Lindy Mesmer always knew she wanted to dance. From her early days as a toddler jumping over scarves and wearing “princess fairy wings,” Lindy found that she loved to express herself through the artistic medium of dance. She is now an accomplished ballet dancer and senior at Laurel Springs School with a bright future in the arts.
When it came to Lindy’s academic education, her family decided that an online school would be the best fit to accommodate her ballet training. As they searched for a program, Lindy knew that flexibility was key; however, she did not want to sacrifice academic rigor or challenge when selecting a school.
“My parents are both professors, and my education is something I really value,” Lindy said. “I’ve always loved learning, and I never wanted to sacrifice or compromise that in my ballet training. I wanted both—which Laurel Springs allows me to have.”
“I also love that I can spend as much time as I need on each lesson,” Lindy continued. “I’ve never really liked the 45-minute blocks I had in public school. They always felt very rushed and insubstantial. With Laurel Springs, I can go at a pace that allows me to fully understand a concept, whether that means 30 minutes or 2 hours.”
For her fellow dancers and performing artists, Lindy thinks Laurel Springs is the perfect fit.
“I think Laurel Springs is the best online school option for students who are also performers,” Lindy said. “It is rigorous, but also flexible, in that it allows for those tricky schedules that performing artists are used to. You can do school wherever, whenever—backstage, on the plane, in a hotel room, before rehearsals.”
Supported by her academic and stage education, Lindy recently embarked on one of her greatest dance journeys yet: a solo performance at National YoungArts Week in Miami, FL, earlier this month.
“I spent the month of August working on my application for YoungArts,” Lindy recounts. “I had heard of the YoungArts Foundation from other dancers, and all of them told me, ‘It will change your life.’”
Lindy was required to prepare a technique sampler with a barre and center, including two different pieces: a classical and contemporary variation. Teaming up with her ballet instructor at the Roanoke Ballet Theatre, Lindy completed the application and was selected as a finalist in dance by the YoungArts Foundation. She performed a variation from the ballet Raymonda on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at the New World Center in Miami Beach, FL.
“I love that the YoungArts Foundation focuses on so many different art forms—not just the performing arts,” Lindy said. “The idea that all these young artists, across so many different platforms, could come together for a week and be inspired was really cool to me.”
Lindy has certainly earned this recognition: at only nine years old, she began training with two Russian ballet instructors, Inessa Plekhanova and Aleksey Plekhanov—both of whom had trained at the esteemed Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg. After four years with these instructors, Lindy advanced to a prominent ballet conservatory in New York, NY, where she currently resides.
“I love dance—and the arts in general—so deeply,” Lindy said. “Dance transports people out of the everyday into a deeper, more spiritual place. It gives them the space to cry, laugh, mourn, feel inspired, think, and also just sit back and be entertained.”
“When I see a piece of art, film, dance, or music that makes me feel, cry, laugh, I can’t help but think that I want to make people feel that way,” Lindy continued.
As Lindy nears the end of her high school education, her aspirations are locked in. She will become a professional dancer upon her graduation from Laurel Springs. Eventually, she plans to attend college and study to become a writer.
“I don’t know where my career will take me, but I always want to be making art,” Lindy said. “If I touch only one person in my entire career, then I consider it all the more worth it.”