Reconnecting Through Dance

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At a very young age, I learned bharatnatyam, a classic Indian dance and enjoyed it so much. My first debut was at my cousin Brijesh and Iran's wedding performing to the song Bumbro from Mission Kashmir. To this day, it is my grandmother's most proud moment of me. When we moved out of Ohio to St. Petersburg Florida, I was unable to find another teacher to continue my learning. That is when I sadly gave up Indian dance, but it never left my heart. One of the things I looked forward to coming here was being able to participate and experience dance lessons. Last semester I took Kathak dance lessons which was so much fun. I was able to learn a new dance and reconnect with my Indian dance roots. Kathak is a north Indian dance style that tells stories. Dance was used not only to entertain an audience, but to tell a story. Bells that are on a string are wrapped around the ankle and give rytham to the steps. My friends and I had such a great time learning the steps by putting on the bells and having at it. This semester, I decided to go back to bharatnatyam. Bharatnatyam is a classic southern Indian dance that tells a story through dance. The dance style reminded me of Kathak. Though they come from different areas and histories, the footwork was some what similar in my opinion. The structure is different, but they were very similar to me. The songs or lyrics reminded me of my grandmothers songs that she and I would sing together. My grandmother loves to sing and play music. We would always play together and learn from each other. Listening to the teacher sing, reminded me of my grandmother singing at home. The practice of bharatnatyam is very discipline and focuses on posture and structure. Having my ballet and kathak history helped with that. The hand gestures, or mudras as they call it were difficult to get the hang of. I remembered how much of a struggle it was for me at first. Though my thighs and calves are still recovering from class, I am excited to pursue this more. 

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