Sky Poole is a junior at Lakeside High School and a ballet student with Colton Ballet Company. At age 17, she looks forward to her last year of high school this fall. She has an older brother, 19, who is a rising sophomore at the University of Georgia. Poole enjoys her two dogs, one cat and baking in her free time.
When did your interest in classical ballet start?
My interest in ballet peaked around age 10 when I first performed in The Nutcracker as a party child and an angel. The opportunity allowed me to watch the company members dance their roles and understand what the final product of my training at Colton could be. That motivated me to continue dancing throughout my middle and high school years.
What do you enjoy most about classical ballet training? What is most challenging?
My favorite part about classical ballet training is how it connects people across the world. I have attended ballet intensives in Chicago, Atlanta, and Colorado, and through these intensives, I have made close friends from all over the nation. The most challenging part of ballet is learning how not to compare yourself with others. I used to struggle a lot with this— comparing my technique or how my body differed from others. You must cope by loving yourself the way that you are and learning from others who excel, rather than being jealous of their achievements.
What has been your most rewarding role in a production, and why?
Dewdrop Fairy in The Nutcracker has been my most challenging yet rewarding role. I spent my childhood at Colton looking up to the older company members and envisioned myself in those roles. When I finally got the chance last year, I was overwhelmed with the pressure and challenging choreography. However, after experiencing the thrill of performing, I knew all my hard work was worth it. The role of the Dewdrop Fairy taught me how to have confidence in myself and persevere.
What are some preconceptions about dancers that you feel are not accurate?
People often believe that dancers have an easy lifestyle and that our art is simple, but I can’t convey enough the inaccuracy of that perception. It takes a quick mind to pick up choreography along with corrections and a resilient attitude to keep dancing despite all the challenges. Dancers hear people say that what we do is easy. I’d like them to say that to my damaged joints and sprained ankle. Everything about ballet is unnatural, from the 180-degree turnout to sustaining all our body weight on a single toe. I can assure you that it is not easy, or simple.