Lari Lawrence-Gist

Director of Dance

Director of Dance earned her B.A. in Dance from Western Michigan University.  Lari has toured the country as well as countries around the world performing in modern and jazz works choreographed by Hollis Johnson, Lindsey Thomas, Marlo Martin and some of her own works as well.  After college, she lived, studied, and worked in New York until a commissioned work brought her back to Michigan and while in residency, she took a job serving as interim director of the Berrien County Dancers.  It was then she began working for Eileen Cropley at the Citadel Dance Center, and decided to stay in Michigan after her directorship with BCD had ended.  Lari began working extensively in the community for organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor, Children’s Music Workshop, and high schools across Southwest Michigan choreographing musicals, concert pieces, and teaching all forms of dance.

Lari founded her company, The Stage Project, in 2005, fusing talent from across Southwest Michigan in shows written to inform audiences about the history of American forms of music and dance. She folded that company into the Citadel Dance Company when she took over directorship in 2008.  Lari has directed Dance programs at Everett Performing Arts Magnet High School and Benton Harbor High School, and is a co-director of B.E.S.T. Musical Theatre Workshop.