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Profile: Anthea Fraser

Dancers+hold+hands+at+Greek+Fest.
Dancers hold hands at Greek Fest.

Dancers hold hands at Greek Fest.

Maria Corvallis

Maria Corvallis

Dancers hold hands at Greek Fest.

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Twice a year senior Anthea Fraser shows her Greek side at two of Portland’s biggest Greek events of the year. Her heeled shoes click on the 31st Ave. dancing stage as her hair swings in her face. With a huge crowd cheering, focusing on the difficult footwork is tough, but also one of the best feelings.

The smell of the food, the sounds music, the people laughing, and the culture, all give the sense of family, never failing to make her smile.

Fraser’s grandfather came to America from Greece with his wife and three daughters, one of whom is her mom. With eight grandkids and many extended cousins in Fraser’s immediate family, there is a lot of involvement in the Greek community.

“I am very involved in my culture and faith and it all ties together,” Fraser says.“Everyone at church is family, whether blood related or not, the connection is instant.”

Fraser has been performing at The Greek Festival since she was in kindergarten and competing at international competitions since fourth grade. She has performed a countless number of dances.

After 66 years, The Greek Festival is one of the most iconic festivals in Portland, sharing Greek culture with over 15,000 guests annually.

Starting in September for The Greek Festival preparations, until February for the FDF (folk dance festival) competition, Fraser, her family and her team, Protopori, spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for three to four hours practicing the difficult routine they perform.

“We perform nine dances at Greek Fest, random ones during the practice season and two long performances for the FDF competition,” Fraser says.

Although she’s a senior and her team performances are coming to an end, it is not the end of her Greek life. This bittersweet closing is opening a new door to the future. There are many Greek communities at the schools she is applying to, and that is not a coincidence. Fraser is planning to stay connected to her Greek community, in the near and distant future.

“My family will definitely be part of the Greek community whether or not I marry a Greek.”

 

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