LDS Staff

Renée Quickstad

Owner and Director

Renée is a graduate of Montclair State University receiving a BFA in Dance, a BA in Family and Child Studies with a concentration in Family Services, and a Minor in Psychology. Renée began her dance training at Laura’s Dance Studio at the age of three. She studied Ballet, Pointé, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre and Hip Hop.  Renée went on to further her concentration in Ballet and Pointé at the Mill Ballet School in Lambertville, NJ and New Jersey School of Ballet in Livingston, NJ. She danced with New Jersey Ballet Company for three years as a member of their Junior Company. Renée performed in productions of "Don Quixote", "The Nutcracker", and in NJB's 2012 Gala performing in theatres throughout New Jersey such as Mayo PAC, Bergen PAC, Middle Township Performing Arts Center, and NJPAC.

At MSU Renée trained in Ballet and Modern. She also studied improvisation, choreography, dance history, Laban movement analysis, rhythmic analysis, anatomy & physiology, pedagogy, and repertory. As a member of Montclair State University Dance Repertory Company, Renée performed works by leading choreographers including Frederick Earl Mosley and Martha Graham. She also performed at the Martha Graham Studio Theatre in NYC.

In recent years, Renée has further developed her dance training by learning Bollywood and other forms of Indian dance. She has performed professionally with Kavi’s School of Dance in numerous events throughout New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut.  Renée will continue performing and expanding her dance repertoire to extend her experiences and knowledge to her students.

Renée’s teaching experience includes Ballet, Pointé, Lyrical, Modern, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Jazz. During her time at MSU, Renée taught dance at Oasis, A Haven for Women and Children in Paterson, NJ. As Oasis' Dance Coordinator she developed and established a curriculum for the inception of the Oasis Dance Program, teaching children ages 8-13 hip hop/jazz. Renée is entering her third year as director/owner of Laura's Dance Studio. She feels it is the students’ joy, desire, and love of dance that inspires her creativity each year. Renée is committed to offering students her knowledge and passion for dance.

Laura Quickstad Draus

Founder and Former Director

Laura began her dance training at the age of eight. She studied Ballet, Jazz, and Tap. She began intensively training in ballet at the New Jersey School of Ballet in West Orange, NJ. Laura went on to recieve a scholarship at the School of American Ballet and was asked to join ABT's Ballet Repertory Company now known as ABT 2. She spent three years dancing in association with American Ballet Theatre in NYC. As a member of Ballet Repertory she danced in the 1979 film "Hair" under the choreographic direction of Twyla Tharp. Following Laura's professional dance performing career, she began teaching for several local studios in NJ. During this time she found her love for teaching and desire to open her own studio. As owner/director of Laura's Dance Studio for 31 years, Laura has offered her passion for dance and devotion for teaching to her students.

Dance Training:

Zena Rommett Studio, Dance Association Ltd., 70 West 34th Street, New York City, Morelli Ballet Inc., 69 West 14th Street, New York City, Mme. Darvash Ballet Studio, 1845 Broadway, New York City, Jurgen Schneider, Ballet Master (Private Training), American Ballet Theatre, 3 W. 61st St.,New York City, School of American Ballet Scholarship -3 years in association with American Ballet Theatre, New York City, New Jersey School of Ballet, West Orange, New Jersey.

Christy Quickstad


Christy began her dance training at Laura’s Dance Studio at the age of two, concentrating on Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre and Hip Hop. During the summers, Christy attended several Rockette Intensives in Pittsburgh, PA and NYC. Christy went on to study at Rider University where she received a degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Dance as well as a degree in Journalism. At Rider, Christy continued her dance instruction at the Princeton Ballet School where she took classes in Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Pilates, and World Dance. Christy performed in several dance concerts through Rider’s dance program and appeared as a featured dancer in Rider University’s production of the Broadway show Sweet Charity. Her teaching experience includes teaching Hip Hop & Jazz at Laura's Dance Studio and at Oasis, A Haven for Women and Children in Paterson, NJ. Christy creatively combines her music theater background, love of performance and different dance styles to choreograph a thematic ensemble number each year.

Jessica Lombardi


Jessica Lombardi is excited to return to Laura's Dance Studio!  She brings years of performance experience to the classroom with professional credits that include Graziella in the European Tour of West Side Story, Anytime Annie (42nd Street), Mitzi and Dance Captain (Crazy for You), and Texas (Cabaret). Others include:  La Cage Aux Folles, Damn Yankees, Grease, & Little Women.  Off Broadway, Jessica was seen in Marcus is Walking, Cotton Girls, The Brothers Menaechmus, Lives of the Great Waitresses, Spooktacular 2000, & The Great Debate.  She also danced the original choreography for PBS’s special of A Chorus Line (Naples Philharmonic).  She choreographed/directed a mainstage production of Chicago (Otterbein College) as well as dance sequences for Snow White and the 7 Dwaves (Cleveland Signstage). Recently, Jessica choreographed Violet  and Elf Jr. for the Summit Playhouse and Honk!  for Wharton Institute of the Performing Arts. She received her B.F.A. in Acting from Otterbein College. Jessica lives in Berkeley Heights, NJ, with her husband Lou, two beautiful daughters, Sara and Sophia, and their dog, Charlie.

© 2013 by Laura's Dance Studio