Sophie Baumgartner – Ohio Nomination by Kimberly Baumgartner Photography by 12.9 Dance Issue 55 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Sophie is the epitome of inspiration. At 13 years, Sophie encapsulates inspiration in everything she does. The perseverance she approaches dance is uplifting. She practices continually to get the step, land a move, or nail a routine with an inner drive most would envy. Sophie is kind to all around her, encouraging and motivating peers, and teammates to be their best. She is eager to learn and succeed in all she does. She pushes to keep going even when she isn’t feeling her best. I am privileged to witness the young woman she is striving to become.
What should we know about you? Dance is in my heart and soul. I dance through life…my body is in constant motion, always moving to music, beats or choreography in my head. Dance carries over to my other activities such as cheerleading, gymnastics, even simply taking a walk. When a song comes on, I imagine how to bring the song to life through dance. If I have a bad day, dance can always cheer me up. When I’m dancing, I’m not thinking about the stress of being a teen, I just focus on the music and let it take away the worries of the outside world.
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? As a child I was very shy. I was diagnosed with Selective Mutism and never talked to anyone outside my immediate family. I started dancing at age 3 and I found comfort in it because I could express myself through moving rather than talking. When I look back at where I was then and how far I’ve come, it’s truly amazing. Now I am constantly reaching out to people and making new friends. I can now express myself in many ways, but dance has been and continues to be my number one way of expressing my emotions.
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be and why? I would like to share how my passion is what keeps me grounded. We all have dark days, and we all have tough times, but what I have found is that having that “thing” you can hold on to can get you through even some of the harder moments. Dance isn't always a solo activity. I would be lost without my dance family. They lift me up, encourage me and bring me comfort and joy. They are my people.
Look for Sophie in issue 55 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!