Philipp Pursues Dancing Career

Former NDA Student Homeschooled to Make More Time for Dance

The majority of high schoolers are finishing their homework around 10:30 PM, but aspiring dancer and former NDA student Grace Philipp is finishing her final dance class of the day.

Towards the end of summer, Philipp made the difficult decision to withdraw from Notre Dame Academy and be homeschooled in order to pursue her dance career.

“I really didn’t want to leave Notre Dame. It was actually very hard for me to make the decision. With all of the traveling I will be doing this year for auditions and competitions, I would miss a lot of school. Homeschooling helps make my schedule more flexible,” Philipp said.

At age 4, Philipp fell in love with the art of dance. She has traveled all over the country performing with her competitive team at Barb’s Center for Dance.

Over her thirteen years of dance experience, she has worked with many professional dancers including Nicki Loud, Danielle Towne, Ashley Tuttle, Allison Holker, and Twitch, she said.

According to Philipp, the biggest difference between homeschooling and Notre Dame, is that homeschooling requires increased self-discipline and time management. No one is telling her when she has to do her schooling or homework; it’s all on her.

“Grace is very focused and works hard towards being a great dancer,” fellow teammate and NDA junior Haley Cullen stated. “I think being homeschooled will help her develop even more skills so that she can advance in the dance world after high school! It’s crazy to see her able to pursue her dreams!”

Most people think teenagers who are homeschooled have more time off; however, for Philipp that is not the case. She describes her typical day as waking up early in the morning to complete her school work. Philipp then goes to a private gymnastic lesson and ballet class. During her break, she returns home to finish more school work. Then she goes back to the studio for her remaining dance classes until 10:30 PM. Once she returns home, Philipp works on more schooling until she goes to bed, which is often between 12:30 – 2:30 AM.

Another fellow teammate, senior Olivia Dovorany, said, “Grace makes being a perfectionist look easy. The dedication she has is crazy and I won’t be the first one to say she’s really going places.”

“This year I will have a total of 15 competition dances. At times it can be a little overwhelming, but I have been doing this for so long that it’s like a second nature to me,” Philipp stated.

Philipp said she plans to pursue dance in college, but if that doesn’t work out, she said she has always been interested in the medical field, and would most likely major in pre med.

Philipp plans to apply to Loyola Marymount University in California, Pace University in New York, or possibly NYU.

In the next five years, she sees herself living in Los Angeles and working as a professional dancer in the commercial dance world, she said.