Contributing writer 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]