Laura Gates grew up in a northwest suburb of Chicago. She holds degrees in Dance and Psychology from the University of Iowa. Professionally, she danced with Swallow Cliff Dance Company, Concert Dance Inc., and several independent choreographers before joining Thodos Dance Chicago.  During her six-year tenure as a TDC dancer, she performed locally, nationally, and internationally and worked with many renowned artists including Broadway icon Ann Reinking.  Laura went on to serve TDC for twelve more years as Ballet Mistress, Rehearsal Director and Artistic Associate.  Laura has been on the faculty of many local intensive programs and has been a guest artist at numerous high schools and universities. A proud member of the Chicago dance community for over 20 years, Laura is passionately committed to the art of dance and furthering dance education.