Maura M. is a high school student enrolled in Iowa Connections Academy (IACA). As a preprofessional dancer, Maura uses the flexibility of online school to balance her dance commitments with her education, without sacrificing academic quality. Maura shares her story below:
“I started dancing when I was ten years old, and as I’ve gotten older, my commitment and passion have soared. I currently train and teach at the School of Classical Ballet and Dance, while also dancing at Ballet Des Moines.
Though I’m not yet a professional dancer, I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside professional dancers at Ballet Des Moines and perform in their fall and winter shows, including The Nutcracker. I’ve also spent time dancing with the Tulsa Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, and I’ve trained for the Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest international dance competition.
My commitment to dance wouldn’t allow me to succeed in any other program. Connections Academy gives me the flexibility I need while also holding me accountable for my assignments.
What I enjoy most about Iowa Connections Academy is the ability to complete my assignments around my dance schedule. I’ve taken both honors and gifted and talented courses, and I work with my teachers to establish deadlines that fit with my schedule. I’ve also enrolled in several electives and take advantage of community college courses through Iowa Connections Academy’s Postsecondary Enrollment Options program.
My goal is to continue dancing beyond high school, so I attend summer ballet camps, where I hope to be recruited by professional dance companies. At the same time, the community college courses I’ve taken at Iowa Connections Academy have given me a head start for when I decide to pursue postsecondary education.”