Hello world indeed. A little about me.
I am an Indian Classical Dancer, Bharatanatyam to be specific. I was born and brought up in the United States; in the extremely hot state of Texas. I began my instruction at the age of four under a wonderful woman at an amazing dance school in my community. After learning my basics from an Aunty who was so sweet, she made candy seem sour, I began my tutelage under an Akka who would become my guru for the remainder of my training.
I began work on my arangetram at the age that my school usually allows their students to “graduate”, from the age of 15-17. Unfortunately, things did not work out and I left for college without any official status in the dance community. I was okay with this as much as any dancer is okay with not having an arangetram.
For four years I lived in places that had an extremely small Indian population and I was no longer able to pursue that which filled the gaps in my soul: dance. Finally, I am back home where I belong, in hot state but a beautiful city. I was nervous to come back to the Indian community after so long, but the wonderful Aunty who taught be my basics came in for the save. She asked me to help her set up a small function and I ended up seeing many Aunties I had not in a very long time. Then she invited me to come practice my basics with the youngest classes and eventually she allowed me the chance to “teach” the littlest kids.
I am by no means a teacher (yet), and if I stay here I hope that I am offered the chance to continue to teach. I work with the youngest children on their adavus to allow Aunty time to work with the more advanced younger children. This opportunity not only humble’s me every time I come to class, but it teaches me patience and discipline and drives me to make sure my adavus are stellar. It also taught me a lesson I wasn’t expecting to learn. I have an amazing new found respect for my guru and any teacher (dancer or not) who works with young children.
I recently had the opportunity to thank my guru and tell her of my newly learned respect. Don’t get me wrong, I have always respected this woman, even when she worked us harder than ever before, I have always been impressed by her. When she was my akka, when it came to a point where she was aunty status, and even know when I don’t know what to call her (do I still say aunty!).
Now, more than ever, I know I would like to complete my arangetram. I think at my age, though I am older than most students doing their arangetram, I want it more. I don’t care for the frivolities, the arangetram function which can rival a wedding, but I care for the dance itself. Now, more than ever, I actual want to learn about the tradition and the beauty of it. How it came to be, the different styles, what each dance means, the 108 karanas, everything. I find myself googling things everyday, at least six or seven times. I can not get enough information about this wonderful dance which I feel can knock the socks off any western classical dance 🙂
So, now, I would like to highlight the next year and a half or so as I work towards my arangetram at the ripe old age of 21! I will happily include anything else I find amazing and interesting. I will self-promote and stroke my ego and post any performances and the likes that I do (including this Saturday’s performance!). And I will also go over something that I know can play a big factor in a dancer’s arangetram: the finances. I plan on doing my performance in under $2000. If I can make it under $1500 I’ll be especially happy 🙂
Thank you for reading. Happy dancing!