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I live in London but my family keeps our traditional culture alive. The best part of that is dancing. When I was very little I would watch the dancers in their flowing dresses. South Asian dancing is a very beautiful to watch. I loved it. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to dance. Feeling the movement inside me, the absolute need to let it out, is something that I can’t always explain. Dancing helps me show what’s inside me. I formally began to study Kathak, a classical South Asian dance form, when I was eight years old.

Kathak is all about storytelling. It’s a way of taking our traditional stories and weaving them with certain rhythms and movements that take the audience on a journey. My parents were able to afford to give me classes with a local woman who knew the dance. From her I learned the hand movements, how to place my feet and use my expressions to convey emotions. But it was the music that took all that and made it something real. Knowing the story my movements were telling, hearing the words and the music and letting them flow through me, made it all real inside my head. And having it real inside my head made it real for those watching me. When I’m dancing I don’t focus on anyone else. I don’t always remember that people are watching. I just let the story unfold through me and that’s what I enjoy.

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