The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 6, 2012

From ballet to the mat: EHS athlete mixes sports, arts

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — It’s a long way from the wrestling mat to the ballet stage, but one Enid High School wrestling squad member will take off his singlet and don ballet slippers for the weekend’s presentation of “The Nutcracker” at Briggs Auditorium.

Jake Scott, son of Jon and Sue Scott, will portray the Nutcracker Prince in Saturday and Sunday performances presented by Dance Works.

Jake, a senior and also a three-year starter on the EHS football team, has studied ballet about three years.

“Really, at first I took it to help out a friend,” Jake said.

“As a freshman, he was wanting to improve his coordination,” said EHS wrestling coach Jory Dick. “A girl wanted him to do dance, and we talked about that and decided he should do it.”

The friend he took ballet with moved away, but Jake stuck with the ballet lessons because he found the discipline was helpful to him as an athlete.

“It really helps me with footwork and overall balance,” Jake said. “It helps me be aware of how I need to move and position my body, so I am in control of my body instead of the other way around.”

Jake said the other wrestling and football team members think it’s “cool” that he takes part in something that has him surrounded by girls.

The few times he’s been ribbed, it came from coaches.

“That’s a sissy thing to do,” Jake said the coaches have said.

With the performance coming up, Jake and the other danseurs and danseuses — about 40 of them who will be in the show — are practicing twice a week. When there is no show coming up, he has ballet practice once a week.

Performances will be 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at Enid Welcome Center, 123 W. Maine.