I LOVE NEW YORK: Natasha Frater, who is experiencing a promising dance career in America
DURING HIS recent onslaught on black British actors, Samuel L. Jackson lambasted the likes of David Harewood, Naomie Harris and Estelle (the rapper/singer appeared in several episodes of hit show Empire), claiming that their huge collective successes were due in part to the fact that they demanded a lower pay cheque than African-American actors.
Many would maintain that Jackson's tirade, although largely offensive, did contain some truth - namely, that black British actors flock to the United States for its enhanced opportunities.
In 2016, 24-year-old dancer Natasha Frater, of south London, inspired, also decided to up-sticks for a trip to America in exploration of the stateside phenomenon.
Trained in a range of styles including contemporary, African, heels, ballet, modern and jazz, Frater launched her career in dance education as a primary school instructor straight after graduating from University.
INSPIRED: Natasha Frater channels French entertainer Josephine Baker
“Part of the appeal in heading to the US was the visibility for black and mixed-race dancers. I love that several companies and shows are created with the specific intent to represent the voice of the black community.
“The USA has a reputation for having a high standard of training within the arts and a wealth of creative opportunities. My goal was to complete a training programme and strengthen my artistic skills”.
The training programme was hosted at the Big Apple’s leading institution for dance tutoring, Peridance Capezio Center. It wasn’t long before Frater was invited to join Katharine Pettit Creative dance company with which she regularly performs, to date.
The Gold Jazz award-winner has gone to dazzle in larger than life performances on one of world’s biggest platforms Summer Stage in Central Park and collaborated with lauded choreographers such as Donna Uchizona.
IN MOTION: Natasha Frater, centre, during a rehearsal session
Speaking of her 20-year journey in this vocation, she smiled:
“I officially started taking weekly community classes at my primary school at the age of four.
“I dance because it makes sense to my mind and body. It fulfils me, it excites me, it stimulates me in a way that nothing else does. In doing so, I hope to share my passion for dance with the world and to utilise my art as a form for positive expression and growth”.
As a member of the exclusive BRIT school alumni, like stars Leona Lewis, Ashley Thomas (Bashy) and Adele; Frater has quickly made an impression in America and is being hailed as one of the greatest upcoming dancers to come out of the UK.
This gifted British woman surpassed fear of the unknown and the comfort of a stable 9-5 to take a leap of faith, in relentless pursuit of her dream in ‘the land of opportunity’. With chutzpah, not unlike that of one of her muses Misty Copeland. One may dare say that Brits uprooting to seek prospects overseas is, in a way, an encompassment of the American Dream itself.
To visit Natasha's website, click here.
Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.