CARBONEAR, NL — A Carbonear dancer is taking her talents to Spain to represent Canada.
Natasha Haraga, age 18, has had a lifelong dancing career, dating back to her childhood, when she started dance at the age of four-years-old.
However, after a hiatus, she picked it back up approximately three years ago, when she started dancing with Danceworx Studios in Carbonear. Now, she’s preparing herself for the opportunity of a lifetime, to travel to Spain to dance alongside the World Performers Canada National Dance Team at the Dance World Cup.
The Dance World Cup sees around 40 different nations from across the globe come together in one location with a group of highly talented dancers, all competing as either soloists or with a group to see who comes out on top.
The event, being held in Sitges, Spain this month, will see upwards of 8,000 dancers from countries such as Austria, Korea, Ghana, and, of course, Canada.
Haraga’s selection to dance with the Canadian team makes her the only participant from Atlantic Canada. She told The Compass it was a great honour to not only be recognized for her talents, but to be able to utilize them to represent her home country on a global scale.
“Every country has sort of their own way of selecting dancers for their teams. Usually, they’ll have different competitions that can lead up to those people going to the finals,” she explained of the process leading up to her selection. “For me personally, last year during a dance competition in St. John’s, I was scouted out and selected for this team.
“Basically, they hold auditions in Toronto for the selection process, but I didn’t have to do that – I got an invitation based off of what they saw in that (St. John’s) competition. That’s an amazing feeling, really. It’s like a dream come true for me.”
Now, Haraga travels Newfoundland to Toronto, where World Performers Canada is based out of, every couple months to practice with the team. She said these sessions have been something she’ll remember for quite some time.
Haraga was selected for the team for her hip hop styled performances, which she says is a type of dance she particularly enjoys, although she’s not opposed to dancing in a myriad of styles, always hoping to improve her skillset further.
The Dance World Cup takes place over the course of a week and a few days, starting June 21 and ending July 2. During that time dancers will be taking part in a number of different competitions, but will still have some time to themselves to explore their new surroundings.
“We do have some time for the little adventures we’ll go on,” she said. “But, the competition will be going on the entire time. Within that, there are some master classes we can take, and things like that.
“Overall, though, I’m just looking forward to the experience as a whole. Spain is exciting, and to be able to go to represent Canada, while doing something that I’m passionate about. That’s a pretty cool feeling.”
Although she took a break from the professional training throughout the years, Haraga’s passion for dance has continued to burn as strongly as it ever did. Around three years ago, she decided to undertake lessons once more as a means of further pursuing her dedication to the sport.
“Even though I wasn’t getting trained, or wasn’t in an actual studio practicing, I was always dancing – my parents can attest to that,” she said. “I’m always moving, and always had this energy about me, so I decided I wanted to get back into the studio and train, to see where I could go with it, and now here I am.
“I guess, right now, I’m just kind of going with the flow of things to see how it rolls out, but I definitely want to continue with it to see where else it can take me. I really do love dance, and if it were up to me I’d be in the studio every day.”