By Mary Beard
Special to Stlouisrams.com
The city of St. Louis might be new for rookie Sophia, but dancing certainly isn’t.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Sophia starting dancing at age three, attending the same dance studio that her mom and older sisters did before her. She danced throughout high school and then in college she continued, joining the Bearcat Steppers dance team at Northwest Missouri State. When graduation came around, she knew she didn’t want to stop. With an older sister cheering for the Kansas City Chiefs at the time, she was familiar with NFL cheering, but rather than follow in her footsteps, Sophia looked east to St. Louis and decided to try out for the Rams.
Because she was still living in Kansas City at the time, Sophia stayed in a hotel on her own for most of the audition process.
“I remember before that first night of try outs thinking, ‘What am I doing here?’ I was completely out of my comfort zone,” Sophia says. “But when I arrived for the first practice, the veterans and everyone else was so nice and welcoming. Within fifteen minutes of being there, all of my nerves went away.”
Sophia made the team and then made the move to St. Louis; with her fellow cheerleaders supporting her and helping her get settled along the way. Her connections with the Rams even helped her land a job at Cha Boutique, putting her degree in fashion merchandising to good use and giving her great experience as she wants to own her own retail boutique someday.
With all the support she has been given in the last few months, Sophia makes sure to do her part and give back to her new community.
“I recently helped with the Urban League Turkey Distribution which was an amazing experience,” she says. “Everyone that came in was so grateful and came in with big smiles. It was humbling, and felt great to be able to support St. Louis and make people happy around the holiday season.”
Sophia has recently become involved in Save the Children, an organization that connects sponsors to children in poverty-stricken areas both in the United States and abroad. Sophia sponsors a child in Haiti.
“You give monthly donations, and little presents or notes and then they can send letters they wrote or pictures they colored,” Sophia says. “It’s a great way to help out a child and let them know that there is someone out there that is rooting for them and looking out for them.”
Sophia also tries to give back to the squad that welcomed her in, bringing her sense of humor into practices and events.
“I hate for anyone to feel stressed or upset, so I always try and brighten the mood,” Sophia says. “I’m pretty outspoken, I love cracking jokes and would probably be the class clown of the group. All of this has been such an awesome experience so far, you’d have to try hard not to enjoy yourself.”