura grew up dancing at Fitzsimmons Dance Factory since the age of seven. While at the studio, she became an advanced level competition student and received many top placements and awards in Fitzsimmons' ensembles.
Laura also has a gymanstics and cheerleading background. She was a Fairport High School varsity cheerleader, a St. John Fisher College cheerleader, and a Rochester Sirens Dance Team member (Arena Football). Since 2000, Laura has been teaching lyrical, jazz, and tap disciplines at the competitive and non-competitive levels.
In addition to teaching, Laura helps out with marketing of the studio. Her degrees include a B.A. in English and B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College, and a M.A. in Professional Writing.
Madison (a.k.a Miss Maddie), grew up at Fitzsimmons Dance Factory dancing with our team for 12 years. After graduating from Fairport High School in 2017 she felt it was too soon to say goodbye so she chose to join our faculty as a teaching assistant. Since then she has become a dance instructor and loves sharing her passion for dance with many of our students. While in high school, Madison attended E.M.C.C. as part of the cosmetology program to work toward her license. Madison works at Larijames Salon and Spa as a fully licensed cosmetologist pursuing another passion of hers in the beauty industry. Outside of the studio you’re likely to catch Madison around Fairport with her family and her baby boy, Bear, the family dog. Madison is a well rounded and very enthusiastic young lady that we are proud to have as part of our faculty.
Michelle grew up dancing at Fitzsimmons and graduated from Pittsford Sutherland in 2012. She attended Rochester Institute of Technology, and graduated in 2017 with a BS/MS as a Physician Assistant. While in college she danced as a member of the RIT dance team, Vis Viva, and choreographed multiple tap numbers for the biannual showcase. She currently works full time in the Pediatric Emergency Department as a Physician Assistant, but her favorite time of the week is spent at the studio. Michelle is excited to be back with her FDF family teaching classes!
Vivian graduated from Fitzsimmons Dance Factory in 2017, where she started training at the age of 3. Throughout her time at the studio, Vivian received numerous awards for her movement and choreography. She earned scholarships that provided her opportunities to travel across the country for dance and participate in national events. At the Dance Awards, Vivian was recognized as a "Senior Best Dancer." She has trained under some of the best choreographers in the country, helping expand her knowledge. Vivian has discovered her passion for teaching and choreographing while working at the studio during high school. She is excited to continue her dance career at Nazareth College where she will obtain a B.S. in Dance as well as a B.S. in Business Management.
A Rochester native, Zach specializes in classical ballet, modern, and rhythm tap. His training includes a BFA degree in Dance from SUNY Brockport, the New York State Ballet, Ballet Prestige, Flower City Ballet, and Jody B’s Studio of Dance. Zach has worked with multiple dance companies across the country including Garth Fagan Dance, Northwest Dance Project, Hubbard Street Chicago, Nevada Ballet Theatre, and is currently a company dancer with the New York State Ballet. Zach has also danced with James Hasen/Assemblage Dance, William Evans, Kara Dudley Dance, and Cheryl Johnson. He has performed professionally at multiple dance festivals and events nationwide including Rochester Fringe Festival, Pasadena Dance Festival, DUMBO Arts Festival, the Richmond Choreographer’s Showcase, and the Vision of Sound New Music and Dance Festival. Zach's choreographic works have been featured within the SUNY Brockport Department of Dance, the 2013 Rochester Fringe Festival and with the New York State Ballet in its 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons. Along with performing and choreographing, Zach is a local dance instructor in the Rochester area.