by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photo by MARK ZETLER

When Lauren Worley started dancing at just three years old, she may have loved the spotlight more than the art of dance itself. “I was somewhat of an attention hog, so dance was a good remedy for that,” joked Lauren. But today, Lauren – 17 years old – is not only passionate about dance but serious about making it an integral part of her future. “I came to a very tearful conclusion one day that I absolutely wanted to be a dancer for the rest of my life,” said Lauren.

For the past eight years, Lauren has been training at Black Mountain Dance Centre in Carmel Mountain Ranch under the leadership of Sylvia Palmer-Zetler. “Sylvia has given me everything I could ever ask for in a mentor,” said Lauren. Encouraged by the support and guidance she received from Ms. Palmer-Zetler, Lauren has all but mastered the renowned Cecchetti Method of ballet, completing the Advanced II exams this year.

“I came to a very tearful conclusion one day that I absolutely wanted to be a dancer for the rest of my life.” ~ Lauren Worley

Highlights of Lauren’s dancing career include performing in lead roles for The Nutcracker and Cinderella, and competing in England for an international classical ballet competition.

As an accomplished dancer, Lauren is always looking to improve her skills, and recently she was provided with an opportunity of a lifetime to do so. In June, Lauren left for Columbus, Ohio to train professionally at the BalletMet Dance Academy. Following that, she will go to New York to participate in the prestigious Juilliard Summer Dance Intensive, where she was selected as one of only 44 students worldwide. “To me, this year signifies the start of my career,” said Lauren. “I know there will be ups and downs, as there always are in a dancer’s life, but I really do see this as my final step as a child and my first big decision as an adult.”

Lauren, 92009 resident and honor roll student who just completed her junior year at Canyon Crest Academy in Carmel Valley, will be finishing up her senior year by taking online classes. Upon graduation, Lauren will start auditioning for conservatories. “She has her sights set on auditioning for the Boston Conservatory and Juilliard or ballet companies,” explained her mom, Teresa.

Lauren conceded that it won’t be easy to leave the comforts of home – especially her mom’s cooking – but she is optimistic about her future in dance. “I see many lifelong relationships waiting to be made,” said Lauren, “more lessons to be learned and a lot more growing up to do.”