Meet Our Director

Lauren Cook

Lauren is a professional dance artist, educator, the owner and director of The Cornerstone Studio and Artistic Director of Alias Dance Project, a Toronto based contemporary dance company. Lauren has performed, curated, produced, and taught at a wide variety of professional organizations, festivals, cultural events, and educational institutions across Canada.

Lauren graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Performance Dance from Ryerson University in 2005, after which she had the opportunity to dance in works created by Darryl Tracy, David Earle, Heidi Strauss, and Emmanuel Jouthe.

In 2007, Lauren co-founded Alias Dance Project alongside 5 other women. With Alias, Lauren has performed in works developed and commissioned by award-winning choreographers including Solid State Breakdance, Valerie Calam, Emmanuelle Le Phan, Heidi Strauss, Mate Meszaros, Allen Kaeja, Troy Feldman, Gadfly, Hanna Kiel, and others. In 2012 Lauren became Alias’ Artistic Director. As Artistic Director, Lauren shifted Alias’ focus to presenting her own distinct choreographic creations. As a choreographer, Lauren has created over 20 unique works with Alias, and elsewhere as a commissioned artist.

Lauren created Pivotal Motion Dance Theatre (PMDT), Alias’ youth performance company, in 2009. As Co-Artistic Director of PMDT, Lauren brought together more than 50 young dance artists between the ages of 8 and 17, working with commissioned choreographers to create and develop full-length theatre productions. Through 3 successful seasons, PMDT students had the opportunity to work with renowned Toronto artists, including William Yong, Andrea Nann, Jessica Runge, Jasmyn Fyffe, Heidi Strauss, and others. 

With Alias, Lauren created and produced 4 International Summer Dance Intensive programs, drawing on world-renowned dance and movement artists including Peter Jasko, Mate Meszaros, Frankie J., Monsta Pop, Venom, Toyin, Laura Aris, Roberto Olivan, and many others. The International Summer Dance Intensive elevated the Toronto dance scene to the international eye and brought together hundreds of pre-professional and professional dance artists from across the globe.

Since 2014, Lauren has worked with the Toronto District School Board, Peel District School Board and Prologue to the Performing Arts as a Professional Development workshop leader for educators and as an instructor and creative mentor for students in Grades 1 -12. Lauren has taught at pre-professional training programs, led professional dance classes, and has been commissioned to create works for CODE, PULSE, GMD, Kaeja D’Dance, Ryerson School of Performance, George Brown Dance Program, and others.

As a freelance arts educator, Lauren has also been teaching dance at Ryerson University’s School of Performance since 2016. Lauren was given the opportunity to develop her own original movement curriculum with the Ryerson Dance BFA students, educating them through her personal contemporary dance practice and aesthetic.

Cornerstone embodies Lauren’s commitment to providing a space for fostering a healthy love of dance and movement for kids of all ages in her own local community.

Meet the rest of the team