Federal Relations

Bright Spots in Home Schooling

October 29, 2007  

Dancing Her Dream

by Cherise Ryan

“Oh! That was just wonderful!” blurted out a child watching Aubry Myers complete her ballet routine.

Aubry Myers dances
Aubry Myers as “Esmeralda” from the ballet La Esmeralda. The homeschooled teen received a grant in spring 2007 to continue her ballet studies.

Seventeen-year-old Aubry of Ellicott City, Maryland, had just completed her “Angelina Ballerina Parties,” a community service outreach to young dancers in Baltimore County during National Dance Week 2007. Angelina Ballerina, the dancing mouse from Katharine Holabird’s children's storybooks, was chosen as the 2007 children’s spokescharacter for this year’s National Dance Week, and the character was incorporated into many of the week’s events across the country, including Aubry’s outreach.

Aubry offered her “parties” as part of Start Something, a free “dream-building” program that helps students ages 8 to 18 discover their dreams and goals and learn how to reach them. Inspired by the book Start Something by Tiger Woods’ father, Earl Woods, the Start Something program is designed around volunteer service projects that students create and execute themselves. Start Something offers curriculum, guidelines, and further assistance to help students complete a project that advances their career dreams.

“I decided I would like to offer free introductory ballet classes to Baltimore area children,” Aubry said. With the help of other dancers from her dance school, she taught two separate classes of 10 children, advertising the classes with brochures and posters in area preschools and day care centers.

“My parties consisted of learning some introductory ballet movements, watching live solo variations performed by Baltimore Ballet students, and responding with a related game or activity,” Aubry said.

With the Start Something grant Aubry earned as a result of her community outreach, the homeschooled teen was able to attend the Atlanta Ballet’s summer intensive program in summer 2007.

“Summer intensive programs are popular among serious ballet students and usually involve going to another school for four to six weeks (depending on the program), and taking five or six dance classes every day,” Aubry said. She has attended several intensives at multiple dance schools over the past four years.

“It was a great experience, and I improved a lot while I was there,” she said of her summer experience with the Atlanta Ballet.

Aubry became interested in ballet as a 1st grader after taking creative movement classes and attending weekly recreational dance classes.

“Ballet is very important to me because it is a talent God has given me. I am shy and introverted as a person and I don’t like to draw attention to myself, but I hope that God uses my dancing to glorify Himself,” she said.

Thanks to her flexible homeschool schedule, Aubry is able to attend more classes, rehearsals, and coaching sessions during the week than many other ballet students. “My homeschooling experience has been wonderful, and I have been really blessed to have been homeschooled my entire life,” she said.

A senior in high school, Aubry plans to pursue dance by double majoring in ballet and English in college. “I would like to pursue a career in a professional ballet company after college, but I don’t plan on a long-term ballet career,” she said. “Eventually I want to write English and possibly history curriculum for homeschooled students.”

 Other Resources

Learn more about the Start Something program.