With the help of a home dance studio and Texas Virtual Academy (TXVA), Audrey and Madeline Lewis are able to train and travel the world for traditional Irish dance competitions.
Audrey is in 7th grade and has been involved with Irish dance since she was 6 years old and Madeline is in 5th grade and has been practicing since she was 5 years old.
Five years ago, the family first chose TXVA because of the schedule flexibility and the academically-challenging curriculum.
“We are also able to access school from any location internationally, which has been tremendously helpful in allowing our girls to excel in their dancing,” their mother, Julianne Lewis said. “The girls can jump in and out of the K12 platform to accomplish school when it fits into their schedule.”
Each afternoon the girls have dance rehearsals and practices with several teachers at their home dance studio and a studio in the Houston area.
Julianne runs the family’s home dance studio where she teaches 72 students ballet, jazz, hip hop, ballroom, lyrical and Broadway styles. Her daughters attend some of the classes each week in addition to their Irish dance practice.
“TXVA teachers have been extremely supportive when we have had to miss classes or make up work the following week, and my girls are enjoying school so much because it enables them to succeed,” Julianne said. “The quality of the curriculum also surpasses any brick and mortar school in our area. We are able to study topics of interest in depth and even include extra projects and research. I also appreciate the organization and task management that keeps students on track each week and each quarter. It has worked beautifully for us.”
Audrey and Madeline’s dance competitions have brought them all over the U.S. and recently to Europe! Last year, the family traveled to Glasgow, Scotland to see Audrey compete in her first Annual Irish Dance World Championships. It was their first international trip as a family.
“This year both of my girls qualified for the Worlds and we just returned from a trip to Dublin, Ireland to see them compete there,” she said. “It was truly a wonderful experience to travel to the homeland of Irish dance. Also it was an honor to qualify again for such an event.”
Along with monthly competitions throughout Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas, the next competition for the girls will be the State Championships in Austin, Texas later this month.