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Black British Ballet

Carol Straker

Ethnic heritage: Black British (Barbadian parents)

Year of birth: 1961

Training: Legat School of Russian Ballet, Urdang Academy, Dance Theatre of Harlem

Ballet career: Carol Straker trained at the Legat School of Russian Ballet in the 1970s where she was the only black student. While she was training, her parents took her to see Dance Theatre of Harlem perform, and she was inspired to join the company.

After completing her studies at Legat, she went on to study at Urdang Academy in 1979 and then went to train with Dance Theatre of Harlem at the age of 19. Carol stayed at the company for a year before joining Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Dance career: Straker is an international dancer who has performed with MAAS Movers Dance Company, the Martha Graham Ensemble and Michael Clark among others. She has been a featured artist, choreographer and lecturer in dance. In 1987 she founded her school and dance company, the Carol Straker Dance Foundation and Constellation Change, a dance on screen festival.

Straker has appeared on television, film, radio, featured in books, and been awarded and acknowledged for her contributions in dance by the Performing Arts from the Caribbean Teachers Association as Best Dance in 1991 and by the Alternative Arts Dance Festival, among others.

Life is live! So, enjoy it and learn from it.
- Carol Straker