Lara Branen-Ahumada received her Bachelor's & Master's Degrees in Dance from the University of Colorado (CU) in Boulder. She has served on the dance faculty at Santa Rosa Junior College since 1988. At SRJC Lara directed dance productions from 1995 through 2016 (primarily with her friend and colleague Susan Matthies). She also choreographed 18 SRJC musicals including West Side Story, Cabaret, Guys & Dolls, Beauty & the Beast, and Anything Goes. She started her dance studies in ballet at Colorado College in Colorado Springs at the age of 12. She was trained extensively in modern dance while at CU including residencies in Graham, Cunningham and Hawkins techniques. During and after her undergrad dance studies at CU, she trained in jazz with Joe Tremaine in Los Angeles, Ed Mock and Ann Marie Garvin in San Francisco, and lived in NYC for a year to study with her primary mentor, Lynn Simonson. Lara is the Founder and Director of the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop held annually at CU and Artistic Director of resident dance company Interweave Dance Theatre (IDT). Lara received the "Colorado Living Legends of Dance" award in 2018 for her accomplishments with BJDW & IDT.