This year is my fourth year of high school and my fourth Kahaani. This was the first major dance production I had been apart of and I joined it because I loved the unique stories the show had portrayed through dance and raising awareness of a worthy cause.
As someone who was too afraid to dance in grade 9, I decided to start off as an emcee
From grade 9, I wanted to continue and be apart of this event every year. This has shown my consistent commitment to this cause and this show. I’ve stayed involved in it every year, no matter what.
As the entire dance is a partner dance, something I only did for half the dance last year, it’s been difficult. Working in collaboration with a partner for the entire dance is hard especially when you both know different sections of the dance and forget others. It’s important that we keep communicating when things are difficult. That is why, we have arranged timings to practise on our own.
Below is a short preview of one of the four mini dances within our large dance. We have managed to finish learning the entire dance in the first three sessions. I am looking forward to it all coming together for the final show.
From the show, one thing I’m so proud of was my energy. That was what I was lacking a lot of during the dress rehearsal but the energy from the audience during the show itself brought out my inner energy and I was able to put my 200% into my dance. I found it very hard to perfect all the moves, even up to the last moment due to the rapid and sharp movements so I worked on trying to make every move look graceful, energetic and natural instead of trying to absolutely perfect it. I’m proud of the way we all perceived and managed to have one of the most synchronised dances in the show. I’m going to use my perseverance skills and hard work in my future activities.
Final thoughts and overall feelings-
I’m so proud of getting the opportunity to dance in my “dream” dance. I’m very happy with the overall show and the diversity within our dance. I loved getting the chance to dance to my favorite music, k-pop, with some of my best friends. I’m going to miss Culturama and it was overall one of the best experiences of my life time. All the days I spent practicing in my room paid off and the compliments and cheers I received definitely made me feel like everything was worth it. I’m really going to miss this group of dancers and the overall show. I couldn’t have expected a better end to my high school Culturama experience. I couldn’t have had the show go better !!
Learning Objective 2- CHALLENGE (Undertaken new challenges)/NEW SKILLS (Developing new skills)
Yearbook is one of the activities I have continued throughout my entire high school experience but this year I decided to take it on in a different way from previous years. Previously, I had always been in yearbook photography so this year I decided to be a part of the senior pages committee as this year I am a senior! I’ve always felt very passionate about the grade through my involvement in prom and through being the admin of the class of ’19 facebook page. This with my previous leadership role as head of photography helped me run and successfully receive the role of being head of senior pages. This is something that I’ve very happy and proud about.
So far, I have used my commitment from the activity from last year as a driving force for my leadership. I am able to manage my group better as I am aware of the roles/responsibilities of a head. I’ve been trying my best to stick to the guideline timetable to get everything done in time. This is quite a challenge for me currently but I will work towards being more organised in the future to ensure we do not fall further behind schedule. I remain motivated by thinking of the end goal which I know will be amazing. I am using inspiration from previous yearbooks and learning from their mistakes/successes to ensure this year’s senior pages section will be the best one yet. I am also working on ensuring that everyone has an equal say in what goes on the pages to ensure everyone is happy with the final product.
Learning Objective 4- COMMITMENT (Showing perseverance, resilience and commitment in activities)
What was it about this activity that I found challenging/difficult? The fact that we had only 6 weeks to prepare this made it really hard to memorize and perfect the steps in time. Another thing was that our dance is one of the largest so it is quite hard to be in synchronisation with them.
What risks have I taken as part of this activity?
To be honest, I haven’t taken any risks but I do believe I have taken on the challenge of dancing the part of the boy in the partner dance. This is particularly difficult for me as I tend to sway my hips a lot and have a grace to my dance that is quite girl like.
What actions did I take to overcome these challenges?
I have tried to mimic other dancers in the dance that are male and tried to copy their way of dancing to make my dancing more masculine. I also asked the dance leaders for help to make my steps look more manly.
Were there challenges that I could not overcome? Why/why not?
I do believe I am still a little bit unsure of some parts of the dance because 1) we haven’t rehearsed it enough and 2) the dance is quite long (close to 5 minutes) so it is quite easy to forget certain movements.
How will approach a challenge like this in the future?
I will ask for assistance whenever I will need it. I will also try to practise skills to perfect them on my own because practise does actually make perfect.
What new skills have I developed in this activity?
I think I’ve become a better communicator as working with a partner for over 50% of the dance is hard and coordinating properly with them is difficult. I’ve also developed my dance skills further and I’m beginning to form a real passion for dance. I think I am becoming more diverse dancer and I’m able to do movements I don’t think I could previously do.
How did I measure my improvement?
I measure my improvement through my confidence and my enjoyment. I know I’m improving if I’m comfortable with what I am doing. If I’m enjoying my dance, then I know I’m improving because I’m not worried about messing up or not matching the cues etc.
Why were some skills easier to develop than others?
