Issue 20 | August 17, 2012 | Featuring Maggie Horowitz
There is an abundance of quality students to interview, and Maggie Horowitz is no exception. Sometimes the featured students come from stories advisors tell me after a phone conversation with a wonderful family. Other times, parents suggest interesting students to interview. Please contact me if you know someone whose story should be told. Just to make it easier, we've even included a "Newsletter Nominations" option on our contact page. Read the rest of the newsletter by clicking "Read More."
Inside NARHS: What time is it, anyway?
Sometimes when we get to work at 9 a.m., there are phone messages that were left for us starting at 5 a.m. in the morning (and sometimes earlier!). My guess is that our East Coast families get up and think about calling us first thing. Please remember that our office is three hours behind you Easterners. We are to the phones by nine, but that is noon your time. If we are not in the office, please leave a message. We promise we will call back promptly. If you are not sure what extension number your advisor has, go to our brand new website and hold your mouse pointer over the "about us" tab (don't click - just hover), then scroll down to "staff". You will see pictures and bios of everyone who works at NARHS. Also listed are our extension numbers. When the voice message begins to play, just dial in the correct extension number to get in touch with either a person, or a voicemail if we are still in bed. As another option, our email system never sleeps, so you can always email!
Featured Student: Maggie Horowitz
Maggie was the tender age of six when she attended her first dance lesson.
She must have shown promise early-on but it was not until age 9 that dance became a big part of her life. That was when she switched to a Russian coach whose excellent training led to Maggie's landing the role of Claire in the Nutcracker at age 10. When asked to describe the Russian coach's techniques, Maggie stated that she was tough, she did not issue many complements, and she trained Maggie to compete against herself. The coach had a way of casting a vision. As an example, because Maggie, age 13, experienced a stress fracture in her leg, she missed practice, competitions and training, bringing about loss of skills, strength and conditioning. Stories from her coach about how she herself could not workout for 1½ years, and yet she was able to regain her previous skill level, encouraged Maggie greatly. Now convinced that she could get it back, Maggie took up swimming to maintain conditioning, while keeping weight off her leg. Her father, mother and brother as well as friends were very supportive both during the injury phase and also the recovery. Without the emotional support of the coach and loved ones, it would have been much more difficult to maintain a positive frame of mind.
When asked about her role models, Maggie answered that her parents rank at the top. Her dad is a cultural historian who writes about and organizes events that feature classical music. Her exposure to that element of culture could easily have been the factor that made ballet such a fit for her at age 6. Her older brother, who works in national security in Washington D.C., attends all of her performances. Her mother is a high school teacher who has influenced Maggie's value of education. Other role models include the older ballerinas who have taken on the responsibility of mentoring and training the younger dancers. Maggie has been a recipient of their care. But the best dance role model has been her first coach who lit the fire to compete against her own best-self. Because of her expert training, Maggie can now move onto the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis school of Ballet which will prepare her for the American Ballet Theater. This will be more time-consuming with more challenges and higher levels of competition. Maggie feels that her exposure to even better dancers will help make her better. Maggie stated it this way, "People you associate with affect your performance." If her goal is professional dancing, she needs to dance with the best to reach that level.
Since education is a time-consuming factor in her life, I asked her how she is able to juggle learning and training.
Maggie responded that the guidance she has received from the NARHS advisors has taken a lot of the stress out of planning and has helped her be more organized. She knows she will be going to college, and NARHS record-keeping will save time and provide support when college admission time comes. Even though ballet takes time out of her day, she feels that her education has benefited because of her dance training. In her studies, she is more disciplined and focused producing quality of work, because that's the kind of person she has become, due to dance. Maggie's story underscores a number of values that home schoolers regard as important. "If you want to be the best, dance with the best" can certainly apply to many other areas of our lives, especially education. And finally, tracing the effects that role-models make in a life makes us realize that role models are powerful figures. Select them with care.
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