Listen now to our entire interview with Sophia Lucia! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!
On the third ever spotlight feature of Making the Impact, Courtney and Lesley chatted with dance superstar Sophia Lucia about her extensive training, life as a competition kid, stint on Dance Moms, setting of a Guinness world record, and so much more! In her short 18 years, she has done so much and inspired so many young dancers across the country and around the world.
Sophia grew up training intensively, amounting to 20 hours per week by age seven and upwards of 50 hours a week as she got older. It certainly paid off as she continued to rise to an elite level, and while you might know her from her short appearance on Dance Moms, Sophia was a YouTube sensation long before then and you’ve probably seen incredible videos of her dancing. In her early childhood, her tap solos reigned supreme on the internet, but she eventually did a contemporary solo at competition that truly propelled her into comp-kid fame.
In remembering her time in the competition world, she noted that she once had to go on twenty numbers late because she couldn't get past the crowds of dancers wanting to take pictures and get her autograph! Her fame also created obstacles at competitions, wherein she wouldn't win because the competitions felt she needed to be humbled. At that point, competitions started to shift toward being politically driven when she was in attendance.
But beyond her fame in the competitive world, perhaps one of Sophia’s biggest accomplishments was setting the record for the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest number of consistent pirouettes--55! But what was the process to make it happen, aside from being an incredible turner and training like crazy? It all started with Kids Artistic Revue (KAR) Dance Competition who wanted to sponsor Sophia’s breaking of the record. The process without the backing of a corporation is quite difficult and expensive, so this was a great way for Sophia to get her foot in the door--literally! Guinness had to send a representative from London to count her pirouettes and she broke the record, the first of which was hers, three times! But it wasn't so simple--the rules are super strict and at first, she was changing positions in the pirouettes, which was actually against the rules. She also noted that if her toe came disconnected from her knee in the turns, they wouldn’t count--so, dancers, reminder to make sure you connect those passés! Sophia credits this record as launching her forward in terms of jobs and offers.
Now that she’s had such an incredible career, she’s looking toward the future, in terms of dance, acting, and beyond. After graduating high school early, Sophia started working towards her Associates Degree and looks forward to continuing her education at a larger university, studying both dance and psychology. She is especially interested in sports psychology and the prospect of working specifically with dancers to help them continue to grow and reach their greatest potential. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Sophia!
Thanks to Sophia for joining on this week's episode! Be sure to follow Sophia on Instagram @_sophialucia to keep up with her dance journey!