Dance It Out

It’s a picture of me dancing, in my traditional Mohiniattam costume.

Dance is one of the most powerful forms of expression, also serving as a mode of stress alleviation for many, including myself. 

I started dance, in the form of Mohiniyattam, at the age of 9, under the guidance of my Guru, in Mumbai, India. 

Mohiniyattam, also spelled Mohiniattam, is one of the eight classical dances of India and it originates from Kerala. It gets its name from the word Mohini – a mythical enchantress avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, and Attam which means Dance. Mohiniyattam's roots, like all classical Indian dances, are in the Natya Shastra, the ancient Hindu Sanskrit text on performance arts.

A commonly asked question which still continues to be asked is “Why Mohiniattam?”. To which my reply is: the grace, the beauty in the palm tree-like swift motion, form and speed, is something this form of dance offers. I always looked forward to learning a form that differed from other dance styles, but at the same time kept me rooted to the Indian culture. So, Mohiniattam was a great fit. 

Dance gives me liberty and a sense of gratification, in ways that can’t be expressed by words. Even if it’s just swaying to my own impromptu moves before an examination, ‘dancing it out’ is my go-to stress buster. Being in constant motion, in consonance with the musical beats, often temporarily detaches a person from the burdens and worries of the real world. Even 13 years and counting. I still continue to dance and make it to practices, because I believe that the journey of learning is never-ending. 

Dance is a mode of expression of one’s feelings and if it truly becomes your passion, it connects you with your inner self. So I encourage every dancer out there to always continue pursuing this passion, as one of my favourite quotes reads, “The dance is over, the applause subsided, but the joy and feeling will stay with you forever.” - W.M Tory.