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Skyler Maxey-Wert appears on the cover of the 2017 Fall Fig Arts & Culture issue. Explore the story and discover some bonus snapshots from the cover photoshoot below.
Over a decade ago in Lancaster, six-year-old Skyler Maxey-Wert dreamed of dancing ballet on the biggest stages.
“A really important thing to hold onto as a dancer is that you should have an idea as to how you want to be and stick to that no matter what,” said Skyler, now age 21 and continuing to forge his professional career. “It’s something you have to work towards every day.”
The process began right here in Lancaster City. Skyler trained under visionaries Carolyn Trythall from the former Lancaster School of Ballet and Viktor Yeliohin, now owner of the Viktor International Ballet Academy, from age 6 to age 13.
“Working under Viktor was great,” said Skyler. “He always really believed in me as a dancer—even when I didn’t think it was possible for myself.”
The local stage provided a foundation for the next step: New York City.
Principal Dancers with Geoffrey Ballet visited the studio in Lancaster where they taught a private class and encouraged Skyler to apply to NYC schools. At age 13, Skyler was Big Apple-bound.
“When I finally got to New York I thought it was amazing, but also terrifying,” said Skyler. “It really helped me open up a lot and discover who I was.”
Through acquiring education from The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, Skyler strengthened his ability, enriched his talent, and further developed his ultimate goal to be a premiere ballet dancer.
In summer 2014, Skyler pursued a global opportunity as a Corps de Ballet member at the SemperOper Ballet in Germany. Ever since, Skyler has been working up the hierarchy of dance levels and has currently reached Coryphée, all while keeping an eye on building towards Soloist and Principal roles.
From local Lancaster training to taking on the world’s stage, Skyler is proud to continue this inspiring art form wherever he goes.
“I love coming home to Lancaster,” adds Skyler. “It’s relaxed, familiar, and I really appreciate it. Coming back to my old studio where it began for this Fig cover photoshoot brought back so many memories.”
While here, Skyler helped Victor teach a few classes. Who knows—another young student from Lancaster may be training right now to follow in Skyler’s footsteps as a global ballet artist.