“I have always loved dancing and performing! I started learning Kathak at the age of five, under the tutelage of my guru, mother and Kathak artist, Ranjana Phadke. Over the years, I have had the chance to perform with her in India and abroad. As I’ve grown into my own, I’ve realized the important role Kathak has played in all facets of my life. It is my strength in stressful times and my safe harbor to express myself, and unleash my creativity. When I practice, I forget everything else, and become one with the rhythm, the nuanced movements and the subtle facial expressions, so integral to Kathak. Today, I dance because Kathak completes me and I am incomplete without it.
I am currently a second year PhD student in the Statistics department at Penn State, and am leading SIMA’s efforts to include dance in its core activities. With this, I hope to introduce students and the wider community at Penn State to classical Indian dance, and gain an appreciation for the traditional performing arts.”