Learning Story – Vrinda
Dance has been an integral part of my life for the last 18 years. I began training under my Guru, Ranjana Gauhar, at a very young age and eventually, with her blessings, I started performing. While being on stage is joyous and elevating, the experience of teaching Odissi dance, in the last few years, has been equally enriching and satisfying for me.
There are multiple things I have learned in the process of passing on my skill to young children from varied backgrounds. What strikes me the most is how untainted they are! Be it little Nirali from a marginalized community settled in the outskirts of Delhi or Samaira from an affluent private school in South Delhi. Both are equally fascinated to visualize gushing rivers, soothing breeze, dancing peacocks, languorous elephants, etc. and express their imagination through their dancing movements. Both are exploring the art form in their own way, unaware of the differences in their realities.
Sadly, while Samaira has easy access to art, Nirali has to struggle through various challenges to continue her exploration. This is what urged me to work towards empowering children from marginalized communities and join the @Teach For India fellowship this year. To help bridge the vast gap in the kind of education and skills given to children across different strata of society. I am excited and look forward to this responsibility.
An art form like Odissi has given me the freedom to not only DISENGAGE through its practice, having the power to transgress the realm of ordinary, but also the freedom to actively ENGAGE with ground realities of community due to the sensitivity it invokes within. Something, I look forward to sharing with my students.
Vrinda is a professional dancer and aesthete based in Delhi, India. Apart from her professional performances she also teaches dance. You can view her videos and images or reach out to her on her Instagram handle.
Have a learning experience to share? Send it at firstname.lastname@example.org with a related photograph.