Introduce yourself! Who are you?
My name is Paige Fraser. I was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. I am of Jamaican heritage. I am 28 years old and a professional dancer, currently on tour with The Lion King. In addition to dance, I am an advocate for those living with Scoliosis. In 2017 I launched my NFP – The Paige Fraser Foundation. TPFF aims to create a safe space for dancers with or without disabilities.
What would you say to 16 year old you?
Do not give up! Even though things may seem unfair or harder for you, it builds character in the long run. Being diagnosed with Scoliosis at 13 was one of the biggest challenges of my life. I am so grateful I had loving parents and teachers who believed in my raw talent. Through it all I persevered and I would not change a thing about my testimony. It makes me who I am today…UNIQUE!
What do you love most about yourself?
My tenacity. I am a fighter. I have always gone after what I want. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.
Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
About fifteen years ago, my life took a turn and I almost lost hope in my dreams of becoming a dancer. At the age of 13 I was diagnosed with Scoliosis, a severe spinal curvature/deformity that affects breathing, balance, and alignment.
Doctors told me that I would eventually need surgery to prevent the condition from getting worse. The surgery consists of placing metal rods in your spine to fuse it straight. It was a dark time for me, but my burning desire to become a professional dancer made me want to fight through it. Around the time of my diagnosis I had just began attending the Professional Performing Arts School/Alvin Ailey School in NYC. Not only was I learning new styles of dance, but I was a teenager growing into my body. Fortunately, my parents were able to find non-surgical solutions like Chiropractic care and back bracing. Their love and support got me through that difficult time.
Living with Scoliosis has shaped me into the woman and artist I am today. I have accomplished many of my dreams as a dancer, teacher/choreographer, and advocate. In 2018 I created an educational dance program entitled “Dance is Healing”. Through this program, I aim to create a safe space for dancers with or without disabilities. I plan to continue to use my art and testimony to encourage the next generation of dancers and beyond.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
Love YOURSELF and put your dreams FIRST. Life is short, so please go after all your heart desires. While doing so, it is important to connect with people who lift you up and support your goals. Ignore the haters. People will talk anyways, so why not give them something good to talk about 😉
What is something on your bucket list?
I want to travel and teach in Africa. I have been to Europe, Jamaica, Haiti, The Bahamas, and Bermuda. I love traveling and experiencing new cultures. It is very important to me that I go visit the home of my ancestors.
Where do you find inspiration?
My parents are my biggest inspirations. They came to the US from Jamaica and worked hard for my brother and I to have a good life. I got my work ethic from them. They are my biggest fans and have sacrificed so much for me to be the artist I am today. If I could I would give them the world!!
Paige is a professional dancer, currently on tour with The Lion King. She is also an advocate for those living with Scoliosis. In 2017 she launched The Paige Fraser Foundation. TPFF aims to create a safe space for dancers with or without disabilities.