Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



DANCIN' FEATS Jill of all trades
by Vicki Crain

This article shared 4884 times since Wed Jan 9, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Student, teacher, dancer, choreographer, writer, curator, tech crewmember: She's all of those things and more. Lauren Warnecke is a jill of all trades. This busy lady teaches group exercise at the University of Illinois at Chicago, works on the tech crew for shows at The Dance Center of Columbia College and writes for numerous publications, and enjoys traveling, cooking and crafts. In what little spare time she has, she also dances, choreographs and curates independent performances around Chicago.

Warnecke, 31, grew up on the West Coast, but moved to Chicago's northwest suburbs in third grade. She wanted to take gymnastics, but a physician recommended ballet and she was hooked. After bouncing around to a number of dance schools, she landed at Barat College in Lake Forest. "I decided to go into dance in college because I really didn't know what else to do," she said. After two and a half years, the school closed and she transferred to Columbia College in the South Loop. "It was a completely different environment, I love ballet, but I had the realization pretty early that I didn't have the build for it as a professional dancer, so I sort of forced myself to enjoy modern and learn more about it," she said.

After graduating with a B.A. in dance, Warnecke apprenticed with Luna Negra Dance Theater, but was soon sidelined with a foot injury. She couldn't afford good insurance, so the injury was recurring and she eventually left the dance world, albeit temporarily. A stint at nursing school led to a new career opportunity. "What I liked about nursing school were all the classes leading up to it," she said. "I loved the sciences—biology, anatomy and physiology—so I tried to find a combination of all the things I like about nursing and all the things I liked about dance." The result was a master's degree in kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Her master's project turned into her website, Arts Intercepts, a platform for Warnecke to engage the community in dance-based discourse. The site redesign launches this month. For the site, she translated scientific studies about injuries into language that dancers could understand. "I felt like my role in the project was to take all the sciency stuff and all the dancers and have them meet in the middle," said Warnecke. "Especially at the student level, I wanted dancers to have a place to go where they could get accurate information."

While pondering her post-college life, two major things happened. One involved coming out of the closet. "A group of friends of mine at Columbia accused me of being gay before I actually knew that I was," she recalled. "It was very offensive, but they were right." Warnecke now lives with her girlfriend in Edgewater.

The second major development was that her dance-writing career took off. She started reading dance blogs, particularly Dance Advantage, commenting regularly. The editor took note and asked her to be a contributing writer in 2010. She now also writes for The L Stop, and The Huffington Post as well as her own site and her blog, One Crafty Lady ( ).

For the past two years, she's co-curated an experimental artists' lab with a live audience called Produce. With the aid of two Russells (Tim Russell in 2011 and Russell Weiss in 2012), they pick local music and movement artists from an open call audition and pair them up in different combinations to see what will happen and then ask the audience for feedback. The goal is to create artistic mash-ups of people that otherwise would never meet. Warnecke said, "We thought, wouldn't it be interesting if we could get an audience in real-time to say what they're seeing, what they like and what they don't.

"There are so many choreographers that say they don't care what the audience thinks or they don't want them to understand, that they want them to form their own opinions. People don't do that; they want to understand. They go to the The Nutcracker because there is a story and it's accessible. This format gives the artist a chance to say that to the audience and the audience can choose to say 'that's really cool' or 'that's really lame, you should let us in more'."

Expect another round of Produce in 2013.

Looking forward to the coming year, Warnecke states her goal simply: "to keep my shit together." She will be participating in a collaborative dance show with Francesca Bourgault and other artists this spring. It will be a re-working of a nine-minute piece she created last May.

"I'm just getting into the studio to finish that piece," Warnecke said. "I used to be a firm believer in cranking out material really fast and I have the ability to do that, but I think as I've matured and my opportunities to present work have grown, time-wise, I've grown more patient and able to revisit things that are older and still be inspired by them. I'm excited to have a reason to work on it again."

This article shared 4884 times since Wed Jan 9, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Chicago Dancers United raises more than $365K at Dance for Life 2023-08-29
- Chicago Dancers United (CDU)—which supports the health and wellness of Chicago's professional dance community—welcomed 1,600 people to the 32nd annual Dance for Life on Aug. 19 at Auditorium Theatre, per ...

