Dance News

Meet Sophia Lucia!

Sophia wows audiences with her  solid technique and stellar showmanship. Isn't she adorable? Photo by David Hoffman.

At just 10 years old, Sophia Lucia has made quite the name for herself in the dance community. If you know her simply as one of Abby Lee Miller’s “replacements” on “Dance Moms,” you’re missing out! Winner of countless titles and star of viral YouTube videos—she holds a record of 54 pirouettes in tap shoes!—this tiny turner takes her training seriously. We caught up with this rising superstar, who studies primarily with Kristen Hibbs at San Diego Dance Center, to find out some little-known facts about her impressive career. And yes, she’s just as sweet and adorable in real life as she is on TV!

Dance Spirit: What was working with Abby Lee really like?

Sophia Lucia: She’s really sweet! When I went to do my movie, she bought me a whole new outfit to wear to the set! And when the replacements came, she paid for all of us to get our nails done.

DS: Did you get along with the girls on the show?

SL: The ALDC girls are super sweet—I wish I could dance with them every day. We'd have moments where we'd blank out and start laughing. Everyone was so excited to learn the group dance, and everyone was so friendly.

DS: What has been your best dance moment?

SL: Dancing in MDA’s (Muscular Dystrophy Association) telethon with a little girl in a wheelchair.

DS: Who is your favorite teacher or choreographer to work with?

SL: Every teacher is great because they’re always friendly and very nice. But, if I had to pick, I'd choose Mark Meismer (choreographer of my 'Turn to Stone' solo), Tiffani King (choreographer of my 'Pulse' solo) and Rachel Sebastian, who I train with every day for technique and ballet.

DS: What are your best turning tips?

SL: Always find your spot and pull your stomach in—tightening it up! That always helps me if I’m falling off my balance. And I strengthen my core every day.

DS: Your YouTube videos have thousands of views! How do you think they got so popular?

SL: "One day, my mom and I just started to post videos, and they blew up. When my 40 turns video came out on my tap teacher’s YouTube channel, it just went bonkers!” (Sophia’s “40 turns” video now has 872,000 views!)

One night, my dad was watching "Tosh.0" and woke me up in the middle of the night yelling, "Sophie! You’re on Tosh.0! Come see!" and I was on for my 40 turns. He [Daniel Tosh] called me a bad word, but I didn’t care, because I was on TV!

DS: What do you do to calm your nerves before a performance?

SL: My best friend, Cela Dadian, is always with me at competitions, and she’s the funniest person. I’m always so nervous, but she makes me laugh and get over the nerves. If she’s not there, I usually just shake it out and say a little prayer.

DS: Do you have any upcoming projects we can look out for?

SL: I have my own clothing line coming out for California Kisses, and they’re sponsoring me, along with Kids Artistic Revue, to break the world record for pirouettes. I’ll officially be in the Guinness Book of World Records this April!

 

Sophia performing at NUVO. Courtesy Jaclyn Lucia.

FAST FACTS:

Favorite solo: “Pulse” and “Turn to Stone”

Must-see TV shows: Disney channel shows, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians"—"When my parents let me watch!"

Dream choreographers to work with: Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini and Stacey Tookey

Dance idol and role model: Hayden Hopkins and Travis Wall. "I hope that one day my legs go as high as Hayden's! And Travis is just an amazing person to be around.”

Dream dance role: "To dance and act on TV—like on Disney’s 'Shake It Up!' But long-term, I'd like to go to Juilliard and be on Broadway!"

Dance BFFS: Cela Dadian, Audrey Olaes, Kylie Yamane and Autumn Miller

Three words to describe you: “sassy, funny, cute” ("According to my mom!")

Something most people don’t know about you: "I was born missing one rib on each side!"

(via @tran247fitness on Instagram)

Have we mentioned lately how much we love dance dads? Especially ones who show up to their daughter's ballet class sporting a tutu, like Thanh Tran.

