Sophie Stephenson is a dance artist, teacher and performer from the Highlands of Scotland. Sophie specialises in a close to the floor style of percussive step dance which has origins in Scotland, although the tradition was carried forward by Scottish emigrant communities in Eastern Canada. Sophie is particularly interested in the rhythmical relationships between language, music, song and dance and seeks to explore and expand the boundaries of traditional dance across genres within performance, theatre, film and eduction. She has collaborated on a number of creative projects which have led her to teach and perform at festivals throughout Scotland and internationally in Ireland, Spain, Norway, America and Canada. She is the founding member of trad group Huradal in which dance is an integral part of performance both as a percussive response to the music and also a rhythmical impetus behind the musical arrangements. Sophie has also developed TradBeats, a project which brings together the core elements of voice and movement through rhythm, with Gaelic mouth music, beatboxing, step dance and body percussion.
"I am thankful to all the tradition bearers who have, with patience, encouragement and passion, shared their knowledge and steps with me over the years. For me, step dance (as with any tradition) is a practice which has grown out of the past, but is in a constant process of becoming. I believe that through innovation and creativity which acknowledges these roots, tradition may grow, flourish and become.
I set up Sophabulous Steps to promote and share this accumulated percussive vocabulary with others through performances and workshops. I hope to impart the importance of not only of passing on the tradition but allowing the tradition to take it's natural course of growth and regeneration. I encourage people to make steps their own; to get up to dance at a session or a ceilidh alongside any other instrument; to jam, spontaneously, with other musicians and without any prescriptions of what clothes or footwear to have on or the pressure of exams or adjudicators; just simply dance – for the love of the music. "
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