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Shining Star

Lauren Dillard: A Driven and Talented Young Entrepreneur

CKW Luxe is proud to announce that Lauren Dillard is our honoree for the Shining Star Award. This award recognizes the young people who have made a significant impact on their community through innovation or entrepreneurship.

It shows our appreciation for those who start small and end up big letting their stars shine. “Be together but not the same.” – Lauren Dillard

Lauren’s quote came easily when asked what words she lives by. It sums her up nicely. Lauren has accomplished much through teamwork, polite persistence, and just being herself in her twelve years. And she has done it all with grace. Lauren is a Renaissance kid in every sense of the word. She cheers, writes poetry, teaches, coaches, has had her own in-school network anchor position, and is an entrepreneur. Her true passion is dance in all its forms, including modern, contemporary, jazz, and ballet. Currently, a Vanguard/Magnet student at John J. Pershing Middle School, Lauren maintains her excellent academic record while excelling in dance and extra-curricular activities.

Lauren began dancing at the age of two. When she was three, she joined the Debbie Allen Dance Company (DADA) for summer intensives. Her passion for dance was clearly evident in her first performance, which was held at the Wortham Theatre, where she danced in front of a large audience, with Debbie Allen in attendance. After the performance, Lauren’s instructor told her parents she was a true leader and was born to dance. The phrase has stayed with her and motivated her ever since. By the time she was four, Lauren was cheering for Prodigy All-Star Baby Blues, performing regularly with them at the George R. Brown Convention Center and the NRG Stadium. During her first year on the team, Lauren won the coveted Spirit Award.

While at Lockhart Elementary School, Lauren and some of her classmates formed the school’s first cheer pep squad. As its first captain, she led the 13-member squad to numerous competition wins and won Best All Around for two consecutive years. By the end of second grade, Lauren was accepted into the school’s award-winning varsity cheer squad, which usually doesn’t accept members before third grade. 

It was a feat that had only been accomplished twice before. While simultaneously cheering for the Cy-Fair Ravens, Lauren competed in numerous cheer competitions at school. In addition to being the youngest cheerleader to make the A team, Lauren won Best Performance at the HYACC Regional
Competition in San Marcos. She was also the only cheerleader presented with one of six Best Athlete Awards in 2010.

In third grade, maintaining her A average and perfect attendance, Lauren was voted Class/Student Council President by her peers. When not accepted into the older students’ dance group,
because of her age, to compete in the school talent show, Lauren demonstrated the determination that has come to define her. She put together her own dance group and choreographed the performance. The group won first place. As well as being voted the Best All-Around Girl by her teachers, Lauren won the coveted Principal’s Award that year.

The following year brought with it many other successes. Leading the way once again, Lauren became the first fourth grader to make varsity captain of the cheer squad and was voted Class/Student Council President for the second time.

She was also inducted into the Elementary Honor Society and voted fourth-grade queen of her class. As the first lead anchor of the school’s televised news program (WLES), Lauren covered news events around the school. She also put together stories while anchoring the program. In the same year, Lauren had a poem published in the HISD special writer’s collection, and was invited to read it at a special reception for students included in the collection. With a modified dance group, Lauren also won the talent show for the second time in a row.

By the time she was ten, Lauren was coaching the pep squad she had helped start, choreographing the routines for the junior varsity squad, and leading the varsity cheer squad as captain for the second consecutive year. Her entrepreneurial spirit became evident when she choreographed the cheer tryout routine, filmed herself, copied the DVDs, and sold them to parents so their daughters could get extra practice. Once again, even with all her extra-curricular activities, Lauren maintained her A average and perfect attendance and received the Principal’s Award for the third consecutive year, setting a school record.

In order to pursue her passion to dance, Lauren auditioned for, and was accepted into, the Pershing
Middle School Dance Magnet program. She also enrolled in the Alvin Ailey Dance Intensive and began taking classes at the Movement Lab the summer before sixth grade, making Company Team and Quantum Leap. Hand-picked to join Pershing’s Dance Company after only six weeks of school, Lauren was named captain for the 2016- 2017 year by the end of sixth grade. This was a first for an incoming seventh grader at Pershing. Lauren also received numerous awards, including Critics Pick 6th Grade and Directors Award, 2016.

While dancing with Quantum Leap, Lauren has performed at a number of venues in Houston, including Discovery Green, the MATCH, and Jones Hall. Lauren won student of the month during her first month at the studio. By the end of sixth grade, she received the Junior Dancer of the Year award. As a testament to her talent, Lauren was personally invited to open for Grammy Nominee Chris Mitchell with a jazz duet at a concert at the Wortham Theater.

After only a month of being accepted into Pershing Middle School’s 2016-2017 cheer squad, Lauren was selected to try out for a spot on the Universal Cheer Association (UCA) All-American team. Thousands of girls across the nation compete for the 300 available spots. Lauren made the team and performed in the Thanksgiving Day Parade with the other members. To cap off an already successful year, Lauren performed in the Orlando, Florida Citrus Bowl on December 31, 2016.

CKW Luxe would like to congratulate Lauren Dillard on being the Shining Star Award honoree. As the embodiment of the award, Lauren has led the way for her peers to participate in the activities they believe in by guiding them and by creating venues for them when they weren’t available. As an entrepreneur, Lauren found a way to help cheer squad hopefuls get more practice. And as a determined artist, Lauren hasn’t let anything get in the way of her goals. She completely understands that to whom much is given, much is expected.

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