Lauren Cuthbertson was born in Devon, England in 1984. She began studying dance at a local dance school run by Pamela De Waal (now the Buckingham Dance Studios in Paignton), becoming focused on classical ballet when she was offered a place on the Royal Ballet School's Junior Associate Programme. As a Junior Associate, she took part in weekly classes based on the Royal Ballet School training system. These are held in major cities throughout the United Kingdom, for young dancers who show a particular aptitude for ballet.
Cuthbertson later auditioned successfully for a permanent place at the Royal Ballet School based at White Lodge, Richmond Park. She attended the school from the age of 11-16 and was then offered a place to further her training at the upper school from the age of 16-17. She joined The Royal Ballet in February 2002, dancing as a member of the Corps de Ballet. She was promoted to soloist in September 2003, first soloist in September 2006 and then principal in June 2008. The position of principal is the highest rank in the ballet company and identifies her as one of the leading dancers.
Cuthbertson's awards include:
- Arts and Culture Women of the Future Award 2007
- Varna International Ballet Competition (Silver) 2006
- Critics Circle Award, Outstanding Classical Artist Nominated for The Southwark Newcomer Award 2004
- Adeline Genée Award (Silver)
- Young British Dancer of the Year (Gold)
- Dame Ninette de Valois Award 2001–2002
- Phyllis Bedell Prize Lynn Seymour Award for Expressive Dance Young British Dancer of the Year (Silver) 2000