Sofie Dossi is a rising star.
The 16-year-old’s captivating talent as a self-taught contortionist, hand balancer, and aerialist brought her to America’s Got Talent, where she received the Golden Buzzer, and then to The Ellen Show and beyond.
Since AGT, Sofie has gained over one million YouTube subscribers, participated in TV shows and live performances, and was awarded Sports Illustrated’s Halftime Performer of the Year in January 2017.
Everly Mag talked to Sofie about America’s Got Talent, her advice for teens, social media, and what’s next for this flexible superstar.
Everly Mag: What inspired you to start learning contortion?
Sofie: I was 12 years old and watching Cirque du Soleil videos on YouTube seeing performers bending and twisting and thought, “Hey, I can do that!” So I kept watching and started to teach myself. I’ve always been naturally flexible but never thought it was anything unique until then. I got better with consistent practice and focus.
Everly Mag: What was it like to perform on America’s Got Talent and receive the Golden Buzzer?
Sofie: America’s Got Talent was the best experience of my life. I faced the challenge of creating new acts with every new round and had to impress each and every time. It pushed me beyond the boundaries of what I ever thought I could do. And to be challenged like that in front of millions of people was a feeling that I can’t put into words.
On top of that, getting the Golden Buzzer was the most euphoric moment ever. It doesn’t get much better than glittering gold raining down on you and a huge audience plus celebrity judges giving you a standing ovation!
Everly Mag: What goes through your head when you’re doing a contortion or aerial performance?
Sofie: A few minutes before I perform on stage, I get quiet, focus on my breath, and feel my heart beat calming. I know I’ve done the work and it’s the moment I get to share it. When the performance is over, I feel light and can’t stop smiling.
Everly Mag: Do you get nervous? How do you overcome your nerves?
Sofie: I don’t get worried but I get a low-key nervous, excited energy. It’s not the kind of energy I want to overcome because it adds to my excitement and even helps me focus.
Everly Mag: What’s the biggest challenge of your career so far?
Sofie: Coordinating my schedule to make time for performances, events, and school!
Everly Mag: You also have some experience acting. What do you like about acting? What are the differences between acting and performing contortion?
Sofie: I’ve been on a few TV shows in the past and have loved the whole experience of being on set and really love the friends I make. Acting is definitely different than performing! With acting, you get a chance to do different takes and edit, but with performing [contortion], there is only one chance to get it right! There are a few more nerves happening with performing because I know there can’t be any edits!
Everly Mag: How does it feel to have so many people look up to you? What do you hope to do with your platform?
Sofie: I’m so grateful to have so many people look up to me. I hope to continue to inspire them to follow their hearts and work hard and to know that there are no limits to what they can do.
There’s something special in every one of us and we need to be encouraged to express that, whether it’s using our bodies for great athletic feats or using our minds to create and discover.
Everly Mag: What are the best parts of social media? How can teens make social media a better place?
Sofie: The best part of social media is that I’m able to connect to millions of people on a personal level to share with them my experiences and inspire them to be their best.
Teens can make social media a better place by making sure that the content they create or watch is good quality and positive so that encouraging messages and quality entertainment reach more people.
Everly Mag: What advice do you have for young people who want to learn a new skill and become successful?
Sofie: Do one thing everyday to learn your new skill and practice it— even if you spend just a few minutes doing that. Over time, you’ll be amazed by how much you’ve advanced. It takes love, consistency, and hard work to be successful.
Everly Mag: Who inspires you?
Sofie: I can’t choose one person. I look up to every person I see and meet who is brave enough to work hard and follow her dreams—especially the ones who’ve had major obstacles to overcome.
Everly Mag: Describe yourself in 5 words.
Sofie: Hardworking, focused, energetic, happy, and silly.
Everly Mag: What do you like to do with your friends?
Sofie: My favorite thing to do with friends is go to the beach to surf and just hang.
Everly Mag: What can fans expect to see from you in the future?
Sofie: In the upcoming months, I have a digital series coming out, some great collaborations, and as always, traveling for live performances- one will be in Germany!
I’m also constantly trying to create new ideas for my YouTube channel. I just produced a fun music video for my YouTube channel and hope to continue to do more. Lots of other awesome projects are in the works so stay tuned for some really cool stuff!
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Feature Image Credit: Mark Singerman