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The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


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March 1 Daily Update
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Lauren Pratt, Producer • March 1, 2024

WTV's Neta Even brings you today's news and announcements including FISD's job fair, NHS applications and this week's edition of Real Talk.

Learning through dance

Provided by Suryadita Padmaraj
Generations of stories are shared through dance, something freshmen Suryadita Padmaraj takes part in. Padmaraj takes classes at the Nruthya Shakti Dance Academy, where she dives deeper into her heratige.

The sound of feet tapping and skipping across the floor matched to the beat of a drum.

The performers move with rhythm and style.

Leaping with joy and swaying with sorrow just as those before them did.

As generations go on, and traditions change, roots and traditions are being kept alive through dance classes at the Nruthya Shakti Dance Academy.

Every week, freshman Suryadita Padmaraj goes to classes at NSDA to connect with her heritage by engaging in dances rooted in the traditions of her ancestors.

“[Indian dancing] helped me learn more stories [in my religion],” Padmaraj said. “I already knew that my culture was filled with many stories. The one thing I didn’t know was that many of the dances we perform were basically just showcasing a story through the form of dance.”

Students growing up in America don’t have the same experience with festivals that are celebrated in India. NSDA works to teach students about the meanings of the festivals and how they are celebrated so they obtain a better understanding of their culture.

“‘What is the symbolism? What is the significance of these festivals? How are they connected to our culture?,” NSDA Director Vandita Parkih said. “What my dance school does is it not only teaches dance colonaries, but it also incorporates teaching these cultures and traditions that come from these states. So the students come to know what happens or how these festivals are celebrated back in India, that way they get exposure [to their culture] and they feel more at home.”

Students in the program also give back to the community through community service and teaching others about dance.

“I get the students to not just learn dance or learn this culture, but once they come to 9th grade they also do at least 100 hours of community service where they use dance as service to serve the community,” Parikh said. “So they would be be teaching dance to differently abled [people] or they would be performing dance in the senior citizen’s center, or raising funds for Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center.”

Through this program, students learn how to not just dance, but perform with a passion.  

“You have to dance from your heart,” Suryadita’s mom, Vanitha Chandrasekaran said. “It’s not just moving your hands back and forth. That’s not a dance. But you know, when you do it from your heart, your confidence level will improve.”

But for Suryadita’s mom, the classes at NSDA provide more than just dance lessons. 

“She started learning about all Indian cultures,” Chandrasekaran said. “India has so many states and each and every state has its own dance form. She started learning about Indian culture through the dance, how they dress up, how they move, the music.”

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