"I am the me I choose to be" Sidney Poitier
Lauren Cox is a storyteller, teacher and traveler born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lauren was nurtured young as a poet by Helena Jones who believed that "if you teach a child poetry, you open something up in them that will never close". Mrs. Jones taught Lauren all subjects through the lens of poetry in her formative years. She was at the same time a competitive Rhythmic Gymnast eventually achieving 20th in the nation in 2001.
While pursuing a degree in Sociology at San Francisco State University Lauren worked as Health, Fitness & Life Skills Coordinator for Boys and Girls Clubs of SF and as an instructor for Stanford University's study on Diabetes prevention through dance. She became engulfed in the Bay Area Hip Hop community with Culture Shock Oakland, directing one of their youth groups, competing, performing and choreographing in events such as World Hip Hop Championships. Lauren was one of the co-creators of Groove Against The Machine SF and A Tribe Called Groove Youth Ensemble. She also studied Dunham Technique & Haitian Cultural Dances with the late great Alicia Pierce during this time.
Upon graduation Lauren moved to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. For nine months she studied and became fluent in Portuguese & Samba working as a private English tutor for business professionals. From Brazil, Lauren moved to the Harlem neighborhood of New York City to study Jazz Dance under Sheila Barker who is a second generation teacher of Dianne McIntyre and Frank Hatchett. For 10 years Lauren studied and performed many styles of dance and performance.
Live shows and television credits include Saturday Night Live, Alicia Keyes, Gwen Stefani, Coldplay, Pharrell, LLCoolJ, Ariana & The Rose, Joey Yung and Kota Yamazaki/Fluid Hug-Hug. Off-Broadway includes Seeing You as night club singer, Joan DeBeauvoir; Afro-Cuban Yiddish Opera Hatuey: Memory of Fire (Dance Captain) and the as Associate Choreographer, Female Swing & Dance Captain for John Leguizamo's Kiss My Aztec at Berkeley Rep and LaJolla Playhouse in California. She has also appeared in commercials for NYU Langone, Apple and Samsung as well as Music Videos for Vonavi, The Misterwives, Giovanni James, Already Late and more. Lauren has worked with industry leaders such as Maija Garcia (Fela! Broadway & International Tour), Ryan Heffington (Sia & The O.A.), Randy Weiner (Sleep No More & The Box), Rhapsody James (Chris Brown, Beyonce & Trey Songz), Fatima Robinson (The Wiz Live & Pharrell), Nick Kinkle (Gwen Stefani), NappyTabs (J.Lo & more), Joanna Numata (Joey Yung) and Danielle Flora (SNL).
Her personal research and love of dance has led her to teach in Trinidad & Tobago, India, Hong Kong, Spain, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. Lauren was on faculty for the year round program at Joffrey Ballet School Jazz & Contemporary for six years, developing curriculum in Jazz, Dance History, Critical Analysis & Industry Prep. She also taught Jazz at The Ailey School Junior Division and was a visiting guest faculty for the José Limón Dance CO2. Lauren is now an Assistant Professor of Jazz Dance and Pedagogy at University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Pulling from history, Lauren has developed her own style in teaching, choreography and performance now infusing them into performance poetry pieces. She debuted her performance poetry at TEDx Asbury Park detailing the story of her Grandparents in post World War II Germany. She has also presented at We The Women Collective covered by Vogue Magazine and Wise Fruit NYC A Planned Parenthood benefit where she is also a resident host. Lauren is the producer of Stories from The Basement, a space for storytellers to hash out new work in front of an inviting audience.
Lauren's Choreography has been commissioned by TEDx Asbury Park, Ernst & Young, Columbia University, Hunter College, Joffrey Ballet School, The Ailey School, Milford Readers & Writers Festival, MassBliss Mindfulness Festival, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Harlem Arts Festival, The Broadway Experience and many more.
Lauren continues to grow and create while secretly hoping the Harlem Renaissance comes back around.