AOM: Isobel Souza
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Music blasts from speakers, and the show is about to begin. Junior Isobel Souza sings along to the music, feeling nervous electricity before her World of Dance competition.
For Souza, dance has allowed her to form lasting friendships and land a teaching job at the Brookline Teen Center training young dancers.
Souza is actively involved in two dance companies: Temporarily Out of Order, a contemporary dance company, and Street Pumps, a hip-hop dance company, which recently performed at the World of Dance competition.
“Competitions are big and it’s scary because you can’t mess up in a sense because all the people on the stage are also relying on you,” Souza said.
Senior Ndaru Kartikaningsih has danced with Souza in two dance companies for four years and observed Souza’s growth in dance.
“She can do more style now, and she’s less afraid to explore her creativity and her own choreography,” Kartikaningsih said.
Junior Isabel Howell agrees that Souza has definitely developed through dance.
“I think when she was younger, she was a bit more shy, so dance was a way for her to physically express her ideas instead of having to just talk,” Howell said.
Souza also said that dancing is her passion because it is a good way to communicate her feelings without speaking.
“I don’t like public speaking, but dancing is really a way I connect with other people,” said Souza.
Although hard work and raw talent have made dance enjoyable for Souza, she has still endured setbacks.
“You’re constantly looking at yourself in a mirror,” Souza said. “Seeing all your setbacks and everything you don’t have can be difficult, but also very constructive.”
Souza has said that the biggest frustration she has dealt with is that she is not as flexible as she would like to be.
“Every dance class, I think about it and it affects me, but it’s definitely told me how to deal with what you’re not good at,” Souza said.
However, for Souza, performing is truly an amazing feeling that she does not get anywhere else.
“It’s this moment when you’re trying to give everything because you know you’ll never have it again,” Souza said.
Howell, who loves going to Souza’s shows, says that right as she walks on stage, you know it is her and you know she’s doing what she loves.
“I’m not only supporting her,” Howell said. “It’s also a pure joy to see her doing what she loves.”