QUARANTINE TIMES: FEEL LIKE A PRINCESS
Updated: Aug 6
Sitting at home during quarantine has given me a lot of time to think about moments during my freshman year at Allegheny that really meant a lot to me.
Now it’s really hard to pinpoint just one thing that was very impactful to me, however, it was the event Cookies and Milk (A dance program open to the Meadville community) that gave me new found confidence.
I have been doing classical and modern Indian dancing since I was five years old, and it became my passion very quickly. I spent years training to eventually do a solo debut that showcased everything that I had learned for decades, in front of hundreds of people.
That was probably one of the most nerve-wracking moments of my life, but once I was on stage I performed, succeeded, and thought that there was never going to be a moment in my dancing career when I would be so nervous again.
But, when it came to "Cookies and Milk," the anxiety came rushing back. Suddenly, I was unsure about how a strange community that was also unfamiliar with my culture would respond to my style of dance.
I spent weeks perfecting my routine, begging my friends to watch me practice in Montgomery Hall. I was seeking their approval with the hope that if they enjoyed what they saw everyone else would as well. It’s not that I didn’t have confidence in my ability, it’s just that I had never been in the position of performing in front of strangers to whom my culture is foreign, and I wanted their introduction to Indian culture, to be perfect.
I still remember the anticipation of getting on stage and then physically walking on stage as I was about to perform in my glittery outfit.
I could feel myself shaking inside and as I stood trembling in the dark, I heard a little boy sitting in front of the stage say “Oh my gosh, it’s a princess!”
I found myself smiling and felt the relief flood through me as the lights came on, and I gave my performance my all. It felt so good to perform something that meant so much to me and hear afterwards that people really enjoyed a cultural experience they don’t get to see very often.
It’s moments like this that have inspired me, during the quarantine, to choreograph new dance routines and continue practicing the steps that I already know. I want to share my passion on stage, and show people something that can make them appreciate foreign-ness in a positive way!
~~ Riya Agrawal (Class of '23)
WE ARE SO LUCKY TO HAVE A TALENTED POOL OF GATORS WHO ARE UNUSUAL COMBINATIONS OF TALENTS AND ABILITIES. YOUR GIFT WILL HELP MANY OF THESE AMAZING STUDENTS COME BACK TO THEIR ALLEGHENY HOME.