headshot photo of Brandee Lara

Brandee Lara

College of Performing Arts; Department of Dance
Office Location: Partridge Dance Center


Brandee began her professional stage career regionally and on tour in such shows as 42nd Street, Anything Goes, and George M! Other performing credits include film (Pennies from Heaven), television (Days of Our Lives), and many industrials for companies like Dr. Pepper, Honda, 7-11 Stores and many others. She recently returned to the stage in George M! (opposite Tony award winner Sammy Williams), as the tap dancing Sister Mary Hubert in Nunsense, and even as Mrs. Claus in Jolly Holly Holiday. She has enjoyed success as an award-winning director and choreographer in major regional productions of Man of La Mancha, West Side Story, Forever Plaid, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cabaret, Pippin and many more.

Brandee holds a masters degree in Dance and a bachelors degree in Theatre, both from CSULB, and has taught tap at Chapman University since 1997.  She has also been on the faculty at Golden West College and Irvine Valley College, as well as teaching at various dance studios and conventions. She was awarded the Golden West College Pillar of Achievement in 2013; was named a Teacher of the Year in 1991 and appeared multiple times in Who's Who Among America's Teachers.  She is the Orange County representative to the International Tap Association and a regular contributor to On Tap magazine, and worked at the LA Tap Fest from 2003-2013, and continues to work for Chloe and Maud Productions at the DC Tap Fest each spring. Her own dance studies began in the Los Angeles area with Melvin Kaiser, Mary Lou Privette and Al Gilbert. She studied jazz with Jaime Rogers, among others, and had the opportunity to study rhythm tap privately with Maceo Anderson, of the legendary Four Step Brothers.

Dance Teacher magazine recently awarded Brandee the 2015 Dance Teacher Award for Higher Education for her work at Chapman University.