Lauren Edson “has luminous eyes, a pixie-like smile and a flair for choreography that stretches her already supple body to the limit,” says the Idaho Statesman. That appears to have been true since earliest childhood in Boise. Her mother, she says, “had my sister and I enrolled in a lot of different activities—music, art, sports, dance—to see what we connected to.” Until 15, Lauren was “very shy, introverted and didn’t talk that much.” But to be onstage, she soon found out, was the antithesis of that. “I weaved in and out of groups, was hidden, guarded. On stage, though, I felt at home and liberated. To be seen felt good. That’s where I felt the most confident and the most vulnerable.” The combination was exciting, especially as Lauren “happened to be good” at dance. “I always danced and made dances. From a very early age I was curious about how my body moved.” By the time she was in fifth grade, she was confident and accomplished enough to choreograph the whole of West Side Story for her school Dance, as she says, especially making dances, was “always my vehicle.”

For Lauren’s senior year in high school she went to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. At NSCA, where students enter “when they are ready for focused, intense professional development at the baccalaureate level and in select programs at the master’s and secondary levels in its s