Anyone who meets me probably knows that dance has a special place in my heart. I don't think there was ever a time where I wasn't dancing, and I can't imagine how my life would be without dance. I started my formal dance training at the age of 5, and kept it going for some time, but quit after a couple of years. I restarted learning dance right before my freshman year of high school, and I didn't think I would get to the level I am today. Dance has changed my life in so many amazing ways, and I can't imagine how my college career would have been without classical dance. Here are some of the many ways that classical dance has impacted my life.
1. It has connected me with my heritage:
As Indians, our culture is very tied into the Indian lifestyle. Even though I was born and raised in the States, the process of learning classical dance over the years has taught me so much about Indian culture, the way of life, and the Hindu faith. It has connected me with my family and has helped form my passion and my love for my ancestry.
2. It has given me a foundation to learn any other dance form:
It doesn't seem like it but having a classical dance foundation helps out learning other dance forms. The technique, strength and stamina that you learn when you learn classical dance can be applied to any other dance form. Trust me, once you can sit in aramandi for 5 minutes, powering through any dance routine will be extremely easy. Even when I had quit dance for a period of time, it was the skills that I learned through classical dance that made other forms, such as Bollywood, Jazz and Tap extremely easy.
3. It has taught me discipline and the importance of hard work:
Learning any skill or art form is not easy. Classical dance, especially the form I'm trained in (Bharatanatyam) is extremely technique-driven, and technique has to be mastered before moving on and learning more complex pieces. When I restarted learning dance, I wanted to learn to the best of my potential and practiced well so that I could learn more and more. At the end of the day, it didn't matter what level I would reach, I just wanted to learn complex pieces that challenged me as a dancer. Even when training for arangetram, there were so many times I wanted to drop a piece from my repertoire or change my choreography to something more simple, but somehow I powered through and made sure I perfected my pieces. Even now when I'm dejected and I'm feeling incapable of accomplishing something, I think back to how far I've come as a dancer, and how my hard work has really paid off.
4. It has been there for me even when I thought I had nothing else:
Anyone who met me Freshman year probably knows that I was a mess. I was going through an extremely tough time, and when I thought I had nothing else, dance, and my team, TAMU Sahithya, was always there for me. It was the best way to relieve stress, and practice was something that I still look forward too. It didn't matter how much I missed home, or how stressed I was about school because every other day I had a 2 hour relaxation period where I could just forget about my problems in life and dance. Gaining a dance team in college meant gaining a family, and a home away from home. Even now, my team is my go to for basically everything, and they have such a special place in my heart.
5. It has led me to meet my closest friends:
Most of my friends from childhood, high school and now college I either met or got to know through dance. My squad in high school comprised of girls that went to my dance school, and even though we were all involved in different organizations and took different classes, we still were close through dance. It's the memories that you make at practice and after that last so long. I still cherish my dance practice memories from my second-semester senior year, and all the funny memories I have with my friends at my old house. Even though we all go to different schools and are involved in various organizations now, I still have that amazing bond with my friends from dance. This is the exact same story when it comes to my dance team friends from college. It's the memories at practice, and out late night after practice shenanigans (mainly food runs to McDonald's and Taco Bell) and the funny stories we have from our various competitions and trips that turn friends into family. Sure we tease each other, but at the end of the day, I know those girls got my back, and I can go to them for anything.
For me, dance is everything. I love it so much, and I'm so grateful for my parents who constantly supported me as a dancer by taking me to classes and paying for them, my gurus for your wonderful dance and life lessons, and my dance friends for being critics and friends when I needed them.
If you're interested in joining our squad, come to Sahithya Auditions!! There's no experience necessary!! We're having 2 audition workshops, and 2 audition dates.
9/8 (Thursday): 9-11pm PEAP 205
9/11 (Sunday): 9-11pm PEAP 205
*only one workshop is required*
9/13 (Tuesday): 9-11pm PEAP 205
9/15 (Thursday): 9-11pm PEAP 205
*only one audition is required*
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Hope to see y'all there!! #wedemgurlz