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Art & Life with Paige Fraser

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paige Fraser.

Paige, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My story is very unique. I began dance at the age of 4 years old. What started out as a hobby quickly became a passion. I knew from the age of 10 that I wanted to become a professional dancer. Initially I was told by doctors that I would need surgery because they believed my curve could get worst. I had dreams of becoming a professional dancer and hearing the word surgery terrified me. My parents were able to find me a great Chiropractor in NY (Dr. Eingorn) who also suggested that I wear a back brace throughout the day and during bed. It was a very tough time for me because I was growing into my body and had just started attending the Professional Performing Arts School/Alvin Ailey School. I was learning various styles of dance and while dealing with this frustrating diagnosis. It felt like the end of the world but my love for dance kept me hungry. I had faith that I could still make it. I saw the Chiropractor 2-3 times a week after dance and also confided in my dance teachers to help me with understanding my imbalances and strengthening my core. My love for movement helped me through this difficult time. Over 14 years later I am living my dreams as a professional dancer. I have won a Princess Grace Award in Dance and Dance Magazine Top 25 to Watch. I recently launched The Paige Fraser Foundation which is young dancers living with or without disabilities. Our first program is called Dance is Healing which will be a free workshop offered to 25 students in The Bronx, NY where I am from. This phrase is relative to my journey. Dance has healed me in so many ways.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am a performing artist. I dance, create, and advocate for those living with Scoliosis. I live by the saying, “nothing to prove only to share”. This is a wonderful reminder if I am experiencing nerves before stepping on stage. My main mission as a performing artist is to make sure that anything I present is genuine in intention and narrative. I want the audience to feel something when they see me perform or present work. Dance is not only therapeutic for the artist, but should be for the viewer as well. I hope that when I perform the audience is able to have an experience and be taken somewhere else mentally and/or spiritually.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
Absolutely. I personally enjoy works that reflect the times. Choreographers like Kyle Abraham and Camille A. Brown are inspirational to me because their works have a very clear narrative. They use their artistic voice to create a platform for artists of color and represent our stories on so many different levels. As an artist of color I believe it is my duty to remain genuine in the work I perform and present. The #BlackGirlsRock and #BlackGirlMagic is more than a hashtag on Instagram. It is our way of coming together as a community and saying that we support each other and will continue to lift each other up. As a woman of color and artist I want to make empower the next generation. The dance world has slowly begun to diversify over the past few years, but we have a long way to go. Representation is so important especially now. People need to see themselves on stage so that they too can feel appreciated and understood. With all that is going on in the world today I use my art to heal others and myself. It is my way of giving back to my community. I recently traveled to Haiti to teach dance at Milk Carton on a String, a non-profit organization. This was life changing experience for me and reminded me of the power of dance. It really is universal and can change a life.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My performance schedule is on my website paigefraser.net

Contact Info:

   
Image Credit:
Tyler James
Michelle Reid
Eric Politzer
Inrel
Gina Uhlmann
Milk Carton on a String
J’nae Antoinette
Keda Sharber
The Paige Fraser Foundation
Jay Heatly
Pratt Kreidich

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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