Sophomores Sahej Sidhu and Aditi Desai seized the opportunity to create a cultural dance club at Monte Vista this year. The pair decided to take their love of dance to the masses, allowing Monte Vista students to learn and experience South Asian dance.
Sidhu, a co-founder and president, loves dance, and wanted to allow people to have fun and dance. “I really like dance, especially cultural dances, as well as Bollywood dancing so having this club provides a great opportunity to have a great time and dance to some amazing music,” Sidhu said.
Many students are excited about the club’s arrival. Sophomore Lauren Marsh, who wants to learn not only about dance, but about culture, decided to join when she heard news of the club.
“I want to learn different kinds of dances and I’m really interested in different cultures, so I thought the club would be fun,” Marsh said.
Club members will learn different styles of Southwest Asian dance, with dances from a broad spectrum of cultures. Co-founders Desai and Sidhu represent different cultures, and are familiar with different styles of dance.
“[Members will learn] many different forms of dance present throughout the sub and southwest Asian world.” Sidhu said.
Dances included in the club curriculum range from bhangra, from the northern region of India (Punjab), to bollywood dance, and to middle eastern folk dance. The club hopes to perform at the end of the year, and goes forth with the wish that many people will find a love for dance, fostering their desire to learn about other cultures.
Senior Ariana Sheikhai, who participates in Persian cultural dance outside of school, is passionate about dance as an art form.
“Cultural dance is important because it keeps you connected to your culture, as well as offering a way for you to share your culture with others. Dance is a fun way to bring people together.” Sheikhai said.
Sidhu shares a similar sentiment, and hopes for the club to enrich people’s experience at Monte Vista.
“The club is a way to bring people from lots of different cultures together, and share dances that they do outside of school, primarily people from Sub and Southwest Asian ethnic backgrounds,” Sidhu said.
The club has created a buzz among many people, regardless of background, and had spurred the interest of many who want to participate in dance as a part of their school
“I think people are interested in how we are all involved in our cultures outside of school. A lot of people participate in dance, because it’s fun and artistic.” Sahej said. “The club will give us all a place to share with each other.”
Sidhu wants the club to maintain an emphasis on fun. Dance allows people to let loose, and the club will show people types of dance music that many people may not have been exposed to, including Bollywood, a major influence in the South Asian dance culture.
To many, dance is a way of being able to connect and understand a culture, a language that goes beyond verbal barriers. This new club will bring students closer together, and become connected with another aspect of the Monte Vista community in the 2016-2017 school year.