As a competitive Pro/Am ballroom dancer, Lauren LaPointe has emerged a champ.
With grandparents like the late Ewing and Muriel Kauffman and a mother like civic go-getter Julia Irene Kauffman, Lauren LaPointe knows a thing or two about goal-setting. And, like her grandmother, LaPointe knows how to kick up her heels on the dance floor. “I heard stories of her dancing and cutting up a rug all night long, and all of a sudden, I wanted to learn how to dance,” says LaPointe. Lessons turned into a passion for dancing and a career. Since launching as a competitive Pro/Am ballroom dancer in 2011, LaPointe has won numerous medals and trophies for her ballroom finesse, including placing second in the World Pro/Am Championships in American Rhythm (cha-cha, rumba, swing, bolero and mambo) and American Smooth (waltz, tango, foxtrot, Viennese waltz). She also has quite the closet of ballroom-worthy gowns.
- “You cannot have a bad day dancing. You can have a bad moment, but never a bad day,” LaPointe says.
- LaPointe loves the Peabody, which is an old vintage style of dance. “It’s similar to American Quickstep, but I’m also known for doing every single partner dance in the book,” she says.
- She watches Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance and several of the professionals involved in these shows have become her friends and acquaintances.
- But she is quick to point out that those televised dance shows center on choreographed routines practiced by the dancers to a particular song, whereas competitive Pro/Am ballroom dance involves dancing to specific rhythms and music unknown to the dancers. “There are thousands of cha-chas. Which cha-cha do we get?” LaPointe explains. “We have no idea. That’s why it’s competitive. It really is a sport.”
- She has about five major sets of gowns, elaborately designed to fit the style of dance. “American Rhythm is a little more flowy, a little more flirty because that’s the style of dress,” she says. “Latin is a little straighter of a silhouette because it’s more about the hip action. So it’s not as flirty, but it is sexy.”
- She was a two-time World Dancesport Series Top Student in 2014 and 2015, and a three-time Dancers Cup Tour Top Student in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
- Her coach and dance partner is four-time world champion Louis Bar. She trains at what is now known as the Allegro Ballroom in Overland Park and also in Las Vegas where Bar is now located.
- Is she interested in any other sport? “No, I don’t have time for it. But I do watch baseball,” LaPointe says with a laugh. Her grandfather, the pharmaceutical entrepreneur and philanthropist who established the Kansas City Royals, would approve.
Favorite quote? "It's not only a dream, it's a process!" – Lauren LaPointe
Preferred social media? Facebook
Favorite KC restaurant, hot spot or landmark? The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts because it was my grandmother’s dream that came true.