Loffredo was encouraged to dance by her family: “I was kind of just put into dance when I was two. And I’ve just been in that community forever, with the same group of girls.” She added, “I think I finally realized that I really liked it when I got older and I dropped out of my other sports, like soccer and swimming, because dance was the most fun and I liked the people there the most.”
Although she finds rewards in all forms of dance, Loffredo said, “My favorite type of dance is modern, because it’s like ballet, but you don’t have to stick to a strict set of rules. It’s kind of like the place where everyone can just be themselves and do whatever they want.” Embracing the freedom of the moment is central to Loffredo’s inspiration for dance. “I try to think about the moment -- how I’m not at school and how I’m not at home and it’s like my free, empty space. So I just try to focus on having fun with the movement and trying to connect with the music, instead of thinking of my test tomorrow and stuff like that,” she said.
Loffredo’s most recent dance accomplishment was a prominent role in her studio’s production of The Nutcracker. She said, “We did [our show] in November, because we couldn’t get the studio in December. I was the Snow Queen, and it was my final hurrah, so that was the biggest dance achievement that’s ever happened for me. It was a really good way to have my last year of dance.” Despite her experience with dancing solo, Loffredo prefers dancing in a group: “I’ve only had one performance alone, which was with a male partner, and that was fun, but there’s just something about the energy of being with, like, fourteen girls, where we’ve all known each other forever and we know how each other moves. That energy is unmatched by being alone on stage.”
Loffredo’s family and teachers influenced her craft and her perspective of the art. She said, “My favorite dance teacher is actually my friend’s mom, and she’s a really big influence on my life. She is a mom of three and still dances, and she was in many companies when she grew up and danced in college, and she’s an amazing woman [who] shows you that you can dance and have fun, and you don’t have to become a professional.” Loffredo spoke about her respect for her teacher’s resilience: “It’s obviously hard to have this type of job, especially if your daughter is a dancer, because dance isn’t always amazing.” She added, “Another one of my influences is probably my older sister, just because I always watched her dance growing up, and she was always there for me. She was always a role model.”
Loffredo touched on the personal keystone of her dancing experience: “I think dance is about the community and finding a group of girls that you love.” The intensity of dance “can definitely be mentally taxing a lot of the time, and you’re going to compare yourself to other people; standing in front of the mirror for hours a day – that’s not really helpful.” She stressed the importance of “finding other people who are going through the same exact thing that you are, so you can all get past it together and have fun, and try to focus on dance as a free space outside all the other aspects of your life.”
In the future, Loffredo wants to incorporate her passion for dancing into daily life: “I just want to keep having a little part of dance in my life. I know I don’t want to major in it in college, but I definitely want to be on a team or in a club, and then after, I’d love to come back to my studio and teach classes, not as my job, but maybe a little bit when I’m a young adult.” She added, “I definitely don’t see myself as a professional, it’s more like, ‘this is stopping soon,’ but not in an abrupt stop, more like phasing out in my life.”