Breaking free with the beat

Sophomore uses dance as a positive outlet in life


Skylar Greulich

Sophomore Sofie Nool smiles as she extends her leg back at Tippy Toes Dance Studio on March 13. She practiced holding onto the barre.

As people age and turn new leaves in life, simple frustrations such as not being able to play with your favorite toy can turn into an overwhelming pile of assignments and no way to escape.

“When you’re a kid and you’re getting older, you deal with a lot of negative energy … or like anxiety and overwhelming thoughts,” sophomore Sofie Nool said. “I like to think of dance as a way to break free from all of that.”

With a mom who was a former dancer, Nool found herself enrolled in classes at just the age of three. Now, 13 years later, it’s become a huge portion of her life and she finds herself strongly dedicated to it.

As a toddler, Nool first learned ballet and tap, known as foundations. This branched off into styles such as jazz, contemporary, lyrical and some hip-hop.

These days, Nool loves to dance contemporary and tap. When given the chance to, she also enjoys mixing it up by dancing hip-hop.

Nool extends her arm up into the fourth ballet position. photo by Skylar Greulich

Freshman Erin Herwehe has been dancing with Nool since the two were young. She considers Nool a sister by not only dancing with her but because their families are close as well. According to Herwehe, Nool is talented in every aspect of dance.

“She’s an amazing dancer,” Herwehe said. “She is so much fun to watch on stage and to dance and to be in class with. (It is) just so much fun to be in class with and hang around in that type of environment.”

When talking to Nool, it’s easy to notice the extent in which she loves to dance. It provides her with an escape and an opportunity to express and let compressed feelings out. The amount of time she spends dancing definitely does pay off.

Nool is great on stage, having strong bases and beautiful techniques that Herwehe doesn’t fail to mention.

Ava Chizum, one of Nool’s best friends as well as another fellow dancer in the same studio, adds that the emotion and ability to express herself while dancing is never lacking.

“She is just a wonderful person,” Chizum said. “I love her personality, and it really shines through when she’s dancing.”

Since starting to compete at eight years old, Nool has so far competed in at least 32 competitions, winning a few. For the group competitions, Nool and her groups have placed second, third and so on.

“I’ve been getting conventions, scholarships from different places. I recently got a scholarship to this college to check out their summer intensive and just to see what their campus is like,” Nool said. “I think it’s really exciting and really cool.”

For the future, attending college specifically for dance has really been on Nool’s mind. Her big dream, though, is getting to dance on Broadway or even doing so in Hollywood.

“It’s always a reminder that I need to keep working hard and start working even harder,” Nool said. “There are a lot of other talented people out there that can probably do exactly what I can do.”