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Freshman Amoolya Pandurangi Does a Classical Style of Dance


Credit to Kaili Martin

Freshman Amoolya Pandurangi poses for a picture while showing off some of her dance positions. Pandurangi has been dancing for five years and plans on continuing dance in her future. “My favorite thing about dancing is the footwork. In kathak footwork is one of the highlights of it and it just brings me joy,” says Pandurangi

By Karsyn Williams, North Star Reporter

Growing up in a family of musicians and Indian culture, freshman Amoolya Pandurangi practices and performs a classical style of dance called Kathak. Despite her numerous extracurriculars, she manages to fit practicing the style into her schedule.

“I love dance very much,” Pandurangi said. “You’re actually trying to tell a story through footwork and lots of spins.”

Kathak is an Indian dance form that has been practiced for centuries by storytellers to share tales through movement. The style is based around gestures and facial expressions. Pandurangi has been performing Kathak for five years, practicing for about 20 minutes everyday.

“My favorite part is actually the rhythm,” Pandurangi said. “The footwork itself creates the most excitement towards it.”

Pandurangi and her family performs for numerous local Indian events and associations, such as Sangama, the Indian Association and Abhinaya. This leaves a few of Pandurangi’s weekends busy with displaying her talents in classical dance and music.

“I’ve never been the type of person to get stage fright,” Pandurangi said. “I’ve always liked performing in general and it brings a lot of happiness towards it.”

The Pandurangi family is also focused on Indian music, as her father plays the tabla (Indian percussion), and her mother teaches Hindustani classical music and practices singing. Her parents’ interest in dance and music is what introduced Pandurangi to Kathak, causing it to blossom into one of her passions.

“When we exposed her to India [and Indian culture], she grew a passion,” Amoolya’s father, Raghu Pandurangi said. “She never looked back and starting learning more and more.”

Amoolya plans to continue practicing Kathak after high school and is looking forward to her arangetram, a performance done by a former student and a ceremony similar to a graduation.

“I see myself as someone who would perform [Kathak] once in awhile,” Amoolya said. “I could never forget it.”