If you know Lauren, you know she's a mover. And if you ask the police officer who stopped her for erratic driving, he'll tell you she's a shaker.
"I was pulled over for dancing in my car," says the highly energized Lauren, who could star in a Red Bull commercial. "Justin Timberlake was on the radio."
Yes, Lauren loves to dance. At weddings, she's the "first one on the floor, and the last one off."
But as much as she enjoys moving, her real passion is encouraging others to follow suit. As the wellness coordinator at Masters Gallery Foods she constantly asks employees to leave their comfort zone and move their bodies.
"That's one of the reasons I need to do this," she says of dancing in the Gala. "I need to put myself in an uncomfortable situation and not be afraid to fail".
Growing up as an only child in rural LaSalle-Peru, Ill., Lauren's home was a 20-minute car ride from school and miles away from friends. So she relied on her imagination and channeled that innate kinetic energy into dancing around pieces of carefully arranged furniture.
"My parents were great about it because it meant I'd leave them alone and let them relax a bit" Lauren says with a smile. "I'd dance the night away to Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson."
These days, Lauren, who once served as program director at The Little Gym of Chicago, helped more than 1,000 children improve motor skills, chases her own kids – 1 and 3 years old – around the furniture.
Lauren's husband is from Kiel, Wis., which drew the couple to Sheboygan County eight years ago. She's now rooted in this community, and excited about movin' and shakin' at the Gala.
"I'd like to do something really non-traditional," she says, keeping the details to herself for now. "Something edgy, exciting, fresh... something that's never been done before."
Lauren is sponsored by Masters Gallery Foods and has chosen the Sheboygan County Humane Society as her recipient charity. If Lauren is the Gala champion, her charity will receive $10,000. Lauren will perform a freestyle routine with her dance partner, Angela Gillitzer.