An Indian American’s quest – Srimayi Mylavarapu (7th Grader in USA)

An Indian American’s quest   – Srimayi Mylavarapu (7th Grader in USA)

Each and every one of us has something in

common with someone we call hero. Whether its

competition, understanding, or sensibility, we

can each show our inner hero. For me, I was

never connected by athleticism, intelligence, or

courage. I was connected through passion, a

passion for my culture.

Dance is a sanctuary, a safe haven. A place we

can rest in after a hard day or life’s biting

challenges. Something we feel, breathe, and live

unconsciously. Being a dancer changes you

forever, whether it’s a walk that seems more

feminine, an eye movement that looks sculpted,

or an expression that is flawless. We all share

part in something huge, larger than the fact that

we “just love dance” that we all elude ourselves

into thinking.

Dance and music is a way to connect and become one with

our inner self. More than that, it is a way to

understand and appreciate our culture. Being

Indian-Americans, this is the most valuable asset

of dance. We have a duty to fill and traditions

and customs to follow. With Sangeetham, Vedas,

or Bhajans, we stay bonded with our heritage. At

school however, we are still intact with our

heritage, culture, and language.

For me, dance is an opportunity to seek joy in the

arts and appreciate culture not only in India, but

around the world.

I feel dance is like a plant. First a student starts

out as a tender blossom. With rain and sunshine

it opens its petals shyly bit by bit and opens up to

the world. In our case, the rain and sunshine is

none other than a guru. A guru gently offers

wisdom, knowledge, and ability. A guru nurtures

the bud and encourages it to grow. One day, it

will open to a flower and the inner beauty will be

revealed. Every single layer that has added up

over the years will be displayed to everyone. The

colors will be bright, the amazement will grow,

and there is none other to thank besides the guru.

The one who has fed it the knowledge, watered it

the ability, and encouraged it to shine. I truly

thank my guru from the bottom of my heart. The

gratitude I express is truly never ending. Yet, I

have not finished my blossoming. I am still

young and continue to open each and every day

and display my colors bit by bit to the world.

Most of all, some of those colors wont all be red,

white, and blue. My true heritage will shine. My

culture has been a huge impact on me as a

dancer, and as a person. It is a way to connect

with my ancestry and reveal my love for the

ancient art form. I believe that Bharatanatyam is

a wide flowing river. One by one the student and

the teacher as a team lay down stepping stones to

cross that river and by the end, the inner self is


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