Lauren Batterbee is dancing into the next chapter of her life


Lauren Batterbee

Lauren showcasing some of her most exquisite dancing

She elegantly floats across the stage, twisting and twirling till she takes her final bow. A final bow that, fortunately for senior Lauren Batterbee, will not come to a steep halt with the ending of her senior year—a year that, for Lauren’s flourishing dance career, remained unknown and undecided until recently. 

“I didn’t really want to go to college,” Lauren said. “I wanted to go straight into a dance company, but with the pandemic, it’s harder to get into a company now. I did one audition, and I was going to do another one, but I got COVID, so I couldn’t film things. I wasn’t really looking at colleges until this year. But next year I’m going to Indiana University for dance and also journalism, and I’m really excited.”

The art of dance is something that, from a very young age, Lauren has been gifted in. Whether it was having the longest turns or the best first position in her class, being a professional ballerina has been her dream. Now, being accepted into Indiana University’s prestigious dance program, her dream is on track to become reality. 

That reality wouldn’t be possible without her never-ending drive and her ability to place into some of America’s most prestigious ballet schools. Giving up an immense amount of free time, Lauren has become accustomed to traveling to and from Chicago, Illinois every weekend to dance for Ballet Chicago.

I really like performances and exploring different characters.

— Lauren Batterbee


“On the weekdays I do ballet in my sunroom, and then I go to Chicago on the weekends,” Lauren said. “Being in Chicago is a lot more fun for me. But I’ve also gotten into some summer intensives. I went to New York the summer before freshman year, and that was a really huge accomplishment, especially because that was my first summer intensive; I loved it, especially being in New York. Then the year after that, I got into Ballet Chicago, which is where I dance now, and then the year after that, I got a scholarship, and now I’m on scholarship for the year-round program.”

The moment Lauren walks on stage, she proves these prestigious and difficult programs have paid off. Stepping out into her element, she imagines the audience as a blank screen and simply frolics across the stage, maintaining her poise and elegance. Lauren beams about how much she simply loves performing, especially getting into character. 

“I really like performances and exploring different characters,” Lauren said. “Sometimes you are simply doing steps, but other times you actually get to be characters. My first performance that I actually danced in was Snow White; I was a deer, and I was so excited. In my journal, I remember talking about my corrections, and I wrote I am the deer. That was the first time I actually got into a role, and before, to get into character, I would eat my salad like a deer. But since then, I’ve continued getting into roles and just being in the moment. Performances are fun because you get to hang out with your friends because you are there for hours and hours. It’s really long, but you make lots of memories.”

These memories, throughout the course of the past fourteen years, have morphed Lauren into the person she is today. Although one of the grandest performances of her life for the past four years is coming to an end, and it is a bittersweet feeling for her, Lauren’s love and passion for dance will never cease. 

“I fell in love with dance because you have to keep trying and pushing to be better,” Lauren said. “You can never get to perfectionism, which I love. You strive for it, but you can’t get there, so you always have somewhere to go.”