Ashley Lodge's Portfolio

Featured Dancer-Sarah Noe

For those who absolutely must dance!

We love featuring dancers from the Lakeway area to show how colorful and talented our community is. With several dance facilities in Hamblen county, a fantastic theatre and arts community and a growing population of transplants-our sleepy mountain town is moving to a new groove.  

How many years have you been dancing? What got you interested in dance? 

I started in September 2015, so I’ve been dancing three and a half years. I tried five different sports before I found dance, and I actually played soccer for six years. I finished out the season, and then for some reason the idea of dance just clicked in my mind instead. I was 13 when I started which is really late if you want to be a dancer. I was determined to find the perfect dance studio where I could do ballet, and that took awhile, but it finally happened in 2016 at Dance Elite

What inspires you to dance? 

I would say music is my main inspiration whenever I’m dancing. I look at dance as an art so I always try to connect whatever emotion I usually feel, and that also inspires my movements. Close friends, family, and teachers also inspire me daily.   

Your friends and teammates affectionally refer to you as the 'emo ballerina' tell us a little about that! 

My dance teacher Marley seemed to notice my ‘inner emo’ first somehow, and since then I’ve just embraced it. Before anyone noticed I was really afraid of actually being emotive and being myself around people who don’t know me. Most people who love ballet typically aren’t ‘emo’, but I (very likely) love MCR and Waterparks more than most ballerinas. With that being said, naturally Marley gave me a nickname which everyone seems to love and support.  

4.What are your other interests? What do you love doing when you are out of the studio?  

I love painting, reading, and watching Harry Potter for the 100th time. I love going to concerts! I also love spending time with my close friends and family. I also listen to music 24/7 when I’m out of dance.  

5. Tell us about competition! Who do you dance for and what awards have you won? 

Competition dance is pretty stressful but the fun of it eventually always overweighs the stress for me. I’m not a competitive person in the slightest, so whenever I compete my solo(s) I never focus on the awards I always just want to give a performance that people can emotionally connect with. Last year was my first year competing and I won (overall) 1st, 3rd, 2nd, another 3rd, and 8th with my solo Broken, choreographed by Marley Whitmer. I received a ‘Versatility’ and ‘Total Package’ award at two competitions.  

What advice do you have for future generations of ballerinas? 

You’re never gonna be perfect. It’s physically and mentally impossible to ever be a perfect dancer. The ballet world has high expectations, but you should always focus on improving yourself instead of comparing yourself to other dancers. When you try your best, you’re always improving and that’s a beautiful thing that you should be happy about. Respect yourself and never give into the side of your mind that always says you’re not good enough. Dance can make you really hard on yourself and your mind, or it can train you to love and accept yourself even on your hardest days.  


Your lines are so perfect!! Describe the hard work and emotion it takes to be a dancer. 

First of all, thank you! I try to push myself to get a little better everyday. Dance is never easy, it’s always difficult, which means it’s very mentally demanding. Without emotion or passion, dance wouldn’t be DANCE for me. It’s easy to overthink choreography, but when you let go and the emotion takes over you, all the hard work you put in is worth it.  

What are your goals? Do you want to dance as a career? If not, what do you aspire to achieve?  

I was a substitute teacher for a few ballet classes and it was one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. It’s so inspiring to see so many young kids’ passions for this art. That day I knew that eventually I want to open up a dance studio. I think it would be really cool to specialize in dance classes that act as therapy for people with anxiety and other mental health disorders. At this point, my overall goal in the future is to help people love and accept every part of themselves. I really just want to glorify Jesus Christ in everything I do now and in my future.

Sarah is a company dancer at Dance Elite.
All images copyright Ashley Lodge Photography

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