Born in London, raised in Barbados to Sierra Leonian parentage- Sophia pulls from her rich cultural heritage in her work. After studying Musical Theatre and graduating from WAC Arts, Sophia’s theatre credits include; Current Leading lady in Thriller Live, The Grinning Man, Bubbly Black Girl who Sheds her Chameleon Skin , Playboy of the West Indies, Dirty Dancing International Tour and so much more! She was commissioned to run independent soca dance classes and rediscovered her love for dance and the arts. It was then she decided to return to Barbados where she was inspired by volunteering at her first arts school to merge Wellness with Caribbean dance and returned to London with a vision to grow a movement around Caribbean Mindfulness and movement. Sophia is now the CEO and founder of Zaiah Arts, a Caribbean health and wellness brand.
15 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SOPHIA MACKAY…
What does dance mean to you?
Dance is joy expressed in physical movement
What style of dance do you specialise in and why?
Soca- Soca is high energy and rooted in the community and just makes you happy!
What message do you want to spread across the dance world?
Dance is not about tricks and hitting every beat in the book, it’s about connecting with the music in the movement and inviting others into a musical movement journey with you.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in life?
My mum- she sacrificed everything to give myself and my sister a chance to follow our dreams, she is so awesome and I’m hugely grateful to have her.
What quote do you live by and why?
Make yourself undeniable. I’ve always felt I have to prove myself, when I first started to audition in Musical Theatre here in the UK I kept getting to the finals and never progressing until one day a casting director pulled me aside and told me I’m good but I need to refine my skills to take them to the next level. I took one year out to retrain and through my training I kept telling myself- I’m going to make myself so undeniable that as soon as I step in a room, my energy, my work ethic, my skills- who I am speaks for itself and people won’t help but notice it- since then I live by that.
Describe yourself in 1 word?
What has been your biggest achievement so far in your career?
Leading Lady in Thriller Live
What exciting opportunities do you have coming up in 2019/2020?
Developing a Soca dance group- Rebel Reign, releasing music, taking a huge leap of faith and going full time teaching dance and developing my brand Zaiah Arts.
What does MOVE IT mean to you?
For me MOVE IT has inspired me to be the dancer I am today. When I first visited the show I saw a variety of performances that celebrated Caribbean dance and the audience absolutely loved it!
As MOVE IT is celebrating their 15th birthday, what did you do for your 15th birthday?
Went to the movies with my friends in my dads traditional Sierra Leonian hat.
What is your go – to party trick?
Head top into a splits
What is the 15th most used emoji on your phone?
What is your favourite part of birthday parties?
What song at a birthday party gets you dancing?
Dance with you- Machel Montano
Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
In 15 years I want to be on the Forbes 400 list, I see myself owning Zaiah arts dance studios with branches around the UK, Europe, Caribbean and USA, in 15 years I want to have written a musical and have it on West End and Broadway and have released a few albums.