In Her Element: Meet Laurel Springs Alumna and Figure Skater Brynne McIsaac

11/17/22

Sometimes all it takes is one person to see our potential and change our trajectory. That was the case for Brynne McIsaac, a 2016 alumna of The Academy at Laurel Springs and professional figure skater.

Her unofficial career began at age five in an ice rink. A friend invited her to a birthday party where she was first exposed to the sport. As she began, her technique wasn't exactly flawless.

“I first stepped foot on the ice then,” she says. “It was horrible. I could not let go of the wall. I don't think I took maybe two steps. But then as soon as I left the party, I begged my parents to take me back.”

Brynne McIsaac: A Star is Born

Her parents were willing to invest in her future and eventually enrolled her in group ice skating lessons. In hindsight, Brynne says she didn’t exactly shine, but thanks to one coach who saw something special in her, her future became brighter.

“Fortunately, there was one coach who saw me and said, ‘She's going to be good. Let me take her for lessons,'” she says. “And it took off from there.”

Fast-forward to today where Brynne has competed nationally and internationally and is currently preparing to skate professionally in Germany in Holidays on Ice. This is a nice contrast to 2020 when training and performances were largely on hold.

“When I get to go out there and perform and do my thing, it's very, very satisfying,” she says. “I think that's what I enjoy most about it.”

Laurel Springs Opens Doors

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without Laurel Springs’ flexible format, combined with the enthusiastic support of her parents.

“Their support and eagerness to give me a bright future is what truly helped propel me forward,“ she says.

Brynne transferred in third grade and graduated in 2016. One key theme throughout her Laurel Springs experience is the support of teachers and the connections forged along the way.

“I had the same English teacher from grade eight to 12 and the same math teacher for about three or four years,” she says. “I was very fortunate that we could request our teachers, and they were able to continue to help me grow as I progressed through each of the grades.”

Looking back, Brynne says the traditional brick-and-mortar format of education might not have served her to the extent she needed. She recognized that in her last year at her previous school, her teachers were unable to meet her needs at the time. Switching to Laurel Springs meant she was able to put more effort into her education while juggling the demands of competitive skating as well.

“Laurel Springs School taught me much about self-control, responsibility, independence, and other essential life skills that I am extremely thankful for,“ she says.

A Bright Future

No doubt Laurel Springs’ curriculum prepared her for what was to come academically. Right now Brynne is enrolled as a senior at Liberty University Online, studying general psychology and minoring in child and adolescent development. Brynne has been fascinated with how the brain works since a young age, and she’s hoping to translate her studies into a career.

“I still am interested in how the brain works and how people work with each other,” she says. “So I want to maybe become a sports psychologist because mine helped me through so much...skating life and everything. And I think I’d really enjoy helping people in that way as well eventually.”

So what’s next for this dynamo? Shifting from competing solo for 17 years to competing with a partner for two and now launching her professional skating career, she says her perspective has changed over the last three years.

“My goals have now shifted to be more someone who can perform and show how amazing, beautiful and intricate skating can be and get more people invested in it in a different way.”

We look forward to following Brynne's professional journey and will be cheering her on every step of the way.

Connect with Brynne and others in the Laurel Springs alumni community as a member of LSS Alumni Connect. Join today!