We have a very sweet and special young lady to introduce to you all today. Meet Raquel Fraticelli, this week’s #FEMMEFEATUREFRIDAY. We first met Raquel a year ago when she fearlessly approached us, introduced herself, and offered her services for our company YOU GOT THIS, GIRL!. We were so impressed by her audacity and passion for female empowerment that it took us about 2.5 seconds to welcome her in with open arms. Raquel is simply amazing! Not only is she an incredible dancer, a captivating performer, and a badass woman with superb work ethics and leadership skills, but she is also a dear friend with a huge heart.

Raquel began her training at the early age of 3 at Triple Threat Performing Arts in both traditional and commercial disciplines. In high school, Raquel trained at Studio 10 and as a member of Collective Dance Company under the mentorship of her teachers at Nor Cal Dance Arts. After graduating high school, Raquel packed her bags and headed to Chapman University where she graduated with a dual degree in both Kinesiology and Dance. This past year has been a very big time for Raquel as she has decided to make the move to Los Angeles to pursue her biggest dreams. In this short amount of time, Raquel has already played a stunt double in the TV series Rec-n-Rumble, has choreographed a short film called OBOE, has been selected to be a member of the dance company Karmagraphy, and is currently training to become one of Great America’s Nytewalkers’s featured dancers.

As if her schedule wasn’t busy enough, Raquel also travels around the country to teach classes and some how finds the time to be our event producer amongst other YGTG roles she holds. She can do it all! We are so impressed by how intelligent, talented, and kindhearted Raquel is. It’s a no brainer... this beauty is such an amazing role model for all our YGTGirls out there and we are so thankful to have a beautiful soul like hers in our lives. We are incredibly excited to see what adventures will be coming her way in the future. You got this, Raquel!

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart)

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart)

You are such a strong woman and we admire your determination in everything you do! Tell us about a time where you've struggled to feel strong and how you overcame that.

Coming out to a big city to chase my career dreams came with its fair share of ups and downs, and the dance industry has definitely put my mental strength to the test. After graduating from college I had been conditioned to control all of the various elements of my life. When entering the dance industry I had an extremely difficult time adjusting to the fast-paced eb-and-flow and the lack of routine. I guess you could say I was a bit of a control freak and though I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, I was suddenly faced with a blank slate. I felt a bit paralyzed by the overload of what felt like too many options. I spent a lot of time reflecting about who I really am, about the things that truly make me happy and about the life I wanted to create for myself in order to ensure I was truly prepared for longevity in the industry. It has only been a year since then, but I make a point to constantly reflect and check in to ensure my thoughts and energy are all being invested in the right places. 

Who's your biggest inspiration and why?

I would have to say my grandmother, my Grammy. She was the truest definition of beauty and grace. She fought a grueling battle with cancer before she passed away but never once let the world see her without her radiant smile. She gave so much to everyone who came into her life and never once asked for a thing in return. She taught me so much and always finds ways to remind me that she is watching over me when I need it most.

We are so grateful for all the work you've contributed to our company, and your passion for helping others never fails to inspire us! Why is female empowerment important to you?

Thank you so much, I truly believe that working for YGTG has been one of the biggest blessings in my life since moving to Los Angeles. Growing up in a female dominant family, I was fortunate enough to learn by the example of the women around me. As I matured and grasped a better understanding about the inequalities that are present in our society, I began to formulate my own ideas about what it means to me to be a woman and the need for female empowerment. It is an unfortunate reality that women are subject to a lot of hardships in todays society that men are not. 

Female empowerment is about the day-to-day interactions; it is about the way that teachers treat their students, parents treat their sons and daughters, the way that employers treat their employees and the way the friends and peers treat one another. Female empowerment is a set of practices that both men and women are responsible for. We as a society have a long and hard battle ahead of us to achieving social, political and economic equality, but if we take responsibility for empowering women to reach their greatest potential then the world will become a much better place. 

Moving to LA for the first time can be a huge rollercoaster ride of emotions. How have you dealt with the ups and downs of entering the dance industry and navigating your way in a new city?

Like I mentioned in there first question, I definitely had my fair share of mental and emotional ups and downs. My journey in particular has included a lot of SIMPLIFYING and a lot of personal GROWTH. I often go back to the basics to ask myself "does this really matter?", "will this help lead me to my ultimate goal" or "does this make me happy?". I have taken the time to get comfortable with myself and my thoughts to really hone in on what my intuition has to say. I find myself constantly checking in with WHO I AM and comparing that to WHO I WANT TO BE. Whenever I am confronted with a fork in the road I always like to refer back to the key characteristics that I strive to be and allow those to guide me in my decisions.

What's your definition of a YGTGirl?

A woman who lives boldly and unapologetically. A woman who knows how to love and be loved. A woman who feels empathy and gratitude. A woman who can confidently say "I've got this". A woman who lets her light shine!