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Students Bond Through Love of Cultural Dance
It’s easy to find a group of like-minded people at a small university that focuses on science and health fields, but USciences Dhadkan is a group of students who also bonded over their love of Bollywood fusion dance.
Founded in 2012, Dhadkan is an outlet for students to fit what they love into their rigorous course schedules.
“The purpose of our organization is to compete with other well-known competitive teams in the Bollywood fusion circuit and show other schools that we are not just a university known for our academics,” said Dhadkan president Vaishnavi Kundur BMS’21. “Members of USciences Dhadkan challenge themselves to balance dancing and education, which not only gives members time management skills, but also forces them to be responsible, committed, and strong—both mentally and physically.”
Each year the team participates in various competitions, and this year, they decided to enter Dhamaka Tamasha, an annual New Jersey competition, in the Bollywood fusion category; out of five university teams, Dhadkan was ranked first.
“When they called our team up for first place, we were all very shocked, but pleasantly surprised. USciences Dhadkan was the last competitive performance of the night and our hopes were not very high after seeing the amazing performances by the other teams,” said Kundur. “Especially given that our team is comprised of only three returning members and the rest are first-year students, we were not expecting the win, but claiming first place was amazing and our entire team was very excited.”
That excitement and connection through dance is something she said makes day-to-day life as a college student better. Kundur encourages other students to find an organization for them and said being part of something bigger helps you to find an outlet for stress as well as a support system.
“It allows us to always have people to share our interests with and even gives us mentors to help out with anything school related or something outside of school,” she said. “Our team is a family and it also gives us the opportunity to connect with other teams outside of USciences which allows us to make friends with similar interests all around the country.”
Dhamaka Tamasha was the last competition of the Spring 2019 semester, but Dhadkan will be back in the fall. Kundur said anyone with an interest in dancing -- Bollywood or not -- can try out during the next round of auditions that will be held during early September.
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