You may not see Sophie in Orchesis anymore, but don’t worry because you might just see her again– she’s not going far away!

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Sophie Visscher-Lubinizki, Barnard/JTS, Dance, Education, Modern Jewish Studies, Vancouver, B.C.

Claim to fame: Being an Orchesis legend, choreographing the never-ending varsity show, and being the last girl before your girlfriend 

Where are you going? Just a hop skip and a jump away! I will be working for Dances for a Variable Population, a non-profit dance organization that offers free dance classes to seniors. My office is on 127th….so I’ll be around….  

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2025?

  1. Always say yes, but know when to say no. In your time at Columbia, you will be presented with so many weird and wild opportunities. Be bold, and say yes to as many of them as possible! Seeing a Broadway show on a whim on a school night, going to that party that “could be weird vibes” – trying new things and spontaneous adventures are what college is all about. BUT, self-care is super important, and Columbia is an intense place, so don’t be scared to say no to things, and hold space for yourself whenever you need it (stress culture is purchased, so don’t buy in).  
  2. Be kind!! Of all the clubs, classes, and incredible things you will do at Columbia, people will only remember how you treated them. 
  3. Slow down. If life ever returns to the way it was before the pandemic, make sure you take the time to enjoy being in college and practice gratitude for the people and things around you. 

“Back in my day…” Oof…a loaded question…Barnard students couldn’t get into JJ’s after midnight. You went to Liz’s place for coffee, and Diana for smoothies (which cost a full meal swipe). Amigos was the place to be, and there were only two ballet groups.  

Favorite Columbia controversy? The fiasco that is the annual performing arts pre-pre calendaring meeting. But, if that is too niche, the grad student strike. 

What was your favorite class at Columbia? Anything with Seth Williams, the man is a god, and the dance department has so much to offer that everyone should explore! Also, Italian Cultural Studies WWII-present – I was one of two students in the class, and it was an insane experience. Take advantage of small unique classes that aren’t necessarily in your field of interest, I promise they won’t disappoint! 

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? As a first-year, I truly hoped that by senior year my answer to this question would be cheese. Alas…the $6 Trader Joes Brie still does more for me…. Oral sex it is. 

Whom would you like to thank? The entire dance department faculty, all my wonderful friends that dance, and all my patient friends who watch the performances. My six senior dance major peers for continuing to inspire me, the Orchesis community for continuing to indulge me, Erik the 616 security guard, Kathy the EC security guard, and, with some reluctance, CMTS and The Varsity Show. My parents, for constantly supporting me, and for being the best roommates and friends during quarantine. Olivia, Mary, Melody, Venice, Chad, Joe, Sarah, Zoe, Sila, and of course, Christian, for being my grounding forces, my cheerleaders, and always making sure I get home safe. 

One thing to do before graduating: Just try new things! There is so much to explore on and off-campus – audition for Orchesis, visit the Butler roof, bike the length of Manhattan – you have the world at your fingertips so get out of your comfort zone and have fun :) 

Any regrets? Not being prouder of being a double degree! Two degrees in four years is HARD, and all you little double degrees out there should be loud and proud about your degrees, and about all the amazing learning you are doing at JTS.