Christine Smyth is a 2016 graduate of Ohio Connections Academy (OCA). At OCA, she was able to pursue her passion while receiving a high quality education. Learn more about Christine’s story below.
Christine began Irish dancing when she was very young as a tribute to her Irish father who passed away when she was two. She has since become an accomplished dancer who travels the world after qualifying for the World Irish Dancing Championships four years in a row. In 2014, she finished fourth at Nationals, and was among the top five dancers at Regionals for the past two years. At the World Championships, she was recalled to dance her final set dance round, which placed her amongst the top one-third of all the dancers. Christine then became a World Medal holder in the World Irish Championships in Scotland by finishing 9th out of more than 100 competitors.
Keeping up with her academic responsibilities and training schedule quickly became a difficult challenge. Once she came to OCA, Christine was able to adjust her schooling around her lifestyle. She says, “It was really hard to balance my school work with my training schedule and I often felt stressed trying to keep up. OCA offered a lot of flexibility and enabled me to move ahead at my own pace while traveling for competitions. Because the school is online and different than what people may be used to, they questioned me on the quality of the education, but I assured them that I was receiving a high-caliber education that met standard curriculum and test scores. The biggest difference is that I get an individualized education that meets my needs.”
Now a graduate, Christine appreciates that the instruction at OCA was tailored to her unique needs, and that the teachers were always available whenever she neededs help. She also enjoyed some of the more traditional aspects of OCA such as being a member of the National Honor society and helping to plan charity dances.
Connections Academy not only enabled Christine to manage her schedule, but it also helped her to become an independent, self-motivated learner—which will be a big advantage at John Carroll University where she is pursuing a business degree. She hopes to one day be an accredited Irish dance teacher and share her passion with upcoming champions and beginners alike.
Ohio Connections Academy offers a lot of flexibility and enabled me to move ahead at my own pace while traveling for competitions.