Student Highlight: Adele Sutton

“Probably when I first started, the thing I liked most about dancing was, not only getting to dance, but watching the older girls, because they were just everything to me.  They had point shoes, and I was just so impressed,” Adele Sutton said.

Eighteen-year-old high school senior, Adele Sutton, started dancing around the age of two.

“My mom had always wanted to do ballet but she never got to. So they put me in ballet. And I just kind of stuck with it,” she said.

When she moved to Colorado, she started with a pre-professional dance program.

“It’s very rigorous and you are devoting, you have to be at online school, so you’re devoting how many ever hours a week to make your dream a reality,” she said, dancing roughly seven hours daily.  That’s when she found Denver Online High School.

“Well I came to Denver online from DSA (Denver School of the Arts).  I had known a person who was in the dance program, Christopher, who had transferred to Denver online, and he had really enjoyed it.  So I was looking to get a little bit more serious about dancing and dance during the school day a little bit more than I already was with the dance program.”

The academic transition not only afforded her the flexibility to complete schoolwork around her demanding dance schedule, but it also offered an efficient learning model.

“I think Denver Online was a really good fit for me because online school is a lot different from regular school but in a really good way, because in a typical high school, I felt like I had so much busy work, you know?  You go to class and you do a worksheet or, you know, you don’t really get a whole lot of time with the teacher, and it’s just kind of in and out.  But at online school, even though it is online, you can still go in and meet with your teachers,” Sutton regularly meeting with her math teacher in person for extra help.

“I felt, I feel like the busy work was kept to a minimum.  I felt like I was actually working towards something and actually doing things that would affect my grade or affect my learning.  So I really feel like only the most important parts of the curriculum were through online school.”

12009781_1015671261810861_6872078530305138615_nShe quickly got plugged into Denver Online National Honor Society where she served as the president this past year.

11047956_926843497360305_2912985457478981333_n“Last year for our group service project we did Habitat for Humanity.  And I wasn’t the best at shoveling but it was still really fun and it was a good day and it felt really good.  It was awesome.”

21311_926843297360325_1264381995703261068_nShe also took advantage of Denver Online’s tuition-free, concurrent enrollment program where she’ll graduate high school with 35 college credits.

“So two years ago I started with Community College of Denver, and I’ve been taking like three or four classes there every semester and I really have been liking it.  It’s really been a good addition to the online school program.”

Amidst dance, online courses, and college classes, Sutton’s goals began to shift as she neared high school graduation.

“I think in the middle of junior year, I got, I was very serious about dancing and was dancing all the time, and, you know, still keeping up with school.  And it came to a point where I said, ‘Is this what I want to do with the rest of my life?’  And that answer was, ‘no.’  I really wanted to go to college.  I really wanted to keep being in school, and keep learning, and find out what I was interested in.”

But she doesn’t want her career in dance to end quite yet.

“I love dance so much.  And I still love dance!  And I always want that to be part of my life.  So I’m going to be auditioning for the dance team at DU, and I just think that will be a really fun way to, you know, meet people and keep dancing and keep being involved.  So I’m really looking forward to trying out, and I hope I get on the team.”

While the decision to pursue higher education instead of a career in ballet was a difficult choice, the soon to be DU student is eager for the change.

“I’m so excited to be going to college!  I can’t wait!  I’m just going to do like everything.  I’m going to, you know, rush and join as many clubs as I can, and I’m already a part of the honors program so I’m just so excited and love my school already, so I can’t wait.”


**Watch her high school graduation speech here.