5 December 2022
Bharatanatyam is one of the most widely recognized Indian classical dance forms. It communicates religious themes and spiritual ideas, particularly of Shaivism and in general of Hinduism.
Nine-year-old Burgess Hill Girls student Sanaya Mohandas has been practising Bharatanatyam since she was six. She has weekly lessons and when preparing for competitions she trains for an hour every day on top of regular group practise sessions with her team of five dancers.
The team’s most recent competition was organised by the Union of United Kingdom Malayalee Associations (UUKMA). The UUKMA’s aim is to promote fellowship of its member associations through cultural exchange involving artistic, literary, and intergenerational needs of the Indian community living in the UK.
Every year they conduct Arts and Literary competitions at regional and national levels with over two hundred participants. The Indian Classical group dance competition is judged by acclaimed artists from the community. It judges the technical elements, presentation, and artistic beauty of the performance.
This was the first time Sanaya and her team participated in the competition. Having won the regional competition in Croydon they then went on to claim first prize at the national competition in Cheltenham.
Sanaya was excited to claim first prize with her team: “I really enjoy dancing. We worked so hard, but it was worth it!”
Head of Burgess Hill Girls Prep, Heather Cavanagh was delighted to hear the news: “Sanaya is immensely dedicated in everything she does, so I was not surprised to hear her team came first. She is a wonderful example to all our students in what can be achieved when you put your mind to something.”
Watch a video of Sanaya’s team’s first prize winning performance.