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Sophie Skelton Was Once ‘Embarrassed’ About Being a Ballerina—Here’s Why She’s ‘Grateful’ For It Now

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Sophie Skelton Was Once ‘Embarrassed’ About Being a Ballerina—Here’s Why She’s ‘Grateful’ For It Now

For Outlander fans who have come to know Sophie Skelton in her role as Brianna Fraser over the years, it’s probably easier to envision her chopping wood on Fraser’s Ridge versus standing up on a pair of pointe shoes—but we live for duality, and Skelton, of course, is more than capable of both.

Long before joining the cast of Outlander, Skelton trained as a classical ballet dancer for years. In her “What She’s Having” interview for StyleCaster, the British actress opened up about her experience as a dancer, revealing that there was once a time in her life when she felt somewhat “embarrassed” by the craft. “Growing up, ballet was always looked at as this thing that little girls do in little skirts. But I was such a tomboy growing up,” Skelton said. According to Skelton, her mom wasn’t always the biggest fan of this—especially when it came to being the only girl in Boy Scouts. Skelton continued, “I think for a long time I was kind of embarrassed.”

However, there came a time when Skelton recognized the value of her ballet training. “Now, I feel like I can appreciate the strength it gave me,” Skelton said. “Subconsciously, it taught me so much about powering through things, powering through pain, mind over matter, stamina and actually just getting stuff done. They always say, if you want something done, give it to a busy person. And I feel like now, I can actually embrace that and be grateful for that.”

For many of us, these growing pains are all just a part of the journey—and Skelton knows this firsthand. Since joining the cast of Outlander, Skelton acknowledges that her “confidence” has only grown. Now, she has no problem standing up not only for herself but even for her Outlander castmates. “My confidence has grown a lot more,” she told StyleCaster in her feature for the March 2022 Comeback Issue. “Being on a show for six years, it just gives you more space to explore, to speak up and protect people.”

Of course, these moments of growth and self-discovery aren’t only taking place on the set of Outlander. Skelton also opened up about a moment between seasons when she found herself alone in New York City after ending a relationship. “I was going through quite a bad breakup and I went to New York for a month and I was like, ‘I’m going to go back to ballet school by myself,'” she said during StyleCaster’s “What She’s Having” video series. “I didn’t know anyone in New York. I was like, ‘If I can go and be in New York—which is supposed to be one of the most lonely and isolating places—by myself for a month, then I can do anything.'”

Skelton says she “embraced” the experience fully, doing everything—including going to concerts—by herself. “That was probably the time where I was like, ‘It’s OK, I can get through things.'”

Check out the video above for Sophie Skelton’s “What She’s Having” interview with StyleCaster. You can read her full interview in StyleCaster’s Comeback Issue here.

Outlander Season 6 is available to stream on Starz. New episodes air Sundays at 9 p.m. Find out how to watch Outlander for free here.

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