Lauren Jamieson is the very definition of a successful multi-hyphenate and is a certified #GirlBoss. After discovering her love for dance at the age of 16 and going to a prestigious dance school; Lauren has never looked back. Today, she balances a professional dancing career, performing with Keala Settle and Nicole Scherzinger, a modelling career, yoga, and founding her own business, The Wedding Steps Company.
What started as a few private sessions helping couples with their first dance, soon became a full-fledged business with features on the pages of Vogue and Brides Magazine. The first dance is such an integral part of the wedding, and yet wedding dance lessons weren’t really heard off back when Lauren first began her journey. With The Wedding Steps company, Lauren teaches couples to take ownership of their first dance, and create truly unforgettable wedding moments. How does Lauren balance it all? According to her, keeping yourself motivated and having an empowering support group makes all the difference in the world. Amen to that!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you fall in love with dance? What inspired you to start Wedding Steps?
My name is Lauren, I am 26 and originally from Glasgow. I am a dancer, model, yoga instructor and I have recently started my own business, The Wedding Steps Company.
I started dancing around the age of 16. I loved it because it was a social time with my friends and when I started to advance and moved to a more prestigious dance school, that is when I really fell in love with it. Dancing felt very natural to me and I was always so keen to learn different styles and try new things. When I was dancing, I could be completely myself and that was a safe haven for me. When I eventually started performing, I knew that I wanted to make a living from being on stage. The build up to preparing for a show and the buzz you feel when performing, there is truly nothing like it.
I was travelling for 8 months on a dance contract, I would perform shows at night and sometimes, during the day, I would teach basic ballroom classes. I use to have a few couples stay behind and ask for help with their first dance, and that’s where the idea for my business came from. When I came home from the contract, I attended a few weddings that summer. I couldn’t believe how admittedly uncomfortable some couples felt. For the younger generation especially, it was almost as though it was an embarrassing time and the bridal party couldn’t join them quick enough.
Wedding dance lessons weren’t really a thing back then. The first dance is such a beautiful moment, you can create an atmosphere and set the tone for the rest of the night and it also gives the couple a chance to express themselves and have fun. The Wedding Steps Company gives couples the opportunity to make the most out of their first dance. It invites them to be creative, be themselves, and celebrate their marriage, I am really passionate about that and I think every first dance should be a first dance to remember.
Aside from Wedding Steps, you’re also a model, yoga instructor, and just came back from Abu Dhabi with Nicole Scherzinger and Keala Settle. How do you balance it all?
It is definitely quite difficult, but I think being strict with time management has really helped me. In the beginning, I struggled to fit everything in and as a result, I never had any downtime for myself. I was still doing emails and dancing about the flat just before going to bed. I was constantly on, thinking whats next, which then resulted in me not sleeping very well. After a period of time, it kind of got on top of me a little bit.
If you allow situations like that to carry on for too long, you can lose the love for what you are doing. So I was quite fortunate to catch that early and just learn to utilise my time, I am currently replying to you whilst I am having my hair done for a show I am walking in tonight for opportunity. Don’t get me wrong, I do have times where I just don’t want to do anything, or nights when I need to stay up late to manage everything, but during times like that, reminding myself of why I started and what I am working towards, helps me stay motivated and pull through... and some berocca ha!
What’s next for you and Wedding Steps? Any exciting projects we should know about?
I have a few exciting things that I am working on at the moment. Something that I would really like to do before the end of the year is offer a number of group sessions in different dance styles. A one to one dance class may not suit everyone. Couples who haven’t danced before would maybe prefer an introduction to see if dance lessons are for them. I think it is a really inviting environment and a perfect opportunity to have more people involved and encourage couples to try something new. Also this year, The Wedding Steps has been approached by a few magazines, some of which I was over the moon to hear from, a dream come true! Working with titles like Vogue and Brides to help spread the word about The Wedding Steps and what we offer is a great step forward for the company and something I am so excited about.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as an entrepreneur so far?
Balancing four different jobs is a challenge. I personally have a lot of dreams and goals within modelling and dancing and it is so important to me to work towards them everyday, I never want to look back and have any regrets. At the same time, I want to focus on The Wedding Steps, grow the company and involve more people. When I am faced with opportunities that clash or if I know I don’t have the time to manage the workload, that can be really frustrating and making a decision on whats best at the time can be really difficult. I would never want to put myself in the position of not being able to do the job to the best of my ability. Based on that and what my prioritise are, I sometimes have to miss out on things or say no to something that I really want to say yes too. I feel a lot of pressure to make the right decision, so when a time like that comes around, it’s a challenge in how to manage it.
What advice do you have for women who would like to become a GirlBoss like yourself?
I would say having a really supportive group around me has had a huge positive influence on me. It can be quite daunting starting something new; and learning as you go and making mistakes is inevitable. But having a group around me that constantly build me up, giving me confidence and encouragement, especially in the times when I am doubting myself, makes such a difference.
I am so grateful for my friends and family, especially my brother and my boyfriend who have been with me every step. Celebrating the milestones along the way with them has made all the hard work so worth it. Aside that, I often ask myself, ‘What would I do, if I wasn’t worried about failing?‘ I read that in and book once and it has really stuck with me. Whatever the answer is, no matter how far out of my comfort zone it is, I work towards that.