6 Reasons Why We’re Rooting For Sophia Laforteza At Dream Academy

Sophia is on fire!

On HYBE’s survival show to form a new global girl group The Debut: Dream Academy, Filipino aspirant Sophia Laforteza shines like a light. Here’s why we’re rooting for her to earn a spot in the final group!

Related: 10 Things You Need to Know About Dream Academy’s Sophia Laforteza

If you haven’t been keeping up with HYBE x Geffen Records’ survival show The Debut: Dream Academy, let us catch you up on how the only Filipina trainee, Sophia Laforteza, has been doing in 3 words: she’s killing it.

The 20-year old is consistently getting top views on her solo fancams and got a high number of votes for the first mission, ensuring her safety the first round of eliminations. Dream Academy just dropped the performances of its second mission, featuring cover performances of girl group LE SSERAFIM’s hit songs ANTIFRAGILE and FEARLESS. For this mission, four teams, with two performing the same song, are pitted against each other. Sophia, along with Lara, Emily, and Yoonchae, made up Team A (or Team SLEY), and they were assigned to perform ANTIFRAGILE.

Naturally, they ate. And Sophia stays being a favorite, and not just because she’s Pinoy! Here are a few reasons why we’re rooting for the Filipina singer and performer.


@lararajj the justin biebers of the #dreamacademyhq #HYBE #GEFFEN #HYBEGEFFEN #LARARAJ #SOPHIALAFORTEZA #SAMARASIQUEIRA #LEXIELEVIN #BROOKLYNVANZANDT ♬ original sound – LARA

One of the very first moments that endeared us to Sophia and the girls outside of Dream Academy promo was when they posted a TikTok acting like early 2010’s Justin Bieber clones. Sophia even pretended to pin Lexie to the wall! The contestants are active on socials, occasionally posting funny TikToks and behind-the-scenes looks at their life as trainees. We love a (soon-to-be) Gen Z idol.


@lararajj TEAM SLEY 😝 (Sophia, Lara, Emily, Yoonchae🤭) our mission 2 performance comes out in 2 hours!! make sure to VOTE for us on Weverse!! #DREAMACADEMYHQ #HYBE #GEFFEN #HYBEGEFFEN #LARARAJ #SOPHIALAFORTEZA #EMILYKELAVOS #YOONCHAEJEUNG ♬ I Know (PR1SVX Edit) – Kanii

In line with all the TikToks and the snapshots with the girls, it seems like Sophia’s getting along with them well! And if the TikToks are anything to go by, Sophia’s clearly a joy to be around. She’s also sang praises for her fellow contestants, like Emily, and teammate Yoonchae praised her Sophia-unnie for her skills and vocals. While this is a competition, it’s so great to see the contestants root for each other and hype each other up.


It’s a challenge to have clear, stable vocals while you’re performing an intense, complex dance routine. But Sophia’s been training in the performance arts since she was a child—and she comes from an artistic family—so it’s no surprise that she can sing well. Her vocals during ANTIFRAGILE as well as during the first performance of Paramore’s Still Into You have received praise from Dream Academy fans worldwide.


Speaking of intense, complex dance routine, Sophia and Team SLEY slayed ANTIFRAGILE, channeling the globally-renowned LE SSERAFIM whilst also putting their own spin on the song as only a fresh group of aspiring artists could do. Sophia’s been taking dance classes since she was in single-digit age, and her honed talents shines. The way she’s also barely out of breath after the performance? We could never.


In a dance practice released by Dream Academy, the trainee could be seen wearing a t-shirt with a Jollibee pocket. Sophia’s repping Filipinos in more ways than one!


The Dream Academy contestants are driven beyond belief to show their talents and skills to the world, and Sophia is no different. She exudes such gratefulness, warmth, and bright enthusiasm that it makes perfect sense that she’s a top-performing contestant not just in terms of skill. She’s a joy to watch, and we hope we watch her reach new heights for a long, long time.


After the voting round of this second mission, four contestants will be eliminated. Vote for your favorite Dream Academy girls by liking their solo fancams on YouTube. Ten likes on a fancam equals 1 vote for Mission 2. Then head on over to Weverse to manually cast your vote for a total of four contestants from each team that performed either of the songs. It’s a little confusing, but essentially you can vote for two contestants per song per day. You can vote for two members in the same team, but all four votes can’t go to the same group.

Voting runs from September 28 11:00 PM until October 3 2:59 PM Philippine time, so you can vote for a total of 5 times.

Continue Reading: Meet the Only Filipina Competing for a Spot in HYBE X Geffen’s New Global Girl Group

10 Things You Need To Know About Dream Academy’s Sophia Laforteza

She's about to be the it-girl.

Here are some fast facts about Sophia Laforteza, up-and-coming superstar and the only Filipino competitor on The Debut: Dream Academy!

