It’s that time again to drink tons of hot chocolate, or whatever hot drink you prefer and watch a bunch of Christmas movies. Tomorrow night, the Hallmark Channel is airing a new holiday movie based on the beloved 1892 ballet, The Nutcracker originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.
Dance Moms alum, Sophia Lucia, plays the role of Sadie in the film. A young dancer, Sadie moves to Philadelphia to live with her aunt and is given the opportunity to play Clara in the Philadelphia Ballet Company’s production of The Nutcracker. “What drew me to A Nutcracker Christmas was it is every little girl’s dream to play the role of ‘Clara’ in any production of The Nutcracker,” Sophia explains about how the role appealed to her. “I started ballet a little later in my dance career so I never thought I’d have an opportunity to play Clara. So when the opportunity arose and I learned that I was cast as Sadie and Sadie dances as Clara, I was like, ‘This is a dream come true,” Sophia exclaimed.
She expressed her excitement over A Nutcracker Christmas not only allowing her to act in the movie but getting to dance, especially because she gets to work in a Hallmark movie.
Having acting credits including guest roles on Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn, Kirby Buckets, and Shake It Up, Sophia’s first big acting role is playing Sadie in A Nutcracker Christmas. “Aspects that I see in myself and Sadie are [that] she is sweet, caring, and funny. Sadie is very intuitive to what is going on, which is so my personality,” Sophia says. And with their similarities, Sophia shares what elements of herself she implemented into her character, “She loves to dance and most of all she loves her family. This is why I feel I brought the character of Sadie to life.”
“My favorite moment from filming, A Nutcracker Christmas, was the Christmas tree scene when we ran into Mr. Anders (Sascha Radetsky) at the Christmas tree lot,” Sophia shared reflecting on the special moments in between takes getting to bond and laugh with her coworkers including, Sascha, her director, Michael Lembeck, and Amy Acker who plays her aunt.
Talking more about the film, Sophia says she hopes that viewers walk away from A Nutcracker Christmas with four things; resilience, passion, a family bond, and a love for the art of ballet.
“Since dancing at a ripe young age of 2 years old, I really can’t remember when I fell in love with dance. But, I do remember when I fell in love with acting,” Sophia reflects. “It was our first table read for this film. Michael Lembeck sat down with me and made me feel like I could do anything. This is when I knew dancing was my stepping stone into acting. I hope to do more films in the future.”
In order to prepare for the role of Sadie, Sophia kept up with ballet by taking ballet training classes in Toronto where they shot the film. Sophia also worked with an acting coach, but Sophia points out that getting to work with Amy is what really helped her with this experience. “We would go over scenes in her apartment wich was across the hallway from mine. It was great because we built such a bond and I feel like that bond comes across through the camera when you watch the movie. Amy will always have a special place in my heart as I already feel as if she is my family,” Sophia exclaims warmly.
While most were introduced to Sophia due to her being an alum of the hit show, Dance Moms, Sophia is deemed to be somewhat of a dance prodigy, knowing how to dance ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, ballroom, character, and flamingo with her eyes set on hopefully one day learning Irish Dance and Bollywood. She has earned multiple awards including a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for doing 55 Pirouettes consecutively, winning first place in Teen Dance Challenge in 2015, and Best Junior Dancer in 2014 at the Dance Awards.
Sophia tells me one of the most surprising moments in her career, however, happened earlier this year in July when she won the gold medal at Varna International Ballet Competition in Bulgaria with her dance partner. “I had only been training strictly in ballet for 13 months and the odds were against me. But I achieved something that everyone told me I couldn’t do.”
“Being so young and having so many amazing opportunities from dance has been so amazing,” she shares. “It has allowed me to travel to six out of the seven continents of the world. I have met so many amazing dancers all over the world and have made so many friends all over the world. For that, I am forever grateful.”
Sophia gives credit to her instructors who she says she’s grateful for and she’ll never forget how much faith they had in her by investing time and effort into helping her succeed in her craft, “I can only hope I will have the same opportunities with acting. Believe in your dreams!”
Learning work ethic, patience, the importance of humbleness, and “no matter what to love yourself for who you are and what you have to offer [because] no one is perfect,” from being a dancer, Sophia closes out the interview offering advice for anyone who loves dancing, but finds themselves struggling. “My best advice for any dancer who may be too afraid to dance or feels too shy or maybe is dancing and feels like quitting, because we all know dance is hard and very subjective, [is to] believe in in yourself and love yourself for who you are because anyone can achieve the highest when they believe in themselves,” Sophia advises. “Also remember, ‘everybody puts their pants on the same way,’ we are all just like one another. So if you feel intimidated, remember that. And don’t quit because you never know what could have been.”
Favorite Christmas drink: Hot cocoa with lots of whip cream
Favorite Christmas movie: Santa Claus movies… all of them!
Favorite Christmas song: Jingle Bell Rock
Favorite thing about winter: and curled up by the fireplace watching Hallmark movies
Favorite part of a nutcracker ballet: Arabian! I love that role
A Nutcracker Christmas airs on Hallmark tomorrow night, Saturday, December 10, 2016.
(Photo Cred: The Hallmark Channel)