Local dance instructor to teach in-person

Raasch hopes to work with performing artists as certified nutritionist

Sophia+Rassch+performs+a+ballet+

COURTESY OF SOPHIA RAASCH

Sophia Rassch performs a ballet

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen reporter

What started as a six-year-old in an orange tutu following simple ballet steps turned into a life-long passion for dance instructor Sophia Raasch.

Raasch, University of Idaho senior majoring in food and nutrition with a minor in dance, started teaching in-person classes for Festival Dance last week, she said. 

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, classes were not held at the company’s studio location in Troy, Idaho, when the company reopened for fall, according to a press release.

With the reopening of the Troy Lion’s Club, Raasch will teach “Creative Movement with an introduction to Ballet” to children ages 4-6 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Troy Lions Club. A combo class is scheduled for children ages 7-9 from 5 to 6 p.m. 

“The kids were excited to be moving,” Raasch said. “I am pleased with how the class turned out.”

Raasch said she has studied ballet since she was six years old. At age 10, Raasch and her family moved to Troy where she started taking dance classes at Festival Dance, which she continued through high school.

Raasch said she and her family moved to Troy when she was 1. She graduated from high school in 2019 with only 14 other class members.

“The kids I went to school with were pretty much like having more siblings, which was a bonus, but could be headaches from time to time,” Raasch said.

Growing up, Raasch’s older sister introduced their family to dance. Now, her sister is wrapping up her senior year studying fine arts and modern dance at the University of Utah, she said. Raasch quickly followed in her footsteps. 

“I wanted to do everything she did,” Raasch said. “She danced, I wanted to dance.” 

She tried other activities, like volleyball and soccer, but none of them stuck like dance did. While in high school, she said she assisted the head dance instructor at Festival Dance. 

When the executive director called to offer her the position to teach her own class this spring, she said she could not pass up the opportunity. 

As a student at UI, Raasch said she started to expand her knowledge about other types of dance, like modern and classical ballet. She performed in the 2019 fall faculty professional performance, where faculty members choreographed the dance. 

After Raasch receives her diploma this May, she plans to become a certified nutritionist and eventually work with performing artists to meet their nutritional needs.

Raasch said her interest in nutrition stemmed from her mother’s knowledge and reminders to take note of what is put into your body.

As the Festival Dance semester continues, she said she hopes to inspire the children in her classes to enjoy dance as she did growing up.

“It means a lot to me to be sharing dance with children in this community, especially since access to this training is very limited,” Raasch said.