Gay News

Teen suspect arrested in killing of gay dancer 2023-08-05
- The New York Police Department arrested a suspect in the fatal stabbing of 28-year-old O'Shae Sibley, who was attacked last weekend at a Brooklyn gas station. According to The Advocate, Sibley, a professional dancer, had been ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Drag news, HIV-bias lawsuit, Disney, Brittney Griner, gay dancer 2023-08-04
- Swastika flag-toting neo-Nazis, some of them armed, were at a Wisconsin LGBTQ+ Pride celebration that included a drag show, The Advocate reported. Members of the neo-Nazi extremist group Blood Tribe joined other right-wing hate groups, like ...

Gay News

Billy Masters: Cattrall passive-aggressively returns just like that 2023-06-06
- "I kinda look like a 200-year-old pole dancer now! I don't think that's gonna happen, but thank you anyway." —Sylvester Stallone's response when Sherri Shepherd asks if he'll wear his tank top and booty shorts in ...

Gay News

ART on THE MART's summer programs include Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, Pride celebration 2023-05-11
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL — ART on THE MART, an innovative digital art project that transforms a Chicago architectural landmark into a larger-than-life canvas, will introduce two new commissions this summer. Building Light, a new projection by Gensler, ...

Gay News

South Chicago Dance Theatre to debut 'Memoirs of Jazz' on June 10 2023-05-09
--From a press release - (May 8, 2023) Through the 1960s and '70s, Jazz in the Alley on Chicago's South Side was a hotbed for jazz and a meeting place for some of the country's prominent musicians, visual artists, poets, activists, ...

Gay News

Artemis Singers presents June 10 "Better Times Will Come" Pride Concert and Dance 2023-05-03
--From a press release - CHICAGO─Artemis Singers, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will present "Better Times Will Come" Pride Concert & Dance, Saturday, June 10, at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave. ...

Gay News

Andersonville Midsommarfest to return June 9-11 in its 57th year 2023-04-30
--From a press release - CHICAGO (April 27, 2023) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to welcome summer with Andersonville Midsommarfest, one of Chicago's oldest and most beloved summer street festivals. Now in its 57th year, the ann ...

Gay News

Ballet review: Joffrey's Little Mermaid returns to darker original, a complex reflection on desire 2023-04-27
- The Little Mermaid Choreographer: John Neumeier; Score: Lera Auerbach. At: Joffrey Ballet at Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive. Tickets: 312-386-8905 or; $36-$200. Runs through April 30 It's likely that many parents bringing small ...

Gay News

House History: World-premiere musical was inspired by the early days of '80s house music 2023-04-18
- Gay composer Scott Free can rattle off the names of several documentaries celebrating the Chicago origins of house music. This style of electronic dance music was pioneered by Black DJs like Frankie Knuckles and Larry Heard ...

Gay News

Christopher Rudd's ballet Touche explores dynamics of gay love 2023-04-10
- Jamaican-born dance creator Christopher Rudd premieres his powerful choreography for Chicago audiences at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive, on April 14, 2023. The all-male partnering piece titled Touche is part of the ...

Gay News

Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project to present dance concert 'Sans Pareil' 2023-03-14
--From a press release - Deeply Rooted Dance Theater joins the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project again to take the stage in a dance concert entitled Sans Pareil—French for "unparalleled," a nod to the Haitian lineage of Chicago's founder, Jean-Baptiste Pointe ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Little Richard, Indigo Girls, Rodriguez's honor, dance film, Pedro Pascal 2023-03-10
Video below - Produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment for CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Rolling Stone Films, director Lisa Cortes' Sundance opening-night documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything will debut in theaters and on VOD ...

Gay News

Keep on Trockin': Ballet Trockadero dances through Chicago Feb. 11 2023-02-10
- Keep on Trockin': Ballet Trockadero dances through Chicago Feb. 11 By Matt Simonette Performer Duane Gosa admits that going to the ballet can sometimes be intimidating for some audience. But he is quick to reassure that ...

Gay News

CGMC to re-create music videos in drag with 'Lipstick & Lyrics: On MTV' 2023-02-10
--From a press release - CHICAGO—Chicago Gay Men's Chorus presents their annual live-singing drag show, Lipstick & Lyrics. This year's theme: On MTV. Come enjoy CGMC's drag performers as they recreate epic music videos. With dancers, costumes and sass, these live ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.