Landry Hobson of Shreveport started dancing when she was two years old. She wasn’t the impromptu toddler who moved to music but was enrolled at a studio where she still trains. The University View Academy 8th grader is passionate about her pursuit bordering on obsession. “I like it because it’s really challenging, and it’s learning new things every day. I love how hard it is,” she said determinedly. Her goal is to become a professional dancer. Landry concentrates on ballet but does jazz, tap, hip-hop, and contemporary dancing. Each afternoon during the week, she trains at the Theater School of Dance. On Saturdays, she attends a dance company called Adorare, adding to her grueling schedule.
Last year, she says she reached a point where stress started taking over. She was up at five-thirty in the morning for school. After school, she would train at the dance studio. She wouldn’t get home until after nine at night and would be up sometimes until midnight doing school work. A friend told Landry about UVA, explaining she had a flexible schedule to do gymnastics training around her online classes. Landry researched the school and convinced her mother, Emily, to attend an information session before the COVID-19 shutdown. “I was impressed,” Emily admitted. Education is of high value in the Hobson household. Mrs. Hobson is a doctor, and Landry’s father is a college professor. UVA became the solution to a balancing act between school and dance when Landry enrolled for the fall semester. “She hasn’t looked back, and I feel the education is top-notch, Emily stated.
Landry is still keeping her break-neck schedule but said it’s less stressful, and she gets a lot more sleep. Mornings are for schoolwork and live sessions, and afternoons are for her passion, dance. Plus, she said she can work ahead if there is travel involved for upcoming dance recitals or competitions. Landry goes to Philadelphia later this month and has another competition in Dallas in January. While attending her previous brick and mortar school, she said she got behind in schoolwork if she had to travel, and it was hard to make up. Landry says it has been a smooth transition to the online world of UVA for her first nine-weeks. “It’s been so good,” she exclaimed. “My mom says you’ve been a lot less stressed,” Landry laughed. “My teachers are great. They do a really good job of explaining things,” she added.
Landry has an older sister who is 17, and a younger brother, eleven. Both attend traditional brick and mortar schools. Landry’s departure from the conventional is no surprise to her mom. Emily said many of Landry’s peers at the studio are homeschooled or do some type of correspondence school to facilitate the time required to devote to dance. The exposure to non-typical education is what led Landry to UVA. “She’s pretty organized, sets a target, and is self-motivated,” her mom stated. “I feel really, really good about it,” Emily said of her daughter’s choice.