Related: Meet the Only Filipina Competing for A Spot in HYBE X Geffen’s New Global Girl Group

In case you didn’t know, Sophia Elizabeth G. Laforteza is competing to become part of the newest global girl group formed by K-Pop industry leader HYBE’s collaboration with American record label Geffen Records! Using her talent in singing and performance, the 20-year-old Filipino artist will participate in K-pop survival reality show The Debut: Dream Academy.

The show’s first episode aired on September 1 along with the competitors’ introduction videos. While we’ll definitely learn more about Sophia during her The Debut: Dream Academy journey, for now here are some fast facts about the up-and-coming it-girl.

She’s the only Filipina to make it to the final 20 of Dream Academy.

Out of hundreds of thousands of applicants all over the world, Sophia Laforteza is the only Filipino performer who made it to the top 20 finalists competing for a spot in the new girl group. With her style, talent, and pride in her Filipino roots, Sophia is blazing a trail for the new generation by taking the chance to be a world-renowned artist under one of the biggest K-Pop companies in the world.

Talent is in her blood.

As the daughter of actress and performer Carla Guevara Laforteza and chef and former performance artist Godfrey Laforteza, Sophia’s very genetic makeup is filled with talent and ambition. Her parents have also been constantly rooting for her on social media since the Dream Academy lineup was announced.

She’s an ARMY—just like her dad!

In an Instagram post, Sophia showed off her purple blood as she posed with her father after watching supergroup BTS’ Permission to Dance in Seoul livestream. Dressed to the nines, with an ARMY lightstick in hand, we can plainly see her love for the boys, and we can only guess how excited or nervous she was to audition for the company that houses her idols.

The Debut: Dream Academy isn’t her first time in the spotlight.

At the young age of 5, Sophia made a guest appearance with her family in the Philippine talk show She Said, She Said where she talked about how she wanted to be a pediatrician and a performer. She also showed off her pipes by dueting with her mother!

She’s been singing since she was 3, and she’s been dancing for around the same time.

@sophialaforteza #duet with @clintonkane ib: @ysawitha_y ♬ original sound – clintonkane

Sophia’s been showing her talent on social media for years, and let us tell you—this girl can sing. We’ll let her TikToks speak for itself. Also, at five years old, she was already taking a variety of dance lessons at Julie Borromeo’s dance studio! She mentioned in She Said, She Said that she loved dancing and wanted to be an artist just like her mother.

Her confidence took a hit after an ankle injury—but she bounced back stronger than ever.

In her intro video for The Debut: Dream Academy, Sophia revealed she had to sit out some of her work due to an ankle injury and that it really affected her confidence. “I need you to give your everything,” she told herself. Once recovered, Sophia bounced back tenfold and performed well in one of her “strongest months in the program.”

Being nurturing and practicing self-love are integral to her character.

Sophia believes being nurturing is a special characteristic of Filipinos, and that it’s a big part of who she is, as well. After her ankle injury, she pushed herself to do her best and told herself that she deserves to be where she is. Self-love, no matter how “cheesy,” as she said in her introduction video, helped her “a lot” and allowed her to continue pursuing her dreams.

She graduated in 2021 with high honors and adorned with medals.

Sophia is a graduate of the Humanities and Social Sciences strand from Multiple Intelligence International School. She won 10 awards and 7 medals, proving that the young trainee is not just a superstar in the talent industry, but also in school! Bonus: she was also accelerated in school at a young age.

She has a killer fashion sense.

One look through Sophia’s Instagram and you’ll see how trendy and stylish the 20-year-old is. From pink pants to sequined dresses, her clothing pieces are always styled to perfection. She exudes an effortless, genuine charm through her fashion, and we’re this close to spamming her with questions as to where she gets her collection of boots.

She’s going to be performing Paramore’s Still Into You with fellow competitors Lara, Celeste, Samara, and Nayoung.

@dreamacademyhq Are you ready for Mission 1? ✨Your first chance to watch and vote for your Dream Academy fav is coming Sep 6. Watch the announcement now on YouTube! #DREAMACADEMYHQ #HYBEGEFFEN #HYBE #GEFFEN ♬ original sound – Dream Academy HQ

The girls’ first mission on The Debut: Dream Academy was revealed on September 1. Split into four teams—two dance and two vocal teams—the competitors will perform their assigned songs to secure their spot in the next stage of the show. Sophia’s team, Vocal Team B, will be performing a special arrangement of Paramore’s Still Into You.

All of the performances will premiere on September 6, 11 PM Philippine time on YouTube. After the missions, two girls will be eliminated, so be sure to stay in-the-know about voting by joining the Dream Academy Weverse community and checking on their socials!

Stay tuned on the Dream Academy website, socials, and HYBE LABELS+ on YouTube to be updated with the show and Sophia’s journey! Voting also begins September 6th on Weverse and YouTube.

Continue Reading: All the Major Announcements From HYBE’s Community Event Briefing