Caitlin Glenn | Staff Writer
Almost all students strive to be involved in at least one type of extracurricular activity, be it basketball or band or any other activity that a student develops a passion for, but senior Navya Kartha’s extracurricular is one that brings a uniqueness that is often hard to find in the conformity typical of student activities.
“I do Bharatanatyam, which is an Indian classical form of dance from south India,” says Kartha. “I’ve been doing it since I was 10 years old.”
To pursue any activity for that long requires a passion that goes beyond the standard obligations of getting involved and meeting expectations, and the incorporation of her culture adds yet another dimension of dedication to Kartha’s talent.
“For me, it started out as being more accustomed to my culture, but as the years have gone on it’s become a stress reliever for me,” she says. “I get to go and show all of the emotions of the dance and tell the stories that I want to tell through these gestures that I’ve learned.”
But the dancing doesn’t stop there. Kartha recently performed at the San Antonio Diwali Festival of Lights, one of the many performances that Kartha has put on over the years. In doing so, Kartha not only represents herself but her Indian culture as well.
“It was super fun,” Kartha says about the performance. “I got to reunite with my group and we got to do a huge performance with some of the people that we know from Austin, and we got to represent a state called Madhya Pradesh while doing our dance.”
As if the dancing itself wasn’t an incredible enough feat, Kartha has also managed to remain at the top of her class and is involved with countless other organizations at school, such as being an officer in clubs such as Key Club and the Science National Honor Society.
“During the week I have a lot going on with school and studying and all, but I always make sure to keep time on Fridays to go to dance class and just release all the stress from that school week. I always make sure that there’s time for dance,” says Kartha.
In the end, dancing is something that Kartha finds value in both for the influence it’s had on her own life and the knowledge of the Indian culture that she has been able to share because of it.
“I really enjoy doing dance, and exposing many people who don’t know about this kind of dance,” Kartha says, “sharing that this exists and being able to tell some of the stories from Indian culture through the dance form that I have learned.”