Founder + Executive Director
Lauren Beasley was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, where she took her first dance class at the young age of three. For as long as she can remember, dance has brought joy into her life in a way that nothing else could. In 2012, Lauren received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. Post college, she moved to New York City, where she was first introduced to a dance non-profit that offered free dance classes to young women in the community of East Harlem. Lauren felt so inspired by the concept of bringing dance into a group of people's lives who wouldn’t otherwise have it. Her eyes were opened to this need and she began to realize that dance had been woven into her life's purpose for a reason. Lauren believes that everyone, no matter their circumstances, should be given the opportunity to experience the joy that dance has brought into her own life. She spent the next few years researching and developing the idea of a dance program designed specifically for individuals with special needs, and in 2018, she felt ready to make it happen. Between working as the full time Operations Manager of Pure Barre Nashville and as a teacher at Nashville Dance Center, Lauren had to find a creative way to put this idea into action. By designing a program that is strictly project based, she would be able to have all three of her passions coexist in her schedule at the same time, and thus, The Project was born.
Originally from Mobile, Alabama, Megan Jayroe has always striven to bring the joy of movement to others. After 14 years of enjoying dance herself, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. Megan began her years of teaching at a high school in Mobile, Alabama. There, she taught dance classes that were inclusive of all needs and she was inspired to continue her journey of teaching by receiving a Master of Education in Special Education from USM. Megan is currently teaching as a Special Educator in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and is able to bring the joy of movement into the general and special education of all ages and abilities daily. Megan is thrilled to be able to partner with The Project and share her love of teaching dance to the Nashville area.