Best of both worlds: Brent Shelton balances school & dance

By Logan A. White
Times-News correspondent 

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Teens & 20s' Meet The Artist Brent Shelton is shown with fellow Cary Ballet Conservatory dancer, Reynu Wood. [Photo submitted

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Meet The Artist series features teens and twenty-somethings pursuing their passions for art.
Brent Shelton, a native of Cary, currently resides in Indianapolis and is attending Butler University. He is double majoring in business and ballet and is also a graduate of Cary Ballet Conservatory’s Studio Program.
Teens & 20s: What inspires you most as an artist?
Shelton: People inspire me the most. The day-to-day actions and stories that everyone carries, which make us all unique, are what inspire me while dancing, creating and performing. I think a true artist can draw inspiration from anything.
Teens & 20s: When do you feel you made the transition from hobby to passion?
Shelton: I felt like I made that transition during of sophomore year of high school. Before that dance was just a hobby, but once I decided to do it more often and drop swim team and cross country team it became my passion.
Teens & 20s: What other form of art have you always wanted to try?
Shelton: I’ve always wanted to try acting, because in a day I feel it ties well with dance because it evolves complete control over ones emotions and movements.
Teens & 20s: How is studying the arts in a collegiate environment unique?
Shelton: It’s unique because I’ll spend most of my day in a studio, but also in the classroom which I find really cool. I get to pursue dance at a high level and continue my academic studies with other non-dancers. Although it is challenge jumping from one ‘world’ to another it’s allows me to really focus on both my art and my studies.
Teens & 20s: What message do you want to spread through dancing?
Shelton: I don’t know if I can just choose one message, there are so many different stories I want to tell through dance. One day, I really want to choreograph a ballet about the intersection of gay culture into America. Whatever message I’m spreading, I want the audience to believe it and relate to at least a part of it. That’s the ultimate goal.
Teens & 20s: What do you think is the most common misconception about dance?
Shelton: How hard it is and how smart dancers need to be. I think a lot of athletes (like dancers) don’t get the reputation they deserve when it comes to pressuring education. Dancers can still be academics and have a successful career.
Teens & 20s: If you weren’t an artist, what career would you pursue?
Shelton: I would want to be a philosopher, which might not be a real “job,” but I love philosophy and I do draw a lot of inspiration from it. If I could, I would like to write philosophy or convey it through film. I also find filmmaking so interesting. Any job that’s about finding true within human emotion interests me.
Teens & 20s: How do you think the arts are perceived differently in today’s society?
Shelton: I’m almost afraid that the arts are become too elite in today’s society, so that people would only presume them if they wanted a carrier in the arts. I think everyone’s an artist in their own way and since art is so healing everyone should do it.
Teens & 20s: Additional comments?
Shelton: Our own lives are a masterpiece of art. All dance is, is drawing from that masterpiece and turning it into movement.
You can see more of Brent on his Instagram, @brentballet.

Logan A. White is a Teens & 20s writer and a home-schooled high school graduate. She currently trains in Cary Ballet Conservatory’s professional program.

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