I do believe skills that I have recently developed such as dancing skills were easier to develop as I’ve recently worked really hard on them through Culturama. It is very easily to improve a skill if I’m constantly working about it. Whereas my communication skills, are already something I’m quite confident in but as there is always room for improvement, I constantly am improving it but I don’t believe I can develop it to the extent that I can improve my dancing skills, a newer skill.
How important were the skills I developed to achieving success in this activity?
Very important. By becoming more confident in dancing and improving my dance skills, I will be able to perform really well which is great as for some parts of the dance, I am at the front where everyone will be watching me. It is very important that I was able to improve my dance skills in time for the performance.
How can I use the skills I developed in this activity in other areas of my life? I can now participate in more dance shows next year and later on this year because it’s turly become a large part of my life and something I’ve really enjoyed.
I’m really looking forward to the actual performance and I’m glad our hard work has almost paid off. I wish I had gotten involved in this earlier!
Learning Objective- 2 CHALLENGE (Undertaken new challenges)/NEW SKILLS (Developing new skills)
Above is a video of our 3rd rehearsal, we only have 6 in total, so it’s been a real struggle to get the choreography down as quick as possible. I am in the right corner, I am cut out of the video for part of it and my partner is completely cut out of the video but the video still provides a general overview of how we are doing as a group on the partner choreography parts.
I was changed partners so this video is the first time I danced with my new partner. This has been a challenge as I was dancing to the girl’s part of the choreography in my previous partnership but in this part I am now doing the boy’s part. This was my first time doing the boy’s choreography. That is why I made some mistakes and was a little bit off on timings.
Who did I collaborate with?
For the dance, I am both collaborating with the entire dance group as well as my partner. I collaborate very closely with my dance partner, who has changed for this rehearsal. Previously I was with Bella and now I am with Dhruvi.
What made it easy or difficult to work together with this person/people? It was easy to work with both of them as I am already friends with both of them so there was no awkwardness throughout and we were very able to easily catch up with the others in the dance.
What challenges did we face when working together? How did we overcome them? Why couldn’t we overcome some challenges? The fact that I had to change my role in the dance, from the girl to the boy part, was the only difficulty as I ended up doing the same steps as my partner at some times and my partner was unable to help me out as she only knew the girl part of the dance. This was the biggest and only challenge that we faced together. We are overcoming them by discussing steps outside of the rehearsal scenario, this is very easy for us as we are friends outside of the dance, we communicate very often. We’re overcoming them by not only discussing it together, we are also asking the dance leaders for a little bit more attention and assistance for the next rehearsal to ensure that we are up to speed.
How important was collaboration to achieving the outcome or my goal?
It is essential that we maintained communication and we were on the same page to make sure that although we’re at a slight disadvantage, we can still be successful in the dance. I believe that we work really well together and that’s why we’re able to find solutions to our challenges as soon as possible.
What could I do in future to be a more effective team player? In the future, I would like to take my own initiative to work on my steps as I seem to be dragging my partner into my extra efforts to catch up even though she doesn’t need any help; she is very confident in her dance steps and she is a dancer.
Learning Objective 5- COLLABORATION (Working together to achieve an outcome)
Below is a video of 1/2 of my Kahaani dance. It is from the first rehearsal so all of us had learnt the choreo just minutes before this was filmed.
I’m really excited for Kahaani as it is my first time participating as a dancer in the event, not just an emcee, which is what I have been for the past 2 years. I am really happy with the music as the dance is to a few of my favorite Hindi songs and the steps flow really well with the music so I am extremely hyped!
What previous experience have I had with an activity like this?
I recently participated in Culturama and it was really helped boost my confidence in my dance skills. I believe that is the only activity I had that has prepared me for this show. Despite participating every year in Kahaani, I have always been an emcee and a GC member. This year, as there is no emcee in the show, I have the chance to be able to participate as a dancer.
What am I good at? What are my strengths? I think I’m really quick with learning dance moves so that should be to my advantage. I also think that I ask questions when I have doubts. I sort out my issues before it is too late which is also something that will help me out throughout the rehersal process, especially as there are only 6 sessions in total before the show!
What would I like to improve? I would like to improve in my overall grace when I dance. I want to ensure that my movements flow with more ease. This can only be improved through more practise.
How has my involvement in this activity made me aware of my strengths and areas for growth?
After the first rehearsal, I had identified which steps I would need to work on mastering at home and which parts of the dance were the most challenging for me. This helps me take initiative to perfect this in my own time and become more aware of my own areas of growth.
Have I improved and in what areas? How do I know?
It is too early to say that but I do believe I can use the skills I gained as well as enhanced in Culturama can follow through here.
Why have I struggled in some areas?
As someone who has started dancing recently, I am still not 100% comfortable with my dancing abilities and I am not very confident when dancing, this is probably why I am experiencing more struggles than others who have danced for much longer than I have.
Learning Objective 1 – AWARENESS (Increased awareness of strengths and areas for growth)