Meet Anna Turkington, a grade 8 Virtual Elementary School student pursuing her dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer. With an abundance of talent and the support of her parents, Anna moved from Toronto to Philadelphia at age 11 to attend the internationally acclaimed Rock School for Dance Education, an institution that many world-class dancers have attended. The demanding training regimen requires that Anna dance six days a week, leaving her with little time for traditional bricks-and-mortar education. After homeschooling for two years, her family decided to try an online course through Virtual Elementary School to see if online education would be a good fit.

Pointe shoes icon, simple styleI dance all day, six days a week. I do schoolwork in the mornings, at lunch hour, and after dinner. I was homeschooled by my mama for 2 years, but since high school is approaching, I want to master this whole online school thing before doing online high school. I started VES with an online, facilitated math course, and I’m getting ready to start an English course and a science course. I’m loving it! My teacher, Ms. Nobes, is fabulous with communicating when needed. Doing this course allows me to work on it as much as I want, whenever I want. I have the ability to do what I love, without compromising my schoolwork. I can’t say enough about this well-designed and well-organized online experience! VES/VHS is highly recommended!

With a newfound option for her schooling, Anna has been able to put additional focus on her dance training and new life in Philadelphia. She has a strong support system with many new friends, a caring mother who lives in Philadelphia with her, and a dedicated father who travels across the border to visit on a regular basis. Anna’s hard work and well-rounded support system has translated into success as a performer with many victories at competitions, including a first-place finish at the Youth America Grand Prix in New York City, the world’s largest and most prestigious international ballet competition.

So, what is the next step for Anna? Anna plans to continue pursuing her passion for ballet, embracing her new life in Philadelphia, and fulfilling the requirements for her education online, on her own time. We are excited to follow her progress and celebrate her future success.

Ballerina in arabesque