Laurie Metzger developed an appreciation of nature and the outdoors early in life, working in the garden and hiking the forests in Maryland with her family. She studied classical ballet from a young age, landing her first professional ballet contract at the age of fifteen. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University in Ballet and English and pursued an exciting twelve-year performing career as a principal ballerina and guest artist with various national companies. As her performing career progressed, she became a mentor to aspiring dancers and began exploring the idea of integrating academic subject matter with classical ballet technique to aid in student development. Never forgetting her roots, she worked part-time as a tour guide at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. She observed the gardeners and horticulturists at work and knew she wanted to join their ranks.
Laurie began her official transition with a one season horticultural internship at the United States National Arboretum and then was hired back for a second season. At USNA she had the honor of leading the intern group project, in addition to learning to wield a weed whip and a leaf blower (things she never imagined doing as a ballerina.) She is excited for the rare opportunity to explore the creative collaborative possibilities between performing arts, education, and horticulture as a Fellow at Longwood.
Student Position: Symposium Assistant Leader
Board Position: Tyler Arboretum