Keep reading... Show less
Thinkstock

You've seen it a million times: A glamorous, toned dancer posts a perfectly styled shot of her colorful smoothie bowl. The caption gushes about how great you'll feel if you eat "clean"—but what does that actually mean? DS asked registered dietitian/nutritionist Rachel Fine and holistic health coach (and founder of The Whole Dancer) Jess Spinner for all of the dirt.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.comfor a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I'm being bullied by one of the girls at my studio, and it's awful. I've talked to my dance teacher and confronted the bully directly, but it hasn't made a difference. What should I do?

Faith

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Angela Sterling

Bunheads, this one's for you. They say you can tell a Nutcracker by its "Snow" scene—and we fully believe it. There are so many versions with extra goodies—olive branches! Fake snow! Sleds! Choirs! Snow queens!—and each brings a special something to the holiday favorite. But do you know which ballet has what?

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
(Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy BAE)

Consistent turns are a must for aspiring professional dancers, but pretty much everyone struggles with pirouettes at some point. Luckily, since we're all beholden to the same rules of physics, there are concrete steps every dancer can take to reach his or her top turning potential. “Three is the new two when it comes to pirouettes, but the secret to turning is technique, not magic," says Bojan Spassoff, president and director of The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia.

Falling out of your doubles? Aspiring to go revolution for revolution with your class's star turner? No matter where you lie on the turning spectrum, our 360-degree guide to pirouettes will help you improve.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Ray Batten (left) teaching class at Wagner Dance and Arts in Mesa, AZ (courtesy Batten)

You rehearse your group routine to perfection, but when the big performance rolls around, everyone turns into speed demons. It's the runaway-train effect—and it only takes one loud tapper, or zippy turner, to throw the whole group off the music.

While nerves and excitement are partly to blame, the ability to keep to tempo begins in the studio. A well-developed sense of musicality is your best defense against the dreaded speed trap. "When you understand how the steps fit with the music, going too fast won't just feel like rushing," says Jeremy Arnold, lecturer of tap at the University of Texas at Austin. "It'll feel wrong." How can dancers develop that musicality? It all starts with learning to listen.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Ingrid Silva and her dog, Frida Kahlo (Photo by Nathan Sayers, courtesy Pointe)


You're probably already following your favorite dancers on Instagram, but did you know that you can follow many of their dogs, too? We rounded up some of our favorite dog-centered accounts and hashtags to keep you pawsitively entertained (sorry, we can't help ourselves).

Read more at pointemagazine.com!

(Lucas Chilczuk)

Let's face it—spare time is pretty tough to come by when you're a dancer. You're either rushing to get ready for rehearsal, rushing to rehearsal, a combo of the two, or in rehearsal (or performing, or in class, or at an audition...you get the picture). Well here at DS, we understand the struggle is REAL, which is why we've rounded up our favorite foolproof makeup hacks, approved by resident #LazyGirl when it comes to makeup (spoiler alert: it's me). On to the hacks!

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Kalea Hidalgo (Photo by 567 Photography, courtesy Stacey Hidalgo)

Kalea (pronounced kah-LAY-uh) Hidalgo knows how to move. Her decisive, dynamic dancing commands the stage: She gobbles up space so confidently it's hard to believe you're watching a mere tween. Unsurprisingly, that presence and power have started turning heads in a serious way. Not only did Talia Favia choreograph one of her solos in 2017, but Kalea also recently signed with Bloc Talent Agency in L.A. and, last summer, placed first overall in the junior contemporary solo category at Radix Nationals.

"When you're out on the dance floor, don't ask for permission—ask for forgiveness."—Kalea Hidalgo
Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
Swift in her latest "Making of a Song" episode (via Youtube)

Taylor Swift is #blessed in many ways: She's got a great voice, insane song writing skills, and, to quote her new hit single, she's "Gorgeous." She is not, however, blessed in the dance department. But that doesn't stop her from busting out the occasional dance move. In fact, Swift likes to playfully show off her less-than-stellar dancing, be it in her music videos (hello, "Shake It Off") or at music award shows. So we weren't surprised when during the latest episode of her "Making of a Song" series for AT&T, she unveiled a new endearingly awkward maneuver, which she's dubbed the "dolphin body roll"—and it practically had friend and producer Jack Antonoff rolling on the floor!🤣

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Want to Be on Our Cover?

covermodelsearch-image

Video

Sponsored

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Sponsored