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Zara Bartels

"The King and I" (London)

Trinidadian Zara Bartels now lives in London, England, having forged a successful career in dance. The soon-to-be 34-year-old holds formal accreditation in Dance and History and has held positions throughout her career such as Dance Captain of The Lion King and Media & Arts Recruitment Consultant. Currently, she is the Operations & Team Development manager for a music tech company named ROLI. Bartels has graced stages as a concert stage dancer, performing work by world-renowned choreographers Alvin Ailey, Judith Jamison, Igal Perry and Kazuko Hirabayashi, to name a few.

Her last production, The Lion King, is dear to her heart. “The Lion King is my home. It is the only musical I would work on – because I don’t like musicals – but it brought together cultures and people from all over the world and made our craft the most important thing. I had to teach a show to someone who didn’t speak a word of English but it didn’t matter because our craft connected us. It was life changing and will always be most special to me.” Excited, she is now preparing for an upcoming run of said production, which will be hosted by the Metamorphosis Dance Company in Trinidad on April 16-19 at the Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s. The dance company will be celebrating a 20-year anniversary.

It is a bittersweet experience for Bartels as it will be the end of her dance career but at least she’ll be doing what her heart beats for. “(I’m looking forward to) Performing with my sister, Abby Charles, Nikkia Reveillac and Sonelle Renaud again. I started with these women and am going to end my professional dance career with them on the first stage I ever performed on, and now will be the last. Most importantly, I get to dance for my mom one last time and that is priceless!”