A Shellharbour dance teacher who grew up in Kiama is turning heads internationally for her acting after starring in an outback thriller about a young American couple lost in the wilderness and fighting for survival.
Lauren Lofberg, 25, has taught hundreds of children at Dance Sensations during the last decade while at the same time securing a diverse range of acting roles.
Her latest feature film Outback was shot in 2017 and then spent 12 months in post production before first being shown at Monster Fest in Melbourne in 2019.
Lofberg was looking forward to the cinema release and premiere in 2020 but COVID-19 prevented that from happening.
Which prompted Dance Sensations owner Amanda Barr to host a screening in her backyard with a blow-up screen to give Lofberg the experience of a premiere with her family and friends.
"It was a bit sad not to have the big cinema release where all my friends could come and watch it. But it was really nice that my boss Amanda put one on for me," Lofberg said.
"She has always been super supportive of my acting and lets me go to auditions and is happy to cover for me if I need to miss work to go on set or location.
"I have always been really appreciative that she lets me teach here and also lets me do my other passion which is performing on stage and in film."
Mrs Barr can still recall the first day Lofberg arrived at the dance school as an eight-year-old student.
She said she now teaches 25 classes a week and it was great to see her in her latest acting role.
"It was an absolutely amazing movie. And we thought this was a great way to celebrate her success."
Outback was first released in the United States and has now been distributed widely on DVD and digital platforms in Australia.
Lofberg plays the lead role of Lisa Sachs in the story of a young couple hoping to recharge their failing romance. But when their GPS fails, they leave their car and head off on foot to find a new route. As night falls, they must spend the night in the bush without food, water, or weapons, surrounded by snakes, scorpions and wild dogs.
Lofberg said the film industry did go quiet earlier this year with COVID-19 but things were starting to pick up again.
"It is really cool to see the number of US productions casting here at the moment," she said.
"They can't film over there so it makes sense for them to come to film here. And they are casting a lot of Australian actors which is really cool."
Lofberg is keen to make the most of any opportunity that comes her way during this time.
"Because I sing, dance and act I would love to do something that combines all three. I would love to do a musical film," she said.
"I would like to do some action movies as well so I can use some of my gymnastics and acrobatic training.
"But mostly I want a nice sustainable career where I can still teach and perform.
"I can't say what I am doing next but there are definitely things in the pipeline which is really exciting.
"I have been very blessed to have been consistently booked over the last few years."
Lofberg said she started dancing when she was very young and studied the performing arts at The Village Performing Arts Centre after graduating from Kiama High School.
She doesn't want to stop doing what she loves at Dance Sensations.
"I have always had a passion for teaching younger students," she said.
"They are so cute and funny and recently I took over the role of managing the preschool department.
"The children and their families have always been really supportive of my career.
"Some of my students came to watch a production of Cinderella I did a year or so ago."
Outback is available on DVD, iTunes, Foxtel, Google Play and Microsoft.
Lauren Lofberg filmography:
- Miscreation (Short) Holly Masters 2019
- Outback 2019
- Restoration 2018
- Dirt (Short) 2018
- SunkesariEmma 2017
- Nancy (Short) 2017
- Sheltered (Short) 2017
- The Affair (Short) 2017
- Friday on My Mind (TV Mini-Series) Episode #1.1 2017
- Academy (TV Series) in the episodes Family, Direction, Life, Growth and Time in 2017
- Back in the Game (TV Series) The Day at the Beach, The Wink and Fifth Wheeling in 2017
- Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story (TV Mini-Series) Channel 9 Episode #1.1 2013
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