Laura Gates grew up in a northwest suburb of Chicago. She holds degrees in Dance and Psychology from the University of Iowa where she was privileged to train with many gifted artists including Francoise Martinet, David Berkey, Linda Crist, Alicia Brown, and Alan Sener. In Chicago, she danced with Swallow Cliff Dance Company, Concert Dance, Inc., and several independent choreographers before joining Thodos Dance Chicago in 1999. Highlights of her six-year performance tenure with TDC include Dance for Life, an international tour to Turkey, and working with Broadway icon Ann Reinking and other renowned artists. Laura worked with Thodos Dance Chicago for 18 years. After retiring from performing she served the organization in various capacities including Rehearsal Director, Ballet Mistress, and Artistic Associate. In addition, she has been a Master Teacher for many local intensive programs including TDC, CNADM, Dance Masters of Wisconsin, Inaside Chicago Dance, Gus Giordano Dance School, the Illinois State Dance Festival, and the Midwest Cecchetti Council Ballet Workshop. Deeply committed to the art of dance, Laura has taught in the Chicago area for over twenty years.