Bells on my feet.
Dance is art that enriches the soul. It brings warmth and peace that’s indescribable. Understanding music is as much a part of learning to dance as any. With an amalgamation of both and a pinch of confidence one can master any form of it. From hip hop and contemporary to tap dancing and folk, the diversity of today’s dance styles are endless. One learns it not with the mind or the heart but through the soul.
When my feet first found the doorways that could give me a taste of such an experience, I chose to run away from it. My dad tried his best to ensure that I went to class. However I was popularly referred to as “The Year Once Lady,” by my peers, for truly, I visited it rarely.
Bharathanatyam proved to be one difficult form of art to master and fear of my guru drove me to hate it. My name would be called often for being a poor performer. However with the passing days I grew to enjoy music and learnt how to express my innermost emotions in a beautiful way, through Abhinaya.
It started with small events on stage and then I performed at temples. After a few years I decided to undertake a very difficult journey in Bharathanatyam which was to complete my arangetram, where a dancer danced many pieces for nearly 3-4 hours. I did not know what gave me the courage to see it through. I generally liked to perform in front of people. With only the product in mind I pushed myself through days of practice where I was reprimanded for every tiny mistake.
I never forgot the experience or the unforgettable moment when I stepped onto the stage on the much awaited day. An auditorium full of people, lights, my family looking up at me with excitement and pride on their faces. I slapped my feet on the ground to the crazily fast beats. Three precious hours of my life made of nothing but sheer energy and joy.
Dancing brings people to their feet. It makes them want to let out their pain and scream into the night that they are still fighting and moving for a reason. It’s a song that cannot be described in words but can be seen through the expressions of the ones who sing it.
The most beautiful dances are the ones that are born from pain. And so, during the last one on that day, my eyes looked to the left and saw, with pride I’d never before seen in her eyes and a smile that hadn’t graced her lips till then, a guru and a guide who looked at what she’d shaped through the years in pure delight. If at all for anything, the pain was worth every ounce of it, just for this.
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