Perspective: Interview with Universal Ballet Competition winner, Isabella McCool

Isabella McCoolIsabella McCool

Port St. Lucie, FL
Where you currently dance: 
St. Lucie Ballet
Favorite roles you've performed:
Fairy Doll; Lise, La Fille Mal Gardee; Clara, The Nutcracker
Dream role(s):
Alice, Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; The Sugar Plum Fairy, The Nutcracker


How and when did you get your start in dance?
I started dancing when I was three years old. I don't really remember, but my mom always says that I went up to her and said that it was time for me to start dancing...and that's how I started!

What kind of pointe shoes do you wear?
I wear Suffolk Solo Prequels, and I really, really love them because they support my foot really well. They're re my perfect fit, and I can do anything I want in them. They don't give me any blisters or any problems, and they extend my lines.

Isabella McCool at the Universal Ballet Competition © Miranda Jade PhotographyIsabella McCool at the Universal Ballet Competition © Miranda Jade Photography

Do you do anything special to prepare them before you wear them?
No, I do not do anything to my shoes before I wear them. I do order two pairs at a time: one standard shank for performance and one hard shank for class.

You recently competed at the Universal Ballet Competition in Florida and won first place in both the Classical and Pas de Deux categories in the Junior Division... congrats! What was that experience like?
The experience at UBC was really rewarding and fulfilling because I have been putting in so much work the past few months to get better, and really working on my in-between [steps], articulating my feet, arm movements, and finishing all of my steps. I'm very happy that the judges realized that and could see all the hard work I put into my solos and my pas de deux with my partner.

It was also really tough because there were so many talented and beautiful dancers there in all the categories; everybody was just so good! I'm also really happy that my partner and I got first in the Junior Pas de Deux section because we worked so hard on our pas. He's super easy to communicate with. We also live together, and it's been a really hard adjustment for me just because I went from being an only child where everything was surrounding me to being [about] both of us.

I think that in the end, it really helped us both, and it's working out really well. I'm just super excited that everyone could see us do really well in our pas.

Isabella McCool at UBC
Isabella McCool and Daniel Ayala at the Universal Ballet Competition © Miranda Jade Photography

I know that you are an ambassador for many different brands and companies! Can you tell us about some of those?
I'm an ambassador for The Prima Pack, and I love them because every box has a different theme. For instance, February was 'Healthy Habits', and you can tell that they think about the entire dancer. When you open the box, there are just so many things that you need, and it's just really helpful!

I'm also an ambassador for Ballet Rocks Fashion, and I love their clothes because they're super edgy and in style. They also have Toe Candy which I love- it smells so good!

What does a day in the life of Isabella look like?
I get up every morning, and then I get ready for ballet. I go to the office, start doing schoolwork, eat breakfast, and then we come to the ballet studio and do an hour and a half technique class. Then we do an hour pointe class, and we rehearse for any performances or upcoming competitions. We rehearse things like solos, contemporary pieces, group pieces, or pas de deux. Then we have about a 25-30 minute lunch. After that, we have a class that is either contemporary, jazz, acro or tap. Then we have an hour and a half technique class again. Then sometimes we rehearse or sometimes we go home. I eat dinner, shower, and sometimes we do school or sometimes we watch T.V... then I go to bed and do it all again!

What are your long term and short term goals as a dancer?
My short term goals are to learn and nurture myself with all the information I can get. I can learn from my teachers, from videos, and from a lot of other things so that [I can achieve] my long term goal, which is to be one of the youngest dancers hired with a contract. It would just be awesome to be hired at The Royal Birmingham Ballet because I really do admire Carlos Acosta; I think that he can change the way that people look at ballet.

Isabella McCool at the Universal Ballet Competition © Miranda Jade PhotographyIsabella McCool at the Universal Ballet Competition © Miranda Jade Photography

I know you've tried Pointe Paint! What do you like about using it?
I love Pointe Paint because they have so many beautiful colors, and you can easily do one pair in ten minutes. It's just so clean, and the bottles are also perfectly measured out so you don't have any extra [paint] or not have enough; you always have enough! 

Which Pointe Paint color(s) have you tried? Which colors would you like to try next?
The Pointe Paint colors I have tried are the Dahlia and the Chai colors, and I would really love to try the Indigo. The color just looks so pretty and I would love to see how it looks!

Did you use Pointe Paint for a specific role or for photo shoots?
I've used the Chai for my contemporary solo at competition and for my group piece. I really love it, especially for my contemporary solo, because it was my first contemporary solo, and it really helped me feel more confident about my lines and how it was looking. I used the Dahlia for a photo shoot, and the pictures turned out so pretty; I'm really happy with how they looked! 

Isabella McCool wears Pointe Paint in DahliaIsabella McCool wearing Pointe Paint in Dahlia © Simon Soong

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1 comment

  • Adjectives aren’t sufficient to describe you.
    You are incredibly amazing. Graceful and beautiful.
    I am so very proud of you.

    Zach Knapp

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