Dancing has been a source of rejuvenating myself. It has helped me break out from my shy quiet personality and take on leadership roles. I started dancing at a very young age, at school functions, and various Nepali festivals. But, I never knew that I would grow up loving dance so much that I would be teaching it.
My first vivid memory of dancing on stage was of me wearing a pink fluffy dress with my classmates for kindergarten’s Parents Day, an annual event where the kids get to perform the dances and play the instruments they have learned during the school year.
I was a very skinny girl back then. Some people would always look down on me and say I was too skinny; that I didn’t know how to dance. My friends never gave up on me, though. They always supported me and pushed me to keep trying. No matter how shy I was, they always boosted my confidence and I enjoyed dancing with them.
After moving to the US at the age of 13, I struggled a lot with the change in culture and environment. It took a long time for me to adjust to this new world. I did not get a chance to dance for almost a year and a half because my middle school did not offer a dance program.
As I moved on to high school, I wanted to make sure the high school I was going to had dance classes. Thankfully, they did and I took the opportunity to sign up. My high school dance teacher was very encouraging; she always pushed me to bring out the best in myself.
With her confidence in me, I decided to audition for Junior Dance Company in my last year of high school. It was the best thing I did for myself. Being part of the Junior Dance Company pushed me to try different styles of dance. I learned jazz, modern, and some basics of hip hop, a dance I always wanted to learn.
During high school, I grew confident and reached out for opportunities to perform at Nepali cultural events. The amount of encouragement I received from my family and the cultural associations helped me grow as a dancer. This encouraged me to keep dancing and to share my joy for it and my culture.
As a Bollywood movie enthusiast who loved dancing to all hit Bollywood songs at weddings and parties, I wanted to find a university which had a variety of dance teams and especially a Bollywood dance team. That’s when I found Towson University. As I began my journey as a freshman, I joined two dance teams on campus: Chalak, Towson’s Bollywood Dance team, and Fusion Dance team because I wanted to dance as much as possible.
Each team had its own charm. While one team was larger than the other, I was just happy to be dancing. I found myself connecting more with the smaller group of dancers in Chalak so I decided to continue with only one team the next year. Little did I know two years after joining the team I would have the opportunity to become the Team Captain. I am really thankful to my team for allowing me to be the Captain. I really loved dancing with them and growing with the team.
It’s through Chalak that Pavani contacted me to become part of the Bend It Like Bollywood Dance Company. A small message on Instagram asking if anyone on the Team would be interested in teaching dance to little kids lead me to be an instructor today. As much I loved being around kids I was not sure if I qualified for this position. After a few weeks of training with Pavani, I am at Towson teaching little kids.
The experience of teaching dance to the kids has been amazing. I can share my joy of dancing with these little kids who are always joyful and excited to dance. I am really thankful to Pavani and the entire team of BILB for this amazing opportunity because now when I look back on my dance journey it is filled with wonderful memories.