Classical ballet dancer Sophie Hufer, 12, from Melbourne’s renowned competition studio The Dream Academy has been named the newest announced ambassador for Dance Writer Australia.
Ballet dancers do not frequent the studios these days, particularly as there is such emphasis on lyrical and hip-hop in many dance schools across Australia. Sophie Hufer is breaking boundaries by branding herself as a multi-skilled dancer, with ballet and contemporary dance at the epicentre of her passions.
Due to Sophie’s inspiring influence on younger dancers and even among her peers, Dance Writer has chosen her as an ambassador for Australia’s dance community.
“Being an ambassador for Dance Writer is amazing. I have the opportunity to inspire others!” Sophie smiled.
“What makes me a role model to dancers is my ability to take the positive out of a negative experience…you can always turn it around. You have to work hard to improve and that dance is for everyone,” Sophie told Dance Writer.
Sophie began ballet classes at the age of five with her still current teacher Nicole Calleja. Sophie’s ballet technique has evolved even more since her participation with Melbourne City Youth Ballet, where she performed in productions such as Nutcracker and Cinderella. She extended herself further by learning from leading classical lecturers at the Australian Ballet School and has recently landed the prestigious lead role as “Belle” in the up coming annual studio ballet production of Beauty and the Beast.
Sophie has been the recipient of many national and regional titles over the years and has performed nationally. Being a versatile dancer she has developed a great memory, picking up choreography quickly. At one time, she had to remember 19 routines in a two-hour concert and performed them flawlessly.
Sophie has enjoyed being a competitive dancer, yet is now focusing on the essence of dance. Learning about movement, expression and discovering other aspects of dance is developing her versatility and maturity in the industry.
Sophie was most recently accepted into Loredo Malcolm’s Junior Elite Dance Program, LOcREaDO. The Dance Captain of the multi-million dollar musical, The Lion King, Loredo Malcolm has developed his program to share his passion and love for the performing arts with dancers across Australia. Loredo prides his contemporary dance company for young professional dancers and industry professionals.
It is no wonder Sophie is being noticed in the dance world as she also trains in the highly acclaimed program known as Dance Prescription. Here she learns from qualified doctor and dancer, Dr Lisa Ellis, about how to perform high intensity movements and tricks using safe dance procedures. From this program, she has learnt how to set and achieve goals that help to increase flexibility, core strength and stamina, all important attributes for any dancer to learn.
Sophie also trains under the direction of Paul Malek at Transit Dance in the Origins Extension Program, formulated to teach budding dancers to steer away from muscle memory and dive into self-expressive movements.
“I’ve learned so much and I feel very comfortable with improvisation now,” she said.
“It is about getting into the music; feeling every note and letting yourself evolve into movement,” Sophie added.
Other major influential mentors who have impacted Sophie’s development include Zoee Marsh, Freya List, Jayden Hicks, Adam Wheeler, Brittany Page, Daniel Jaber, Damian Meredith and Lachy Hall.
Sophie has come a long way from the three-year-old girl twirling in the lounge room in a pink tutu. She was over the moon when she won the 2015 full studio scholarship and even more excited when she walked away with another full dance scholarship in 2016. Even though she has more training under belt than other dancers her age, Sophie still is focused on her education.
It is a delight that Sophie is particularly passionate about maths and science.
“I want to keep dancing as well as focusing on my maths and science. I don’t know what exactly I want to be, but I want to keep dancing as it makes me happy.”
“I look forward to what the future holds, the possibilities are endless,” Sophie smiled.