Whitehall dancer looks forward to dancing at Siena

Whitehall dancer looks forward to dancing at Siena

Sophia Harris of Whitehall has made the Siena College dance team for the 2021-22 season. With years of dance experience from Step ‘N’ Time Dance Studio, owned by Gretta Hochsprung, she is ready to take on this next challenge.

“I’ve always loved dancing, and Gretta is my mom’s best friend so that’s why I started when I was so young. I also did gymnastics, so Gretta revolved all of the classes around my schedule for a long time. I was always just good at it, I guess,” she said.

Step ‘N’ Time offered different types of classes for Harris. She was able to try multiple styles, and over her dance career has been able to find some styles that are best for her and some that are her favorites.

“My favorite was hip-hop but I also did jazz, contemporary, lyrical, tap and pointe,” she said.

From September to June, students spend their time learning not only the dances they will perform in the recital, but also refining their skills and growing as dancers. Harris explained that during those months, she is learning a multitude of dances.

“I was learning my tap, jazz, pointe, lyrical, contemporary and hip-hop, and then we perform those types of dances. This year I ended up doing seven or eight dances with my duets and solos,” she said.

Every year, dance students look forward to the month of June because of the annual recital. Some might describe themselves as nervous or anxious right before hitting the stage, but Harris has never seemed to feel any jitters before her performances.

“I never really had a problem at the recitals because I always knew my dances and everything. I loved the recitals, it was the best time of the year with the first week of June being the recital,” she said.

Gretta Hochsprung, owner of Step ‘N’ Time Dance Studio is proud to be able to call Harris one of her students. She explained that she is proud of her growth as a dancer and is excited to see her perform this coming season.

“We at Step ‘N’ Time Dance Studio are all so proud of Sophia! Considering her talent and skills, we are not at all surprised she made the dance team at Siena,” she said.

Harris explained that her thoughts of auditioning for the Siena College dance team originated with a teacher she had at Step ‘N’ Time.

“One of my dance teachers (Mackenzie Fiorini) danced at Siena and then came back and started our kick line class and then taught a few classes. She told me how much she loved it, so when I realized I wanted to go to Siena, I was like ‘Oh, I’ll try out for the dance team,’ and she got me ready for the kick line. She was super helpful,” she said.

After submitting her application to audition for the team, Harris spent a day working with other dance team members for the audition. She was put into a group of four and admitted that she did have some nerves going into the audition.

“This year they had the biggest incoming class they have ever had, so there were a lot of people who tried out. I was really nervous about everything but I guess it worked,” she said.

Harris will be performing with the Siena College dance team at the women’s basketball games on the Siena campus and at the Times Union Center for the men’s games. She is excited about this next dance chapter and is ready for a new dance season.

“I like the style of dance that the coach teaches, so I’m excited to meet other people and grow as a dancer,” she said.