Simply Shreya: the day that can’t get here fast enough


Morgan Kong

Wingspan’s Shreya Jagan shares her personal take on issues and experiences in her weekly column Simply Shreya.

Shreya Jagan, Managing Editor

So, there’s something that I’ve been working on for a while that I’d like to share. I know I’ve mentioned this before here and there but I really want to go into depth about something that matters to me. If you didn’t already know (but you probably do because I’ve been known to ramble), I’m a dancer. And, I am presenting my classical solo dance debut this summer.

I learn a classical Indian dance style known as Bharatanatyam. It’s something that I’m very passionate about and I’ve been learning for about 10 years now. This solo dance debut is known as an Arangetram and it’s a big deal for a dancer. It’s basically the equivalent of a graduation ceremony for a senior in high school except substitute high school with dance school. Usually when somebody is ready for their Arangetram, they have a regime they follow the entire year before their performance. So, it’s very meticulous and intense as it’s a straight two hour repertoire of around seven pieces. A lot of work and dedication goes into an Arangetram. But, it means a lot. It’s not only a show of how much I care about dance but it’s also about sharing my love for dance with others.

I was actually supposed to do my Arangetram last year but because of the pandemic, it got moved an entire year over. It was a little disheartening that a year’s worth of practice and preparation had essentially gone down the drain. At first, it was a little disappointing and I didn’t really find the motivation to start practicing again. I just felt like it would never happen. I felt that there would always be something that stopped me from showcasing my talent; there would always be something that stopped me from living out one of my dreams.

Seriously. COVID is a mood-killer. 100%. Anyways, back to the point. So, I was stuck at a dead end for a few months into this year actually. And of course, there was this voice in the back of my head yelling at me.

“Stop procrastinating!”

“Get to work.”

“If you never find your ‘motivation’, would you be ok with not dancing anymore?”

That last question broke the trance I was in. How would I feel if I could never dance again? The fear of that actually happening suddenly became all I could think about. So, I got out of my slump of sorts and just began to dance… Forced myself to dance. And soon enough, my “problem” solved itself. I no longer felt unmotivated. I never lost my eagerness for dance. I don’t know if that’s even possible. Dance is so deeply rooted in me and who I am. I just think that with all the chaos of this past year, my mind got a little clouded and couldn’t recognize the truly important things for a quick second. I said that I once felt like all my practice had gone to waste. There’s always more than one perspective to any situation. You just have to find it. And I did. My new profound point of view was that this way I get two years to prepare. A chance to be twice as good for the big day. The positive side is always there. It’s just hiding.

What I’m trying to get at here is that, oftentimes, if you’re facing a block, you can’t get out of it unless you literally push yourself out of it. Instead of waiting for things to fix itself, find a way to fix them. Even if it’s annoying (which it very well may be). But I guarantee that in the end, you’ll be happy that you didn’t let go of your passion, something of utmost importance.

I’m finally having my Arangetram this year. June 13. It used to be the dreaded day because I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to live up to my potential.

It’s not the dreaded day anymore.

It’s more like the day that can’t get here fast enough.