Reflections on Dance

Sonia Singhal ’24 in Arts | May 26, 2024

          Although I have been Irish dancing since I was six, I came into Lawrenceville wanting to try different styles of dancing. Joining Nachale, the Indian Fusion En Corps group, was my way of doing that. Dancing with a community of people that consisted of both my friends and strangers each week has provided me with some of my most treasured connections at Lawrenceville. I admit: joining En Corp was vastly different from competitive dancing, but it was in the best way possible. The pressure to be a good dancer was lifted off my shoulders, and it was refreshing to simply enjoy dancing within this space. I had also grown up watching my sister do Bharatanatyam, an Indian Classical dance, so it was nice to join Nachale to explore Bollywood, another Indian dance style. 

          Becoming Captain of Nachale was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had at Lawrenceville. I had looked up to and learned so much from the captains before me, such as Sneha Kondru ’22 and Kishori Shah ’23; I admired their technical skills of choreographing and the uplifting and encouraging atmosphere they brought to the team. I feel so honored to have been able to continue their legacy. The II Formers I have met this year through Nachale have been some of the kindest people in the community, and being part of the beginning of their Lawrenceville journey has made Nachale mean more than I can imagine. Finally, I am so grateful for the community of captains I got to work beside this year. Learning from and simply hanging out with them has given me friends I can turn to in all aspects of my life, not just within dance. 

          Each Dance Series this year has been so memorable, and this last one was no different. Being able to Irish dance through En Corps’ “On the Spot” series pushed me out of my comfort zone for one final time, but the positive feedback I received, alongside seeing a more modern take on Irish dance that I choreographed come to life, made it all worth it. It was also so rewarding to see Nachale’s most ambitious and longest piece of the year light up the stage. I wanted to highlight different styles of Indian dancing in one piece, and being able to integrate Bollywood with Bharatanatyam and Garba, a traditional circular festival dance, felt like the perfect way to do that. Each member of Nachale worked so hard this term to learn this piece, and I feel so lucky to have seen our work pay off on stage. And lastly, none of Nachale’s dances would have been possible without Roshan Shah ’25, the best rising Captain I could ask for. Having someone who is so supportive and creative to work with this year made my job ten thousand times easier. I am so beyond thankful for the technical experience that dance at Lawrenceville has given me, but nothing will be more memorable than the deep personal connections I have made. I would not have found some of the people who mean the most to me today without Lawrenceville’s dance program, and I will forever cherish my dance experience and the people that came along with it.