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Why I Dance - By: Emma Ramnarine

Hi, my name is Emma and I have been a student of Anjuli’s for around a year now. I like learning new things and that is one of two reasons that I like learning to dance. There is so much that I didn’t know went into these graceful performances before becoming a student myself, from the position of the claps you do to Kathak's very own language. I enjoy learning about every aspect of kathak, especially its history, and the stories it tells. I enjoy the practice of it for a series of reasons and continue to do it because of its skill set that I want to develop, I like doing active things, and I simply just enjoy doing it. I find it very engaging to be learning so many new things, and it’s why I like to dance.

The second reason I dance is a little more personal. I dance because it’s something I started doing with my Mom, and something I continue to do for my mom. At first, I joined the class not on my own but with my mom, sister, and aunt. Originally, dancing was a desire of my moms. It was a childhood dream to learn a form of classical dancing, like what she saw in the movie Pakeeza, and in other songs that featured the actress Rekha. She didn't learn when she was younger but took classes as an adult when Anjuli was offering them. She wanted company, so I joined the class too. My mom thought that it would be a fun class to take and act as a stress reliever that we could do together. Besides, it was also something to put on my college applications later. After our first semester, my mom was quite busy, so she stopped dancing but kept my sister and me in the class. She also said that she liked that we were doing something a little active and learning something new, which as I addressed is an aspect that I also liked.

Us continuing to dance and learning her childhood interest is something that makes her happy, even though she stopped. Some might say she is living through us but I don’t think so, I think she was just pushing us outside of our comfort zone and happened to pick something we both enjoy. I want to make her proud, so I continue to dance.

The elegant artform of classical dancing is also something my grandfather has always appreciated. For as long as I can remember, I have admired my grandfather, hence I find his appreciation of dance very encouraging. I look up to him and can only wish to be as good of a dancer as he is. So I dance to connect myself with my mother and grandfather.

As you may have been able to tell, my family is quite important to me and I am very grateful for them and the opportunities they provide me. I’m extremely happy my mom introduced my sister and me to dancing because I would not have started doing this on my own, and in turn, wouldn’t have found such a fun class and new interest of mine. Stories are a great fascination of mine, and through my family, I was able to find a new form of story-telling. So, in conclusion, to answer the question, I dance not only because I enjoy learning it, but for my mom.

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