My name is Sophia Grace, 17, from Pennsylvania. I dance in Ewing, NJ at Body Language Dance Center.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My mom put me in dance when I was 3 because my older sister danced, and I fell in love! I started competing in second grade and have been competing ever since. For a while, I played travel soccer. But in fifth grade, I quit soccer to focus on dance. In sixth grade, I switched to my current studio, BLDC, and it was the best decision ever. Since joining BLDC, I really expanded my training in different styles that I did not train in at my old studio.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I would say overall for me things haven’t been the easiest (not the hardest either!) I was never really “a natural” at anything. I didn’t have my splits. I didn’t have great feet or great turnout. I had to work for it all. I worked very hard on my flexibility and strength.
What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?
I always struggled with my confidence which has held me back a lot at times. It is something that I’ve tried to grow over the years. I’ve never been the most confident in my abilities, or who I am as a person. It has always been harder for me to get over my fears and “just go for it”.
Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?
I’ve had a few people throughout the years say things behind my back that have come back to me; about how I was a bad dancer, didn’t deserve the score I got, etc. This always inspired me to work harder. Instead of holding back, I worked harder to prove them wrong.
How do you conquer negative talk?
I try to find stuff I like about myself or that I do well. There is already so much negativity in the world. I have been working on trying to speak nicer to myself.
What is your favorite quote?
"Be you. Do you. For you." - Author Unknown
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I hope to pursue dance. My dream would be, after I graduate high school next year, to head out to LA, get an agent, and start working while training! PA is great, but I’m craving the opportunities out in LA. I am so excited to hopefully live there in the future.