Meet Priya, a Bharatnatyam dancer and a senior at Chantilly high school and at Nrityanjali, Fairfax VA.
- How old are you and what do you do? (grade/school/college)
I am currently 17 years old and go to Chantilly High School. In the fall I will be attending the University of Virginia and hopefully majoring in biochemistry.
2. When did you start dancing and who are your gurus?
I started dancing in fourth grade after watching one of Nrityanjali’s annual day performances with my mom. During the course of my dance career my guru has been Shanthi Ashok.
3. How do you prep for a dance performance?
In order to prepare for a dance performance, typically I will Facetime my dance group and practice the item we are performing in my basement multiple times. Right before the performance our group will go over the piece in the dressing room and sometimes pray.
4. Currently, what’s your favorite dance item and/or music piece you listen to?
My favorite dance item that I have learned is the Danashri Thillana because it was an opportunity for me to push myself in Bharatanatyam and was a very challenging piece for me at first.
5. How would you describe an amazing dancer and do you have any inspiring role models?
To me an amazing dancer is someone who is able to be completely immersed in the dance they are performing and convey its emotions through their face and movements. Shanthi Aunty is my role model because she has been able to push us to reach toward being at that level.
6. How has dancing helped you in other areas? School, friendships and other?
My dance group and I have become extremely close over the years, and spend a lot of time together outside of class as well. They have become some of my best friends and make class much more fun. Dance has also improved my confidence. Performing on stage has helped me in public speaking and slowly get over stage fright in other areas of my life as well.
7. In your eyes, what’s your biggest achievement or moment of satisfaction (in dance)?
I think my biggest achievement in dance was the Myriad of Folklore showcase that I had the opportunity to be a part of. Those dances were a large step outside of my comfort zone and allowed me to explore different aspects of dance that I typically cannot in Bharatanatyam.
8. It’s the year 2024 – where do you see yourself in the dance field?
I hope to have continued dance in college and remain connected to it. I want to continue to practice the pieces I have learned and potentially even attend local workshops to continue my learning.
Like the showcase? Want to see the other fabulous dancers and teachers of NoVA? Click here