28 September, 2022

Fulfilling big dreams in dance and education

Lotte Vercruijsse
Student feature: Lotte Vercruijsse

Lotte has been a part of the Nord Anglia family since Year 4 and joined Compass International School in 2019 having relocated from Dubai where the family was based for nine years.

Let’s find out more about Lotte who this year recorded 9A*’s and 1 A in the 2022 GCSE exams.

Q. You received outstanding results in this year’s GCSE exams. How did the teachers at Compass help you to achieve these results?
A. The fact that I was able to work so closely with my teachers as we had a small year group was truly what I think allowed me to achieve these results. As well as this, I believe our teachers’ genuine interest in our daily lives and how we were doing gave us more motivation to do well and make them proud of us as students. The teachers created a safe environment to ask questions and were always open to helping us at any time during the day. I think that I was very lucky to have had teachers who did more than just simply teach us but knew each of their students’ personalities and strengths in school.

Q. Did the collaboration with The Juilliard School help enhance your dance career in any way?
A. I experienced the collaboration with The Juilliard School in Year 9 when a renowned dancer from Juilliard came to visit the school and I had the pleasure to have a one-on-one class with him. This allowed me to explore my options for my future and a new style in which he taught me choreography in. I was also able to use the dance facility at school which helped immensely.

Q. You were part of the recent production of ‘Arhbo, the Ooredoo song for the FIFA World Cup 2022’. How was this experience for you?
A. Being a dancer in the Arhbo production along with many of my friends from our dance community here in Qatar was an absolute dream. The many late hours rehearsing and shooting until 4:00-5:00 am have allowed me to make memories that I won’t ever forget and meet new incredible people. The experience of being on set with these renowned singers and working with the production team was truly special to me and I am very grateful to have had this opportunity.


Q. You have also been a key part of the celebrations in the lead-up to the World Cup 2022. Talk us through what you have been doing. (Lusail Stadium opening, HIA, Mall of Qatar, etc)

A. I came back early from my summer holiday in Belgium to participate in the first Hamad International Airport event and then was given the added opportunity to perform in the ‘Mall of Qatar’ for the celebration of ‘100 days till FIFA’. These both were very different and overlapped with rehearsals and event days but thankfully I was able to combine them. In addition to this, I was recently also part of 8 dancers who were chosen to perform to welcome guests to the Lusail Stadium for the first time. We performed both before and post-match just outside the stadium and were able to watch the first half of the match together.

Q. How did you find having to balance your academics and dance at the same time?
A. It was difficult at times to not be overwhelmed by my busy schedule, but I think that the support of my parents and the school were helpful in tackling that. During the exam period, I was also doing a show for SMDC and found it hard to balance rehearsals, shows, and the exams but thankfully everything turned out okay.

Q. What would be some ‘top tips’ you would give to students like you who are trying to balance both studies and dance (passions)?
A. I think the key to balancing both academics and your passions would have to be time management and prioritising what's most important to you. For example, during the Arhbo shoots, I would have to stay up till 5:00 am for filming however school had already started, and these shoots were on weekdays. Because of this, I only got 1 hour of sleep before attending school in the mornings as I prioritise school over all else. My education has always been my top priority therefore I did what was needed in order to go to school. As a compromise, I slept after school and did my homework during school hours.

Q. What are your aspirations once you graduate from school and how has Compass helped in shaping these aspirations?
A. Honestly, I’m not quite sure as to what I want to pursue in the future however I believe that continuing to dance is a given whether I choose to pursue it professionally or as a hobby on the side. I have interests in biology, chemistry, and business so I will choose my university course accordingly.