Bollywood boogie

Sophomore Triya Gudipati planned dance fundraiser for Hurricane Irene relief


Debra Klevens

Sophomore Lila Hartle and other Bollywood night participants mirror sophomore Triya Gudipati’s moves during the first dance class. Hartle liked seeing her friend teach a different dance style. “As someone learning [this style] for the first time, [Gudipati] made it easy and friendly to follow along,” Hartle said.

Microphone booming and feet pounding, sophomore Triya Gudipati taught Bollywood hip hop moves to 21 participants.

Gudipati held a Bollywood dance event in the North gym. The event was a follow-along dance class where students learned the moves and danced alongside Gudipati to popular Bollywood music. The event raised money for hurricane Irene victims who lost their belongings and livelihoods in the Caribbean and East Coast of the United States.

“I’ve been dancing my whole life. Whenever I have anything I need to work through, dance is always my first resort,” Gudipati said. “So when I found out there were some issues [due to Hurricane Irene] going on, [I thought] we should rally together to make a difference. The best way I could think of how [was] through dance.”

Journalism teacher Debra Klevens sponsored the event and worked with Gudipati to find an organization to help. Admission to the event was $5, and donations were accepted. The $352 was donated to the Save the Children organization.

Sophomore Triya Gudipati teaches dance moves at her Bollywood dance night event, wearing a mixture of traditional and modern clothing. Gudipati wanted to wear comfortable dance clothing but still stay true to her culture to teach others about Indian tradition. “It was fun to bring everyone together and dance as one. I felt like everyone had fun and learned things about dance,” Gudipati said. (Debra Klevens)

“[Save the Children] helps people, especially children and youth, who’ve lost their homes or don’t have access to resources. I thought I could make a large impact,” Gudipati said. “I hope that [the event] helped the community rally and show that we can make a difference and help out if we work together.”

Gudipati advertised through social media and word of mouth and attracted 21 people to her event. With the event being inclusive to everyone, she had a mix of students, younger children and adults who came.

“I was thrilled that even one person showed up, but 21 is even crazier. I will always be grateful to the people who show up and support,” Gudipati said.

Bollywood is a genre of music that stemmed from the movie industry in India to now be a form of Hindu Pop and has grown in popularity throughout the world. Gudipati plans on starting a Bollywood dance club at school for students to join to share her culture with others. She has gained experience in similar situations by choreographing Bollywood moves for kids over the weekends.

“It would be a fun club for students [and] a stress reliever. [We] could bring different cultures in together and make a nice tight-knit community, which is the point of the dance, to bring people together,” Gudipati said.