Sera Bryce, a full-time Grade 10 student at Virtual High School, has known that she wanted to pursue a career in dance since she was a little girl. She even has “dance parents” for role models! Martine Lusignan and John Ottmann, both with extensive resumes in the dance world themselves, began coaching Sera when she was 7. She then began training professionally at the age of 10, and now at 16 she’s immensely talented in the areas of ballet and contemporary dance. However, Sera is quick to point out that Martine and John are much more than her coaches, as they’ve helped to shape her not just as a dancer, but also as a person.
In order to keep up with her hectic and demanding training schedule, Sera turned to Virtual High School for her education. She found it difficult to balance her dance classes and workouts with a traditional school timetable:
“I decided to enrol at VHS because I needed my schooling to be more flexible in order to pursue the career path that I chose.”
The remarkable part about Sera’s decision to switch from a bricks-and-mortar school to the asynchronous, online model at VHS is that she saw a drastic difference in her marks. At VHS, she’s able to focus on her coursework and complete assignments when it best suits her lifestyle. She’s not rushed to meet deadlines or required to attend classes at set times each day, so she can develop a routine that fits with her dance commitments:
“I never really knew that I had the potential to get good marks until I joined VHS. I’m so thankful that VHS fosters this online program where I’m able to get good marks while following my dream.”
She’s discovered that her two favourite subjects (outside of dance, of course) are visual arts and geography. Sera loves to develop personal works of art that are inspired by her emotions at that very moment of creation. She credits her love of geography to Mr. Ed Sommerville, one of Virtual High School’s longest tenured and most respected teachers:
“I loved that even with online learning, he was so involved in my progress and overall success in the course. His feedback every time was super detailed, but it made me smile every time I read it. He believed that I could succeed, and therefore I believed it too.”
In her free time, Sera likes to watch movies, draw, paint, create music, cook, and exercise. She absolutely loves being near the water, so she can often be found swimming. Once the pandemic is over, she’s looking forward to getting back into the dance studio and seeing all of her friends again. Sera is also interested in adding some volunteering to her life and has her heart set on helping out at a local animal shelter in Toronto. We LOVE to see students giving back to their communities, and it’s especially rewarding when the recipients of that kindness are adorable pets in need.
Sera’s ultimate goal is to earn a position with a dance company in Europe. In fact, she’s already started to compile her applications and video auditions! Ever mindful of the strain and toll that a dance career can have on the body, Sera can also see herself becoming a marine biologist or physiotherapist after she’s completed her dancing resume. As a physiotherapist, she feels that she’d be uniquely qualified to understand exactly what the other athletes would be going through with their training schedules and injuries.
We have no doubt that with her wonderful talent, perseverance, and passion, Sera will achieve all of her dance dreams and more. Hopefully, we’ll have front row seats when you make it up onto the big stage in Paris, Sera!