From prima ballerina to patrol deputy


Photo courtesy of Darrell Hoemann

Prima Ballerina Lauren Frost leaps above her fellow ballerinas during a ballet performance for C-U Ballet. Frost has recently made a career change in accepting a position of patrol deputy at Champaign County Sheriff’s Department.

By A. Oishii Basu, Contributing Writer


Frost during her swearing ceremony in September. (Photo courtesy of Kay Green

Before Lauren Frost found her call to action in public service, she was called to the stage. Frost, who graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in psychology, as well as Parkland College with a degree in criminal justice, also happened to be Champaign Urbana Ballet’s prima ballerina assoluta, serving as the sugar plum fairy in the Nutcracker for three years.

From the age of six or seven, Frost said she took to dance and finding a place to pursue it. 

“When I turned 10 or 11, I fell in love with Champaign Ballet Academy … the discipline of it and the performance for other people, bringing joy to them through such a beautiful art form,” Frost said.

She rose through the ranks of CU Ballet with her role as Clara, leading her to be the company’s principal dancer. Kay Greene, executive director of CU Ballet, said Frost “was determined, and she had goals. She was focused, and her hard work paid off. She was such a wonderful mentor for the younger girls.”

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    In a career transformation, Frost recently accepted the position of patrol deputy at Champaign County Sheriff’s Department. She said she is training at the University of Illinois Police Training Institute until December, adding that she will complete a 20-week field officer program soon after.

    “What better way to give back than being a public servant,” Frost said.

    Frost added that ballet and police work have both brought her closer to the community. She also said that she stayed in Champaign for police work because she felt CU Ballet and the surrounding community had treated her so well. 

    Frost said she believes that ballet has also served the community by educating the public on this art form.

    “Performing at (Krannert Center for the Performing Arts) is such a blessing … Not a lot of companies around this community are allowed to perform with such great costumes and props and environments where they can have people from such a big community come together and enjoy such a beautiful art form,” Frost said.

    Now, Frost connects this to being in a uniform rather than a stage costume.

    “Being able to go out everyday and meet someone new and learn something different is a huge thing to me,” Frost said.

    Civil service runs in the Frost family. Frost’s father retired from his role as deputy chief of the University of Illinois Police Department in 2016. Her mother also works in telecommunications at METCAD, a local public safety dispatch center. Both of Frost’s brothers are in the Air Force. 

    “Overall, my role models would be my mom and my dad,” Frost said. “I just have so much respect for them and what they do. They are just the most amazing people I’ve ever met.”

    Frost said meeting the people she trains alongside is her favorite thing about the institute. Most training days are 15 hours for her, requiring physical training and classes from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    “Ballet has really helped me prepare for this kind of training,” Frost said. “There are a lot of similar aspects. It’s a lot of staying focused, having time management, being disciplined, (and) being very motivated.”

    Still, dance has not left her life, and Frost admits that she misses that part of her world very much. She said that in her free time, she visits the CU Ballet and the Champaign Ballet Academy to teach young dancers. 

    “She shines a light, and I’m quite confident she probably has the strongest core of anyone in the Sheriff’s department,” Greene said.


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