In these odd times when everything is constantly changing regarding schools and their activities, it is important to continue doing what makes you happy, just like Sofia Rodriguez. Sophomore and Gablette Sofia Rodriguez has been working hard to focus on what she is passionate about, dancing. Since dance is a mostly non-contact sport, this has helped make it possible for Rodriguez to keep up with the sport throughout quarantine. She has been dancing for 10 years now and does not intend to allow a pandemic to get in the way of her passion.
Since she is a part of the Gablettes dance team, Rodriguez attends weekly practices. These mostly take place through zoom with occasional outdoor, in person practices with minimal team members. In order to exercise the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, Rodriguez and her teammates wear masks throughout the session and social distance. The number and length of practice vary each week, usually ranging from four to five times a week and two to three hours a practice. These practices will usually include stretching, kick conditioning and/or routine practice.
In a choice between in-person and Zoom practices, Rodriguez prefers practicing in the studio rather than through Zoom. By practicing in person, she has more motivation and is able to get the closest thing to the full dance experience.
As for competitions, a final decision has not been made yet. However, some of the dancers and coaches are determined and certain that they will be able to attend Nationals this year. For now, the team’s main focus is to train and improve as much as if they were going to attend Nationals. Although Rodriguez is not happy about not being able to perform in front of the school, she remains positive and continues to train hard until that day comes.
“I am feeling a little disappointed about not being able to perform and dance in front of the school because that was one of the things that I was really looking forward to doing this year,” sophomore Sofia Rodriguez said.
Outside of the Gablettes, Rodriguez goes on runs and does her own workouts individually. She mainly focuses on workouts that help improve her endurance and will sometimes teach herself combos for extra practice outside the studio. She also does high-intensity interval training to improve her strength.
“Even though it is important to stay at home as much as possible and social distance, we athletes can still keep training one way or another, so we do not lose our skills. If we suddenly stop working, our bodies can lose that endurance which will make it very hard to come back,” sophomore Mariana Gutierrez said.
While it might not seem like it is making a big difference at the moment, she will definitely see the impact of her hard work after the pandemic. Whether you go for a run on your own or have a practice with your friends or team, make sure you are keeping in touch with your sport. It will not only help you physically but also mentally and emotionally.