Student Profile: Sobek Fowler

Sobek Fowler

Experience in ballet: 3 months

Previous movement experience: 1 1/2 years self defence against the local Street Thug. A casual but effective hunter. 1 yr extensive tip-chasey and hide-and-go-seek sessions with fellow Offbeat Ballet student Ma’at Farandel.

Sobek poses for a professional photo shoot.

Sobek had a Troubled Youth. His first 6 months were spent in a shelter. When adopted into his Forever Home, it sadly turned out that one of his housemates was the local Street Thug, who regularly bashed him up. As Sobek grew into adulthood he showed great fortitude of character and learnt to bash the Street Thug right back, forcing a truce of sorts. But perhaps having spent his formative early months in a small enclosure, or perhaps trying to avoid the Street Thug, he constantly roamed the neighbourhood, and before long was routinely breaking the law hunting native wildlife.

Sobek and friend and fellow Offbeat Ballet student Droopy Fowler share a few moments together between barre combinations.

He wasn’t alone though – another inhabitant of his Forever Home was Offbeat Ballet student Droopy Fowler. Droopy’s only other experience of felinity was the Street Thug, so it took a while for her to adjust to the shocking idea that a feline could actually be friendly. But once she understood this concept, she and Sobek became firm friends.

Happily his little world really started looking up when the Street Thug finally met her maker, ouch! I still miss her terribly. and the inimitable  Ma’at Farandel moved in. Sobek and Ma’at quickly became close, often boisterous friends.

Sadly though, they also egged each other to hunt wildlife, leaving their parents no other option but to try to keep them both indoors permanently. When dance classes proved so enjoyable for Droopy and Ma’at, Sobek, though introverted and shy, was gently encouraged to join in too, giving him a diversion from fretting about his enforced indoor lifestyle.

Sobek and Ma’at rest comfortably on some clutter after an intense ballet class.

Sobek is a low-set, heavy-framed boy. Jumping really isn’t his forte. It took a long time for him to build the strength required to execute the essential ballet step of Jumping Onto The Counter, but enticed by salmon and yoghurt, he worked hard and finally mastered it. Oddly enough though, he quickly perfected another ballet jump, that of hot-footing it over the 6 foot high back fence whenever he could escape outside.

His forté soon proved to be Ballet Walks. With innate grace he lifts his paws delicately, eloquently pointing his toes, and then settling them on the floor with the gentleness of a blossom falling to earth. Indeed he is so good at Ballet Walks I use him as an example when teaching them to my other students!

He also has an extremely expressive face, which translates brilliantly into stagecraft, leaving the audience in no doubt as to his feelings as he dances.

Sobek’s nature is as lovely and sunny as his coat is (though he can tend to sulk, his expressive face invariably invoking a suitably guilty feeling in his parents audience).

This photo captures Sobek’s beautiful coat, sweet nature and those perfectly shaped paws.

Sobek is a wonderful example of how ballet can help someone overcome a less than ideal start in life and channel their energies into more positive pursuits.

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