Thandav is a competitive, Indian classical dance team that promotes cultural awareness and social service. This organization encourages the sustainment of Indian classical dance through choreography and music. Team members use flexible movements, gestures and facial expressions to communicate a meaningful story to the audience.
The meetings for Thandav usually take place two to three times a week, lasting around two hours each. They kick off their practices by doing warmups and working on learning choreography. The members emphasize cleaning up and standardizing choreography around competition season and preparing for their exhibition piece.
Thandav works extremely hard every year to prepare for their performances. They perform for events in the community, like holidays and festivals. Along with these events, most of their efforts go into preparing for competitions. Unfortunately, Thandav hasn’t been able to compete in person this year due to COVID-19—requiring most competitions to be virtual.
“This would have been my first competition and I know a lot of people on our team were really looking forward to it, so the fact that it went virtual was kind of a bummer,” said Charanya Srinivasan, co-captain of the team and a second-year studying environmental science. “Although we’re making the most of it, you know, we’re still practicing a lot trying to grind.”
Abina Nimalashanthan, co-captain and a third-year studying biomedical engineering, said that the main goal is getting back on track to what Thandav used to do.
“Last year with COVID-19 was really hard on us, because we didn’t have in-person practices and we weren’t together,” Nimalashanthan said. “Our main goal for this year is to try and get those experiences back as much as possible in a safe way.”
According to Srinivasan, Thandav is the perfect organization to join if you’re looking for an inclusive community that shares a love for Indian Classical Dance and promotes cultural awareness.
New members can look forward to having a lot of fun, in addition to forging amazing relationships with all the people on the team. Members are also able to mix dance styles and come up with something even better, while continuing to fix their skills.
“Since I’m a little newer to the team I learned a lot from it,” Srinivasan said. “I know this sounds really cliche, but teamwork is a big deal. Everyone has different ideas all the time, whether it’s about choreo or formations, so coming to a compromise is a good skill to have and is a skill. I think we all gained being part of being Thandav.”
For Nimalashanthan, time management has been a valuable skill throughout her time in Thandav.
“Being able to manage that and fit in dance is a really important skill that I feel like a lot of members have gained,” Nimalashanthan said. “We’re here because we love dance, and being able to make time to do something you love is important.”
While Thandav is no longer taking auditions for the spring semester, it holds auditions alongside interest meetings during the first couple weeks of the fall semester.
To learn more about Thandav, check out its Instagram or Facebook,