40th Anniversary Blog Series: No 10. Laurie Anderson

No. 10: 40 Never Looked So Good: An interview with Laurie Anderson, JOMDC faculty since 2003, and 40th Anniversary Faculty Honoree


It wasn’t just yesterday that JOMDC opened its doors – it was 40 years ago! We’ve held thousands of classes and taught hundreds of thousands of students. We’ve met some remarkable people over the years, one of whom is Laurie Anderson.  A former Eastern United States Rising Star Latin Champion and New England Rising Star Latin Champion, Laurie Anderson has been performing and teaching many styles of dance including Ballroom and Social Dance for over 3 decades!  Laurie holds dual Licentiate Degrees from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, based in London and recognized as the most prestigious ballroom teaching organization in the world. She is also a dual licentiate with the North American Dance Teachers’ Association, the top American style dance organization in the United States.  Laurie has performed with the professional ballroom theatre dance company, American Dance Montage, for 7 years, touring Hong Kong, Macao, El Salvador and the U.S. to critical acclaim.  She currently coaches competitive ballroom students as well as adjudicates at local and national ballroom competitions.  In between you can find Laurie at Joy of Motion Dance Center teaching a wide range of exciting social dance classes to enchanted adults at all three of our studio locations!

1.At what point did you realize that JOMDC would be a second home for you and for your teaching career?

I realized almost right away when I began teaching at JOMDC, about 13 years ago, that this would be a home for me.  I was struck by the wonderful difference between teaching at JOMDC, a non-profit, compared to my experiences at “for profit” studios.  My teaching home has been at JOMDC ever since.  

2. Our mission is very clear: Dance is for Everyone. How have you changed as a teacher while teaching to this mission?

The JOMDC mission that Dance is for Everyone has ultimately made me a better teacher!  Teaching to this mission has challenged me to develop techniques so that I can reach EVERYONE.

3. JOMDC is all about education and opportunity. As we’ve gotten older, we’ve gotten more opportunities–after 40 years in the business, the White House calls us now! What is the greatest opportunity you’ve received through JOMDC?

The greatest opportunity that I have been given at JOMDC is the chance to meet such a broad range of people.  I have also had the privilege to teach at many interesting events and places, such as the Australian Embassy, The Smithsonian, and The American Federation of Teachers.  

4. Our outreach program extends many different opportunities to people with a passion for dance, but without the means, to take free dance classes. Do you teach in our outreach program?

Yes, I have taught at the Two Rivers Public Charter Elementary/Middle School in northeast, DC for 5 years.  I was able to teach a diverse crowd of children who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to learn ballroom dancing. It was very meaningful.  I loved doing that!

5. Joy of Motion is turning 40 this year. Did anything change for you after your 40th birthday?

I have mellowed out a little, but my passion for dance and for excellence hasn’t gone anywhere!

6. What is the greatest lesson getting older has taught you? About teaching?

It’s important to care more about the people you’re teaching than the thing you’re teaching.

Don’t miss the 40th Anniversary Gala Concert and Disco Dance Party on Friday, March 11, 2016, 7:30pm!

What is your favorite thing about Laurie’s class? Leave her a comment below!