Student Spotlight

In addition to our robust academics and our high-quality teachers, IVLA also touts its talented students! Many of our students are athletes, actors, musicians, and – as we will see in this student spotlight feature – dancers.

Meet Peyton Ross! Not only is she a six-grade student with the IVLA Gifted and Talented program, Peyton is also a competitive Irish dancer.

Peyton Ross - IVLA Student

Peyton in dance costume with awards and trophies.

We wanted to get to know Peyton better so we asked her a few questions.

What is Irish dance? How would you describe it in your own words?

To me, Irish dance is hard work. Irish dance isn’t just flopping your feet around; it requires commitment, dedication, and technique.

When did you start dancing and Irish dancing?

When I lived in Savannah, GA I started ballet at 4 years old then advanced into jazz and tap. Then, I moved to Atlanta and couldn’t find a dance school so we decided to try Irish dance. My first dance class was on my eighth birthday.

What do you love about Irish dance?

I love Irish dance because it’s unique. We get to travel around the world at competitions and it can be so fun. Also, the friends I’ve made. I have some of my greatest friends because of this sport. Irish dance is challenging and takes hard work – I love it!

Peyton Ross - IVLA Student

Peyton with a Rosetta Stone exhibit at the Saint Louis Science Center.

What was the hardest lesson you have learned through dance?

The hardest lesson I learned through Irish dance has to be “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” This is my mantra and it means that even if you have the talent, the people that work the hardest will win.

How does IVLA fit into your dance life?

IVLA fits into my dance life because now I am flexible to do school and practice freely and not on a strict schedule.


We wish Peyton all the best as she continues to dance. We are glad Peyton’s family has allowed IVLA the pleasure of partnering with them to help Peyton learn and grow!


If you have a talented student looking for alternative options for school, please visit and see all IVLA has to offer your family.