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LI teen stars in Nickelodeon series 'Santiago of the Seas'

Kyndra Sanchez, 14, of Dix Hills provides the

Kyndra Sanchez, 14, of Dix Hills provides the voice of pirate Bonnie Bones in Nickelodeon's animated series "Santiago of the Seas." Credit: Nickelodeon

When she was about 8, Kyndra Sanchez saw a poster featuring a beautiful model in a gorgeous pose. She then asked her mom, "How can I be in a poster and be recognized?"

She's well on her way to finding out. On Oct. 9, the 14-year-old from Dix Hills sets sail on a new voyage in her career as one of the stars of Nickelodeon's "Santiago of the Seas," a new animated series airing weekdays at 12: 30 p.m. In the interactive program, Sanchez plays Bonnie Bones, a scheming pirate whose goal is to make life miserable for steadfast sailor Santiago.

"Bonnie Bones is self-centered, outspoken and very funny. She has a sidekick, Sir Butterscotch," voiced by John Leguizamo, Sanchez said. "And it's so much fun playing such a strong Latina girl."

In addition to acting, the show gives Sanchez a chance to show off some of her other skills, such as singing and her fluency in Spanish. "Every episode includes a Spanish verse so we can teach it to kids. My first language is English, but here and there my mom would speak Spanish to me and I learned how to speak it."

Sanchez has always enjoyed having an audience even before she started acting professionally. "I used to wear tutus everywhere and I was always performing at family gatherings" she said.

After making her debut in a Verizon commercial at 8, she knew that acting was her calling. "The whole set was great, meeting so many amazing people. I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life," Sanchez said.

Since then she's appeared on "Sesame Street" and two other Nickelodeon series — "Dora and Friends: Into the City" and "Butterbean's Cafe." For the past two holiday seasons, she danced in "The Nutcracker" at Hofstra University in Hempstead.

Though the pandemic likely means hanging up her toe shoes for this December, it has not slowed down Sanchez's career or her spirit. "My dad was able to build me a small recording studio in my basement so I can send in auditions," she said. "And I do virtual singing and virtual gymnastics." She'll also be seen next year in the Netflix family movie "Finding Ohana," which was shot in Hawaii..

Perhaps in five or 10 years, she'll even get to achieve her top goal — becoming a scream queen. "My dream is to be a lead in a horror movie," she said. "I've always amazed at how much talent there is behind the scene. For the movie 'It,' it took hours to get the lead character's makeup ready. I've always loved horror movies, so I think it would be really cool experience." -

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