Instructor Spotlight: Natalia Roberts
Natalia Roberts only has one button: GO. She’s dancing. She’s training. She’s instructing. She’s knocking it out of the (Prospect) park. Our girl Natalia has been sweating it with ((305)) for nearly three years—and we can’t get enough of her hot-bod moves and up-beat mood. Natalia was kind enough to give us the inside scoop on her her life, her hustle, and her perfect dream job.
Let’s get this party started. How long have you been with ((305))?
Almost three years ago now! I auditioned in January, and was teaching on the schedule by the summer of 2014.
Veteran status. What drew you to ((305)) in the first place?
After I finished undergrad, I moved to New York City to do a two-year certificate for ballet and contemporary dance. I was looking for part-time work that I could do alongside dance school. I was also trying to find my way in New York and my people!
One night I was out with my sister and a friend over the winter holidays. We were at a club and it was supposed to be popping—but it was NOT. People were nodding along, but they weren’t DOING anything. So I decided I needed to get the party started. I got everyone dancing and having a good time (give a holla if you love a good Soul Train!). The next morning I saw an ad for 305 asking, “are you a party starter?”
Smells like destiny to me. So what was the biggest challenge of acclimating to NYC?
Honestly it was trying to find a community of people. I was raised by a village. I had second parents, third parents, and a dozen friends I've known since birth. In college (at WashU) I was apart of the Ervin Scholarship program. I accepted the scholarship because it was a full ride, but it turned out to be so much more then that! We had monthly meetings, community events and a true community. When I moved to New York I had to craft my own community for the first time—and it was hard.
That is super hard!
But makes you super grateful for a space and place like ((305))! Since working at ((305)), I've steamrolled my way through three relationships, gone from being a student to a professional, lived in two different cities (New York and DC), moved into five different apartments—and worked countless side jobs. ((305)) is the only thing that's been consistent in my adult life, and I think that's because I found my first solid friend group here.
So what’s your role in a friend group?
Hmm. So imagine you’re at a party. And everyone knows each other, but there one person who brought a date or a random friend, and that person doesn't have anyone to talk to. I’m the person who talks to the outsider. I like to make people feel wanted.
So you’re the Includer! I love that. What other stuff are you up to?
On the fitness side of things I just finished training with another Studio and am certified to teach three classes there: HIIT, barre, and a cardio-based class. I'm hoping to keep the study train going and buckle down on my personal training certification. I'm also teaching fitness classes to charter school teachers after school as part of an engagement and retention program. The teachers are so tired at the end of the day, but this way I can bring the fitness to them.
On the dancing side I'm currently a member of the Caterina Rago Dance Company, we'll be gearing up soon for our tour to Italy! I’m trying to figure out the whole choreography thing, and I'm currently in a Choreolab. I was in my first play recently... Will be joining a new project-based company with some old dance-school friends in March... Also-also! I’m going to be in a lindy hop music video! It’s kind of a combination of swing dancing and hip hop.
DAYUM girl. You’ve got a lot going on. Okay let’s wrap this up. What is your dream job five years from now?
I would love to be choreographing for some kind of immersive dance theater. But if I’m really thinking DREAM job...I would love for a celebrity to hire me as their personal trainer—or another job where I could travel the world doing what I love... and get a bunch of swag fo' free.