Archetypes: Lauren Wilmore
Archetypes are off-the-cuff interviews with St. Louis’ most inspiring, well-known personalities based on the 19th century Parisian parlor game known as the Proust Questionnaire.
An interview with Lauren Wilmore, dancer, social entrepreneur and executive director of St. Louis Dancing Classrooms, which strives to promote social awareness, teamwork and self-esteem in children through ballroom dance. Wilmore cofounded the company in 2008 as a way to empower St. Louis youth; she also works as an instructor at COCA and Flavor Dance Studio.
What is your current frame of mind?
A little spacey.
When and where are you happiest?
When drinking bubble tea, and while dancing.
What is your favorite smell? Rose.
What is one word that describes you?
What did you eat for breakfast today?
Nutella and pretzel sticks.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“LOL,” “Dangit” and “ecosystem.”
What is your most marked characteristic?
What is your greatest weakness?
Besides Nutella, not ever being linear in thought.
What trait do you most admire in others?
Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
Jesus and Latin music.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would like to be a person with wisdom.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being founder and director of St. Louis Dancing Classrooms.
Which living person do you most admire?
My mother. She embodies strength and perseverance.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Josephine Baker and Celia Cruz.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, who or what would it would be?
A diamond. They are sparkly, strong and last forever [laughs].
What is your most treasured possession?
After having my Mac stolen and surviving, I don’t have an object that I couldn’t do without.
What is your greatest extravagance?
What is your greatest fear?
On what occasion do you lie?
I’m actually very honest, especially when one of my girlfriends is trying on a bad dress.
Who are your favorite writers?
Gabriel García Márquez and Zora Neale Hurston.
Which dancers do you admire most?
Katherine Dunham, Josephine Baker, Griselle Ponce and Peta Murgatroyd (from “Dancing with the Stars”).
What is your favorite hobby?
Turning people into Salsa addicts.
Where would you like to live?
Who are your heroes in real life?
All of the women in my family.
If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
President Obama. He’s good looking, smart and the president.
What’s something interesting that you just learned?
That life needs to be seen as an adventure and a mystery.
What are you most looking forward to?
To see St. Louis become as amazing as I know it has the potential to be.
What is something you still want to learn?
Several languages. At the top of my list are Portuguese and Arabic.
What is one thing you want to do before you die?
Skydiving. It will put things in perspective and give me serious bragging rights.
If you could say something to your younger self, what would it be?
Believe in yourself, and stay faithful in the small things.
Photo credit: Wesley Law