How many years have you been doing ballet?
I’ve been dancing for about 16 years.
What are some roles you’ve danced with Ballet San Antonio?
With Ballet San Antonio I have been very lucky to perform a wide variety of different roles and characters. Some of my favorites have been the title roles in Ben Stevenson’s Romeo & Juliet and Cinderella, as well as the role of Odette/Odile in his Swan Lake. I’ve also danced the lead in Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations. In February, I performed the role of Wendy in Peter Anastos’ Peter Pan. It was a very fun ballet with lots of silly moments…and, as Wendy, I got to fly!
What’s your favorite thing about ballet?
One of my favorite things about ballet is that it is always changing, and, as a result, ballet is always changing me as a person. Everyday I come into the studio and discover something new about my technique or learn a new approach on tackling a particularly demanding step. As a performer, I’m constantly learning new ballets and choreography. With each new piece, I learn new ways to understand musicality and search for the intention behind the movement. Throughout the rehearsal process I find myself growing as an artist, an actress, a dancer, and as a human being. And then I get to share everything I’ve learned and experienced on stage with the world! I feel incredibly lucky to call myself a ballet dancer and feel very fortunate to always be growing as a person through this beautiful art form.
What’s in your dance bag?
Freed Maple Leaf Variation pointe shoes – I have about 6 pairs rotating at a time which I keep organized in a reusable wine bag (this way they are organized by pair and not mixing with my other dance wear), toe spacers and gauze which I use instead of toe tape (it doesn’t slip off when my feet get sweaty!), foot roller, dense rolling ball, thera band, back warming brace, Rubiawear leg warmers and socks that I’ve cut into ankle warmers, shorts, Eleve and Tulips by Tracy skirts, aqua socks (they keep my feet so warm!), multiple shades of chapstick/lipstick, water bottle, and, for snacks, I usually like to have bananas or apples, nuts, and protein powder (mix with water for a quick and easy snack when you don’t have a long break!).
Sally Turkel began her ballet training at the Cary Ballet Conservatory, in her hometown of Cary, North Carolina. At age 14, she was accepted into the residential high school’s ballet studies program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Upon graduation, Ms. Turkel performed with Houston Ballet, HBII, Carolina Ballet and Steifel and Stars. In subsequent years she joined Colorado ballet, where she danced for five seasons, performing a wide range of both classical and contemporary roles. A few of her favorites include the Serenity Fairy and Puss and Boots in Sleeping Beauty, Little Swans in Swan Lake, George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Glen Tetley’s The Rite of Spring, Michael Pink’s Peter Pan and Dracula, Agnes DeMille’s Rodeo, Lynn Taylor Corbett’s Great Galloping Gottschalk, and Christopher Wheeldon’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In 2013 Ms. Turkel joined Ballet San Antonio and was promoted to Principal Dancer the following year. While with Ballet San Antonio, Ms. Turkel has danced the roles of Odette/Odile in Ben Stevenson’s Swan Lake, Mina in Gabriel Zertuche’s Dracula, Cinderella and Fairy God Mother in Stevenson’s Cinderella, the Sugarplum Fairy and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, and the female lead in Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations. In addition, she has worked with choreographers such as Stephen Mills, Twyla Tharp, Michael Pink, Emery LeCrone, and Stanton Welch.
In February 2015, Ms. Turkel danced the role of Juliet in Ben Stevenson’s Romeo & Juliet.
“Turkel maintains the character arc from impudent and reluctant girl to the grieving and horror stricken widow-too-young, with a richness of feeling that goes beyond her obvious prowess as a dancer.” [Tami Kegley, The Rivard Report].