Pranati Ahuja ~ Arathi School of Dance Scholarship
My name is Pranati Ahuja, and I first began learning Bharatanatyam, an Indian classical dance form, with the Arathi School of Dance under the tutelage of Guru Smt. Alpana Jacob, at the age of six. Back then, I had always dreamt of being a dancer, but I didn’t fully realize what I was getting myself into – dance turned out to be something that I would treasure my whole life. Over the past ten years of my training, dance has taught me not only about my culture, but also quite a bit about myself. I’ve learned that dance is not just an art, it’s a passion. I stayed with my Guru Smt. Alpana Jacob for five years, and have been studying dance under Guru Smt. Revathi Satyu since then.
I recently performed my Arangetram, or solo classical dance debut, in July 2011, under the direction of Guru Smt. Revathi Satyu, and held this event as a fundraiser for the charity organization, Akshaya Patra, raising $1031 sufficient to feed and support 67 needy children in India for an entire school year. I have participated in numerous productions and workshops with the Arathi School of Dance, and these productions inspired me to use my passion for dance for a good cause. Since all the proceeds of our production tickets went to Akshaya Patra, both my younger brother and I quickly became involved with the organization, and decided to make a difference on my “big day”. I hope to continue to use my dance as a tool to bring joy to others.
My Guru, Smt. Revathi Satyu, has always encouraged me to extend myself to new opportunities, wherever they presented themselves. Thanks to her, I’ve had numerous opportunities to take summer workshops and intensive training under renowned artists such as Nirupama and Rajendra, Shijith and Parvathy Nambiar, Priyadarshini Govind, and Dr. Vasundhara Doraiswamy, during their visits to Dallas. I applied for the Arathi School of Dance Scholarship, because I will be able to improve my skills in a rigorous workshop under yet another talented artist, and, best of all, interact with others who share my love for dance.
Arangetram was just a starting point for me, and I aspire to expand my horizons in dance over the next few years!
~ Pranati Ahuja