Competitive dancer pivots to Zoom

Focus on Youth

By Phill Potter

Name: Chiara Annamaria Licandro

Age: 18

Address: Barrhaven

School: St. Joseph High

Grade: 12

Parents: Rosetta and Giuseppe Licandro

Brother: Antonino Licandro (25), Financial Assistant

Sister: Francesca Licandro (28), Physician

Pet: “I currently have one dog named Copper. He is a nine-year-old Yorkshire Terrier.”

Pet Peeves: “Open doors, loud noises, my food touching each other.”

Favourite Subjects:

“My favourite subject is Biology, because I’m fascinated with cellular mechanisms and would love to participate in research in this field. This year I’m taking university level English, Advanced Functions, university level Religion, university level Chemistry, university level Biology as well as Calculus and Vectors.”

What do you enjoy reading for pleasure?             

“I enjoy reading books for pleasure, with fiction being my favourite genre. Over this past summer, I read eleven novels, all by different authors. One of my favourite books was The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon.”

Who is your favourite author?

“My favourite author is Nicola Yoon. Although she has only written two novels, The Sun is also a Star and Everything, Everything, her writing is very captivating. Both of these novels have a very special place in my heart, and I have read both multiple times.”

Other Activities/Interests:

“Outside of school I’m a competitive dancer. I’ve been dancing since I was three years old at Canadian School of Dance. I dance the following styles: jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary, and ballet, with my favourite style being  tap. I typically dance 4 to 5 days a week, and approximately 20 to 30 hours a week. I have developed very good time management skills over the years, because juggling dance and school can get very difficult. One of the hardest things that I have had to endure this year, was dancing at home, online, over Zoom.”

Career Goals:

“In a few months, I will be graduating from high school and attending university. I’ve been accepted to OttawaU, Carleton University, Queen’s University, and University of Waterloo – all with scholarships. I am planning to attend Carleton University for the following degree: Bachelor of Science with a Major in Biology. I have also received a $4,000 scholarship to Carleton University. I aspire to become a Physician and would be interested in following in the footsteps of my older sister.”


“During the past year, the COVID pandemic has made online learning a societal norm. I’ve found that the transition from in school to online has been very difficult, and has taken its toll on me. My main motivation to keep me working throughout quarantine was learning and understanding the material for future classes.

“Learning at home has been a challenge, because on the days off, there’s no teacher guided lesson. The easiest way for me to learn the material is by reading the notes and watching supplemental videos. The following day  I would ask my teacher any questions I may have from the homework. I definitely found that support from my friends and peers was crucial in this period.

“Another difficulty that arose during the pandemic was trying to dance competitively via Zoom daily. One of the hardest parts was not being able to be in the studio with all of my friends. I made the best out of this situation  by dancing in my bedroom, and my basement. I’m glad I still had the opportunity to participate in dancing, which helped my mental morale. Although the pandemic has changed a lot in respect to our daily lives, I’ve learned many lessons, and have been able to thrive academically and personally. I am grateful to have had such an excellent support system throughout this entire pandemic.”