Twisting Her Way To Fame

Sofie Dossi, a 16-year-old aerialist and contortionist
Sofie Dossi, a 16-year-old aerialist and contortionist

Sofie Dossi, a 16-year-old aerialist and contortionist, paints her nails.

Sofie Dossi can fold herself into a suitcase and shoot a bow and arrow with her feet. In 2016, the 16-year-old twisted her way to fame as a finalist on America’s Got Talent.

I recently asked Sofie, a self-taught aerialist and contortionist from Cypress, California, how she got her start. “America’s Got Talent actually found me,” she said via email. “They saw a YouTube video of me performing at a birthday party and called to ask if I wanted to audition.”

Sofie made it to the final round of the show before being edged out by singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal.

Afterwards, Sofie was flooded with requests for public appearances. “I definitely have days where I feel like I’m doing a hundred different things,” she said. “But I balance that by giving myself days off where I’m hanging out with my friends, going to the beach, or watching movies.”

Sofie records much of her life, posting videos every week on YouTube, where she has nearly 1 million subscribers. Her fans know whether she’s “traveling all over to perform” or just “vlogging and doing crazy, silly stuff.”


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Contortionist Sofie Dossi has nearly 1 million YouTube subscribers.


Sofie was reluctant to appear on America’s Got Talent, but her family helped her take the leap. “Don’t be afraid to fail,” she said. “I put aside the feeling that I always needed to be 100 percent prepared and was willing to see where this wild ride would take me.”

Like Sofie, other teenagers might feel awkward trying something different. “Never mind what others think,” she said. “It’s only important that you’re comfortable with your own self.”

To get started, Sofie advised, “Take little steps. But at some point, you’ll need to take a big one. It’s the big steps that will change you and make life extraordinary and exhilarating.”


Photos courtesy of Sofie Dossi