KTLA reporter Lauren Lyster’s passion may be journalism now, but when she was growing up in Irvine it was dance.

“It was just such a big part of growing up for me,” Lauren says. “I really feel like it was my biggest passion and, at the time, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else in my life, in that way, until I found journalism.”

Lauren’s dance career began when she was a child at Irvine Dance Academy, where she spent most of her time. In her teenage years, she joined Woodbridge High School’s prestigious dance team where she soared even under the trickiest circumstances.

“We’re at nationals, the biggest competition of the year. Right when the music starts, her strap on her dress breaks!” said Becky Haigh, Lauren’s former Woodbridge dance coach. “She danced the entire performance and I think they ended up winning first place.”

While dance played a big prole in Lauren’s childhood, her mom noticed her journalism skills early on.

“She had a tape recorder and would literally be on our front lawn interviewing children,” explains Stephanie Lyster, Lauren’s mom.

Stephanie said she was ecstatic when Lauren landed a reporter position at KTLA, as she would be joining the station’s long legacy.

Another big takeaway from Lauren’s Irvine upbringing are her lasting friendships.

“I have a close group of girlfriends that I have been friends with since middle school, one of them even elementary school,” she revealed. “So, we’ve known each other since we were 11 or 12, and they’re my best friends to this day.”

As for dance, Lauren says she only shows off her moves on special occasions.

“I do not dance anymore, except on the dance floor at weddings,” she says. “Now, my step kids are embarrassed by it and think I dance weird! I’m sad to say I don’t dance like I used to, at all.”

My Very Own Story series will air Thursdays at 8 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5 p.m.

Track the stories online at ktla.com/mystory.