June 2017 Featured DancerSofia Lutman
This month we are featuring Sofia Lutman. She is a student at the Academy of Russian Classical Ballet in Wixom, Michigan. We hope you enjoy meeting Sofia as much as we did 🙂
DA: How old were you when you started dancing and how old are you now?
Sofia: I just turned 13 this past April. I was 8 when I started dancing recreational at a local competition studio in which I was learning and dancing many different genres and styles such as jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap and hip-hop. I decided to focus solely on ballet and contemporary dance at the age of 10.
DA: What studio do you currently dance at?
Sofia: I am Trainee student at Academy of Russian Classical Ballet in Wixom, Michigan
DA: What is your favorite dance style?
Sofia: My favorite dance style is ballet because of the calmness and gracefulness of the style. I find ballet the most challenging but most enjoyable and rewarding which is why I decided to dedicate my dance technique towards ballet a few years ago plus I always wanted to dance on pointe since I was a very little. After performing ballet in studio productions, I have fallen more in love with performing on stage because of the story telling within ballet. The stage makes me hungrier to improve my skill to hopefully have more opportunities to perform more in the future.
DA: Who has been the most inspirational teacher that you have had and why?
Sofia: Recently, Mme. Korotaeva has become my teacher for ballet, pointe, variations, and all rehearsals. She has become inspirational because it has been amazing to have an instructor that has lived the life I am trying to pursue. She is very demanding and pushing me to my limits to see me constantly improve. Ballet is so difficult almost all the time, but she believes in me and is never negative which gives me more confidence in myself.
DA: Have you ever had any obstacles you had to overcome in order to keep dancing?
Sofia: Main obstacle or sacrifice that my family and I had to overcome for my dance training was to take me out of a regular traditional school and enroll me into a virtual and home school setting. Our experience with traditional school was that they were not very flexible and supportive with me leaving early or missing days to travel because of my training. My parents were very reluctant at first because they knew nothing about other ways of education because all they knew were that kids went to regular school. My dad always preaches education because he says your mind will take you farther in life than your legs. Sometimes I do miss being in regular school and partaking in school trips or events, but it was necessary that I have the additional time to train to pursue my dreams. I know my parents are still unsure about their decision towards my schooling but hopefully it will pay-off one day.
DA: What do you do when you feel as though you want to give up?
Sofia: I am so young in my dance training so I have never experienced feeling like I want to give up. I thank God that I have not had any bad pains or injuries. But I have had extremely bad days. When I am having a bad day, I always take deep breaths, drink some water, and pray to God. It always seems to do the trick because I always am feeling better by my next class.
DA: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given during your dance career?
Sofia: Having great healthy nutrition will be just as important to stretching or studio time. This advice was given from my parents so it is not directly about dance but it is important for my dance training. My parents have said that what I do is no different than a sports athlete so I need to eat like one. My biggest meal of the day is lunch which is before I go to the studio. I usually have something lean like fish and veggies with either brown rice or quinoa to power me through the first couple hours and then I try to have a piece of fruit or Luna Bar to fuel me through second half of my training.
DA: What do you foresee yourself doing with dance in the future?
Sofia:I am training with the goal to become a professional dancer. Performing onstage is so thrilling that it is worth all the hard work and effort. It is my favorite part about what I do and I would love to do that as long as I can especially performing full length ballets.
DA: Do you have a favorite quote?
Sofia: One saying I love is “When writing your story, don’t let anyone but you hold the pen.” This quote tells me to be me, take my own risks, and write your own life story and not allow anyone to make decisions for me or significantly influence my path in life even though some of the decisions are not that popular.
Thanks so much Sofia for sharing part of your story with us! Keep an eye on our Instagram and Facebook accounts and you’ll probably see more of our June Featured Dancer Sofia!
**select images in the gallery are courtesy of Kaitlin Pitman.