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Skidmore College

How Skidmore reignited my passion for dance

by Christianna Poblete '26

As the fall of my senior year of high school approached, I found myself at a crossroads: I had just spent the previous three years training and studying in a pre-professional dance program with the Boston Ballet at an elite high school for the arts.  
My goal was to be a professional dancer, a dream I had since I was a kid. However, this final year of high school presented me with numerous challenges, and I felt lost. I was uncertain about my future and what it would look like. My relationship with ballet was strained. As I increasingly looked to colleges rather than the dance conservatories and companies, where most of my classmates were headed, I felt more and more like my dream of dance might be coming to an end.

By the time spring came around, I had committed to Skidmore College and was one of the few dancers in my graduating class who chose the college path. While I had heard great things about Skidmore’s Dance Department through my research, I wasn’t even sure if I’d continue dancing when I got to school.  
That uncertainty quickly disappeared as I began dancing at Skidmore. Taking a few courses in my first semester at Skidmore, the variety of the classes and supportive environment helped to reignite my passion for the art form. Living and learning on my own, the choice regarding how little or how much I wanted dance to be a part of my college experience was entirely up to me. 
Having this choice showed me just how much love and drive I still had for dancing. Partaking in classes and rehearsals was self-propelling in a way that was different from the past. Everyone was doing their own thing, and I felt less pressured to pursue a certain route. I genuinely wanted to continue dancing and made that a priority in my college career. 

As I eagerly woke up early for ballet and stayed up late reviewing choreography, my dream of dance eventually floated back into focus. I was dancing because I wanted to, and the confidence I had in this truth gave me the motivation to continue pursuing this track.  

 A huge factor that contributed to my rediscovery of this art form stems from the various classes and opportunities Skidmore has to offer. Having focused mainly on ballet, I now had the opportunity to explore the different ways my body was capable of moving, which made me eager to try everything.  
While taking Pointe and Variations, I was also enrolled in Jazz and Improv. As the next semester approached, I broadened my reach more, partaking in Ballet, Choreography, and Music for Dancers/Choreographers. I’ve also really enjoyed learning about the history of dance during the two-semester course series Dance and Society with Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Dance Jason Ohlberg.  
In addition to these courses, I auditioned for two workshops. Workshops provide amazing opportunities to work with and perform pieces made by resident professors and guest choreographers. I was fortunate to have been a part of a residency with the Oberlin Dance Collective, performing at University at Albany with their company.  
I was also a part of “Woke-ness in the Body: Freedom Dance Floors,” an incredibly educational and moving piece created by Visiting Artist in Residence Hettie Barnhill.  

Christianna in the dance studio

I’m also planning to double major in English in addition to dance.

These experiences revealed to me that the education of dance is not confined to the body in a studio. The final product presented on stage is a part of the whole, one aspect of the many that make dance much more than just performance. I found classes that taught me how important it is to understand dance as a whole, from the breakdown of music to its intricately deep history.  

While dance is my passion, I have learned that my dream doesn’t have to be immobile. It can evolve and grow along with my interests.
Christianna Poblete '26

I am now a sophomore dance major and I plan to double major in English. As I take English courses, I take courses in other majors too. This way I can explore all my options and carve out my own path.  
With the flexibility to study dance and other subjects to the degree I desire, I am able to take full advantage of my time here at Skidmore. I happily choose to balance professional dance experiences with the rollercoaster ride of finals week, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.