NexGen Laura Orfei shares her love for the Arts

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*NexGen is our ongoing profiles of young ladies currently in high school, college or university and are making a positive impact in their various institutions and communities.

Laura Orfei is young, talented and winner of the World Tap Dance Championship. A true lover of the arts, Orfei has managed to dabble in dance, acting and teaching successfully. She is also on her way to obtaining a teaching diploma at McMaster University.

Check out what she has to say about her journey so far.

You’ve experienced things that one could only dream of, dabbling in the different mediums of art. How did it all begin?

I have been dancing for as long as I can remember! I started at three years old and have continued ever since. I’ve learned many styles of dance but tap will always be my favourite. Now I teach dance and when I find time and space I’ll practice a few steps. As for acting, I started off with modeling which then led me to commercials. I grew extremely interested in not just performing but also the behind the scenes aspects of creating a performance. This interest led me to studying theatre as part of my program in Combined Honours of Theatre & Film and English at McMaster University.

Laura Orfei (Photo supplied by Laura Orfei)

Laura Orfei (Photo supplied by Laura Orfei)

Dancer, actor, teacher and student… Which title best defines you?

All of these have become such a huge part of my identity that I don’t think I would be able to choose just one. They have all led me to so many experiences that have had an impact on becoming who I am today. I feel that I would have to include all of them equally, to find one that best describes me, as they are all equally important to me.

What have you discovered about yourself through the years?

Through being involved in so much, I have learned that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything, but it is still important to stay busy. Growing up I was always doing something, and it was great because I was always busy with dance, acting, or teaching, and I loved it. At times, I would take on too much. I’m the type of person that has to have something to do or else I will find myself on the couch watching movies or Boy Meets World. Don’t get me wrong, I love the show, but I found that it is also important to stay productive.

Are you able to pick one life experience that has stuck with you the most?

I will never forget going to Germany and winning gold at the World Tap Dance Championships because it was a huge accomplishment for me. But there are still so many experiences that stick out in my mind, like some of the first classes I’ve taught, my first commercial, but most importantly, meeting people who have become so important to me. I think we get the best and most important experiences from the people we have in our lives. Because, it is those we surround ourselves with, who help us grow as a person. I have learned so much from these people and am so thankful to have them in my life.

If you were to start over again, what would you do differently?

Nothing! It is important to be happy with who you are today instead of dwelling on something you should or shouldn’t have done in the past. If there is something you are unhappy with from the past you should learn from it.

Can you share some words of wisdom with your peers?

Respect for others is so important in any type of relationship you will encounter, even people you pass by randomly but have never met. You never know when someone is having a bad day. But most importantly, respect yourself. Healthy relationships are built through respect being expressed and received. Respect yourself by “always giving 110%”; to quote my parents. Growing up my parents always told my siblings and I to put our heart into whatever it was we did. Their advice was simply to try harder and prove to our coach or teacher why we should get the extra playing time or the spot in the front row. And lastly, remember to smile!

Saverina Scozzari is an aspiring journalist and Host of "The Saverina Show" inspired by Ellen. The show has made her dreams come true in so many ways, as she continues her journey towards a career in journalism.