Venezuelan Canadian Society of BC

Sofia Sanchez: Belly dance with Venezuelan swing

By Valentina Ruiz Leotaud / Translation Carlos Cabello

Sofía Sánchez Bujosa, barely 21, has a long stretch in Vancouver and some other places.

Since little girl she loves dance, so her parents decided to put her in classes while still living in Caracas. As Sofia stood out, Jenny and Edgar knew that she had to continue her artistic training, so when they moved to Mexico she was immediately enrolled in an academy.

When it was time to emigrate to Canada, there was no doubt: the youngest of the Sánchez had to continue her training in belly dance.

The plane had not finished landing, back in 2010, when Sofia already knew she was joining Amed Dance Academy. There she began to excel by the fusions she developed, combining for example, Arabic dance with elements of Spanish culture.

Amed soon granted her a professional dancer certification, and later Sofia obtained another diploma from the Canadian Iranian Foundation.

“I hope through arts to make a difference in many lives,” says the young woman, who also studies Psychology at Simon Fraser University because her ultimate goal is to become an art therapist.

And it seems to be going well. Sofia already works in her area, giving dance lessons Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at SFU and offering private lessons at World Dance Co. She also performs at weddings and festivals.

Canada, she says, has offered her valuable opportunities. “One of the best experiences was dancing in front of Stephen Harper and various members of the Parliament in March 2015 at a gala organized by The Canadian Iranian Foundation. I also had the opportunity to have a show at The Chan Center for the Performing Arts in front of an audience of 1,000 people” she says.

Beyond the big events, one of the activities that Sofia most enjoys is to collaborate with the Venezuelan-Canadian Society of British Columbia. “My work with VCSBC is also part of these incredible experiences. I had the honor of conducting the Venezuelan Folk Dance group and taking it to the North Shore Folk Fest, an event that has 35 years of history” she says.

During that festival, which took place in the summer, the teacher and her companions filled the Centennial Theatre with flavour and “tumbao” (An Afro-Caribbean slang for sexiness or swing).

As if this were not enough, Sofia is also dedicated to the visual arts. However, we leave this story for another time.

To contact her, you can follow her Facebook page Zafirah Belly Dance or write to sofiasanchezart@gmail.com.

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