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Sophia Lucia’s first YAGP journey

  • April 19, 2016
  • by Chelsea Thomas

Capezio Athlete Sophia Lucia is well known around the globe for her focus and determination as a dance prodigy. A Guinness World Record Holder for the most consecutive pirouettes (55 to be exact!), she rose to fame on Dance Moms, YouTube and at dance competitions across the US. The young entrepreneur has been a special guest star on numerous shows, including Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, The Ellen Show, Disney’s Shake It Up, X-Factor and America’s Got Talent.

Now the award-winning 13-year-old is taking her ballet training to new heights. While she’s already been training fulltime for quite a while in jazz, contemporary, tap and ballet, she’s been focusing more on pointe work and partnering in the last year or so. Sophia is currently training under Master Ballet Academy Artistic Director Slavomir Wozniack and Olympic Rhythmic Gymnastic Instructor Masha Weitz, in addition to completing Pilates and Gyro Tonic training.

We recently caught up with Sophia after she competed at a Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Regional in her hometown of San Diego, CA, for the first time.

“I enjoyed the entire process of preparing for this prestigious ballet competition,” she said. “I wanted to compete at YAGP because I wanted to do something I have never done before and to push myself as a dancer. So I worked day in and day out since August preparing my two variations.”

This was a momentous occasion for Sophia as it was only her second time performing en pointe onstage – the Phoenix Ballet Nutcracker being her first.

“I was truly inspired by all of the amazing ballerinas that competed at YAGP San Diego – such an honor to share the stage with all of them,” she shared.

After winning first place in the contemporary category, placing in the top 12 for the classical division, and receiving first place for both her contemporary and classical pas de deux, Sophia is now looking forward to YAGP Finals later this month.

Fresh off her San Diego event, she said, “I am excited to have been invited to compete at Finals this April in NYC. I have a lot of work to do to prepare myself. I know I can do it if I put my mind to it. I can’t wait to see the best of the best from all over the world compete. This is going to be so exciting.”

When asked what made YAGP stand out among all the other dance competitions she’s been a part of, Sophia said, “The Youth America Grand Prix is very different than most competitions I have been to.  There wasn’t loud cheering for dancers as they walked on and off stage, just nice clapping. It felt very professional.”

She added, “I really enjoyed the fact that all of the dancers there were gracious and friendly to one another. We all work so hard, so it’s nice that we can honor everyone’s talent. Ballet is very humbling. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done.”

Sophia expanded on this, saying that competing in ballet has pushed her past her comfort zone. “I have never worked so hard toward something that I want so badly and to share the stage with dancers who have only done ballet their entire life and they are amazing…and here I am… my 11th year of competing and this was my first ballet competition. I have strictly been training fulltime in ballet for only 5 months… It was so nerve racking! But I did it!  I love every minute of it.”

YAGP Finals will take place April 22-27 in New York City, with the prestigious Closing Night Gala set for Friday, April 29 after the Awards Ceremony at 3 pm.

“My goal for NYC is to be the best I can possibly be,” Sophia said. “Perform with grace and beauty, give them a performance they won’t forget.”

Produced by Dance Informa.

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