ALTON - Marquette Catholic High School senior Sophie Bunch became the latest Explorer to announce her commitment to play a sport in college.

She will be attending Maryville University in the fall for dance.

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"I really didn't imagine myself dancing at first, but then I was like, you know what, let's try it out, see how it is," Sophie said. "Going to the first clinic was really fun and all the girls were just super nice and invited me very quickly."

Sophie said she's been dancing pretty much her whole life starting when she was 3 and then began competing when she was 8.

While at Maryville she will be studying to become a nurse, something that she has been really excited about.

She talked about how her cousin was a pediatric nurse and it made her want to go into the field.

While at Marquette Sophie competed at the IDTA State Competition twice in her freshman and junior year. She said those are some of her favorite dancing memories.

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She'll make a return to that competition this season after her team qualified once again in both the lyrical and jazz categories at the Edwardsville IDTA Regional just last weekend.

Sophie received 1st overall soloist back on Dec. 4 in the team's first regional event of the season.

When deciding upon Maryville she said a big part of it was being able to stay close to friends and family.

"Being close to home is important for me. I'm very family oriented," she said.

When asked about what she's going to miss about Marquette, she said the same thing as most other Explorers, the family.

"You're never going to find anywhere else like Marquette. I'm never going to find another Marquette family like I have right here."

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