Of Dance, Zumba, and Life!

The timing couldn’t be better as we have Dance Studio coming up soon and I am writing this after the practice session for one dance and costume fitting for another.

From as long as I can remember dance has been an integral part of my life. Since the age of 6, most Saturday mornings were about Bharat Natyam dance lessons. Bharat Natyam is a classical Indian dance form. What I loved about Bharatanatyam was that each dance told a story, each expression, each step and each hand movement had its own unique meaning. The next 10+ years of my dance life revolved around perfecting this dance form. Hard work and countless hours of dedicated practice helped me work my way up to Arangetram- a form of graduation in dance. Bharatanatyam helped me in three ways (Consulting prep!) One, it helped me become a more positive person in life. Two, it helped me become passionate towards dance- in all it forms, from ‘School Annual Day’ performance, street dance during Ganapati-popular Mumbai festival, song sequences in family Sangeet (dance event in Indian weddings) to just rocking the dance floor. And third and most important one- finding amazing people to connect with.

Dance has been a connecting fabric in my life. I am still close with the childhood friends I trained with for Bharatanatyam. Dance allowed me to form a great community at school. I rarely missed the chance to be in the School Annual Day dance. It has empowered me to help others. Dance gave me the platform to help Shanti Daan, an organization for the mentally challenged in Mumbai. Organizing a charity dance show enabled me to raise funds for a month of care for 200 challenged people there.

Zumba! Years later I started practicing Zumba and loved it. Having done it for 2 years decided to get trained professionally. Being a Zumba instructor wasn’t an easy job. Some of the most important lessons of MGMT610 of emotional contagion and group morale are most applicable in the studio. But most of my Bangalore friends are my Zumba students! I got a chance to relive my Zumba instructor days in June 2015 in Triund- a peak in the Himalayas at 2825 meters above sea level. Yes, you read it right! Doing Zumba on a mountain top after 5 hours of trekking! Why? Because that’s what you do when you are on your first Wharton Trek with an amazing group of friends. And they still remember the steps! #whartonproud. It also wasn’t a surprise that I would end up in the Cluster Cup dance performance in Pre-Term. Some of my favorite people are from this group. Not to mention my ‘Zumba girls group’ which comes alive in Claridge every study break!

Dance Studio has now given me the opportunity to learn new dance forms. While I am doing Indian contemporary, I am also learning Hip-Hop Salsa! I enjoy the freedom, empowerment, and positive energy I feel when I’m dancing. No matter what, when I dance I feel as though I am pushing away any negative energy and creating something positive. I feel empowered, as though I could do anything! Dance has helped me calmly survive FRP and enterprise recruiting! I also think the best feeling in the world is being able to perform on stage in front of other people. The rush of passion and adrenaline that goes into any performance is difficult to describe — the moment when you get to give a performance after working so hard!

I’m so grateful to my Mum for taking me to those early morning dance classes and preparing me for those numerous stage performances. All that has played a big role in shaping me into the person I am today.