“It’s just like any other sport,” said Sophia Oliver, referring to dance. “You have to love it; you have to want it.”
Oliver has been dancing for 12 years at the Endless Mountains Dance Center in Towanda. She practices vigorously three days a week to shape her mind and body for competitions. In her fourth year of competitions, Oliver participates in two to three every year.
“It’s a lot of commitment physically and mentally,” Oliver admitted.
Oliver practices many dances including lyrical, ballet, jazz, and tap. She has also practiced hip-hop and pointe. Oliver has performed in ballet, jazz and tap for all 12 years of dance. She’s done lyrical for eight of those years.
“They’re different,” said Oliver, comparing lyrical and ballet. “But they have similarities in style and technique.”
Her dance is supported whole-heartedly by family.
“From recitals, to competitions, to everything in between, they’re there. And I’m very grateful for that,” Oliver confessed, smiling.
She was quick to add that she couldn’t have gotten to where she is today without her teachers who work hard to choreograph their dances.
“The process of putting a dance together is harder than some people realize,” said Oliver.
Some of her teachers have been with her since she was four years old and just starting out. Others are new, but according to Oliver, all are great.
“They know of our potential,” Oliver said. “Something of which I’m grateful for.”
The Endless Mountains Dance Center uses themes for their dances and recitals. Recitals are held every year at the end of May. Themes in the past include Broadway, Childhood, and Wonka Wonderland. This year, the theme is “Be…”
Oliver portrays this year’s theme through her duet with Madeline Getola. Their duet is titled, “Be Loved.” Oliver said that dancers have a story behind their performance.
“They have emotion,” she reflected afterwards.
Her dance has led her to opportunities within her high school. She’s done Drama Club, in which she’s been a featured dancer for four years. This year she played the ballet-dancing Moon within the Addams Family production.
Oliver plans to pursue her dance career after high school by minoring in the art.
“Dance has become such a big part of my life,” Oliver reflected. “I don’t plan on losing it.”