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Check Out Sophia LaVonne’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sophia LaVonne.

Hi Sophia, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My first time getting paid for performing was on the subway in NYC. I was a part of a predominantly female group of dancers that would street perform for money. We actually made way more than I could make doing any other job at the time, and we improved our craft while doing it. This was how I paid for rent and food while I went to school, and it gave me a little extra money to take dance classes at studios.

I eventually worked my way up to being hired as a performer for major industry names like Nike, BET, Baz Luhrmann; shows on Netflix, E!, and FX; live productions at Madison Square Garden, Moscow Opera House, Lincoln Centre and more, while simultaneously building up my work as a filmmaker. I would use money from dance jobs to pay for my on camera creations, which ranged from short films to documentary works to dance concept videos to music videos…I directed any type of vision that came to mind. One of my directorial works even got me an invitation onto Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. I continue to appear as an actor/dancer in many of my directorial works to this day and keep striving for all of my crafts of dance, choreography, acting, and directing to achieve greater heights.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road has been bumpy! Despite all the physical obstacles, the biggest struggle has always been to mentally get out of my own way. I could blame others for setbacks, but I choose to take full responsibility knowing that I shape my experience at any given moment based on how I choose to respond to whatever is thrown my way. At this point, I truly believe that if you work hard and keep putting yourself out there in a way that is authentic and true to self, you will create the opportunities that are the absolute best fit for you.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My work meets at the cross-section of dance, choreography, acting, and directing. All are linked through my attentive detail to story, my ability to capture emotion, and my relentless commitment to finding freedom within restrictions.

As a dancer and actor, I don’t have too many rules; this is my space for constant exploration. As a director and choreographer, I specialize in creating work that examines a future world of inclusivity and challenges humanity to break out of boxes and pre-conceived notions of tradition and categories. I am consistently questioning how we can occupy space collectively in this world while allowing ample space for our differences and what this could look like in the future in both best case and worst case scenarios.

The thing I’m most proud of…let’s see…creating a life for myself where I can constantly be working on projects that reflect things I want to see more of in the world.

What makes you happy?
Creating projects that I’m passionate about with people I admire is when I’m the happiest! I have so many visions I want to bring to life, and having the time and resources to get them out of my head and actualized is a huge joy. I’ve tried to do this alone and it’s not the same, so having friends and brilliant colleagues to collaborate with massively contributes to this feeling of overwhelming happiness I get when creating new works. The sleepless nights, the endless hours of editing, the constant state of learning, the millions of failures to get to the one success… the whole messy reality that goes into getting a project off the ground somehow make me ecstatic because I know what my team creates is always of value!

I also love eating chocolate and discovering modern treehouses 🙂

Contact Info:

Image Credit: Inyoung Lee

Image Credit: Phil Garvin

Image Credit:
Drew “Dizzy” Graham (main photo)

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