We recently caught up with Sondra, a former World of Dance student who is now attending college at St. John's University, to ask her about her experience growing up in Saugerties while taking dance classes. Here's what she had to say:
Getting started: I’ve lived in Saugerties my whole life. When I was five, my mom decided to sign me up for dance classes. Most girls start out at three or four, so I was a little nervous . I had nothing to be nervous about it, I stepped in and had my first class as a 5 year old, and immediately fell in love. I ended up dancing all the way into my senior year.
Progression: It was mostly jazz and tap at first, very basic. As I got older, I got to add some more. One was hip hop, and that was definitely my favorite. St. John’s is more of a hip hop dance team, so coming from WoD helped me in the long run. I also took a contemporary class, which gave me more flexibility about the kinds of dance I could take.
College: I now attend St. John's University, studying finance, and I was on the dance team for my first two years here. All of my training had been from World of Dance.
Learning Experiences: Often I find that in interviews, everything I talk about goes back to dance, because I’ve truly learned so much from it.
1. Time management: Dance is a pretty big commitment. You’re at the studio a lot during the week, so you have to learn how to balance that with other extra curriculars, homework and everything else.
2. Corrective criticism: All the time at dance, there's a coach or your teammates saying things like, “point your foot, straighten your leg, etc.” We had a good environment where you could give feedback and accept feedback. If my boss gives me feedback today, I don't take it personally.
IT WASN’T JUST ABOUT DANCING; IT WAS
3. Relationships: World of Dance had the greatest impact on my childhood. I was there from the time I was five to 18. I met my five closest friends at the studio, and it wasn’t just about dancing; it was a home away from home. Regina is like a second mom to me, and she’s always updated on our lives.
Closing Thoughts: It just was a great experience. I’m so thankful, and since I danced there, I was able to dance in college, and hopefully I’ll be able to coach like Regina one day. I think dance will stay in my life for a long time.