Upon entering college, I looked for somewhere that I belong, like everyone else. I tried Student Government and was unsuccessful, and was therefore inspired to participate in something I knew I loved – dance.

To my fortune, Macaulay was just starting up its very first Bollywood-fusion dance team, a dance I had been learning for 14+ years. All it took was one faithful audition, and I was part of the team! During our first practice in October, although I was muttering under my breath (or lack thereof) because I was out of shape and out of practice, my body had no issue remembering how to move with the rhythm, perform the moves, and my heart was definitely in it. It was quite the experience to remember.

Fast forward about 2 weeks, we found out we were to be competing in a dance competition against 4 other well-established Bollywood dance teams. Although I was nervous, I was confident that my team, as well as myself, with the practice we needed and the inspiration, we could defeat any team that came our way.

The weekends following that were a blur. What I remember most is running from bio lecture to get food, stuffing my face with that food in the subway, and sprinting to the Macaulay building to change and get ready for practice. Now, repeat for the whole weekend. Yeah, that’s right. In the weeks leading up to the competition, our captain drilled us once during the week for a few hours, as well as during extensive practices on Fridays and the weekend. All of us, at some point, said we hated going and got completely fed up of taking the LIRR and MTA on the weekend, but we knew in order to accomplish our collective goal, we all needed to put in the work.

Fast forward even farther to the weekend of the competition. I remember that day being very stressful for me, because I had an interview for an internship I really wanted that same morning, but there was nothing stopping me from accomplishing all my goals that day. After my interview, I sped from Brooklyn to Adelphi University, where the competition was taking place, for a day full of practice and anxiety.

Rehearsal after rehearsal to dress rehearsal, I was tired by the afternoon, but I knew I had to push through. As more and more teams arrived, sly glances and force smiles were exchanged because we knew that we were going to battle for the victory a mere few hours later.

After seeing my mother for good luck, we proceeded backstage where we then performed.

As with my other performances, there are never words to explain what it feels like to perform. If I had to try to put it into words – everything around me blurs, and it feels like the light is only shining on me. Besides using my peripherals, everyone around me disappears, and after the performance has ended (although while performing I feel as if I am on the brink of dying), I am ready to do it all over again.

After our performance, and seeing our final competitor, we were sure that we were over. But, to our surprise, the 1st place prize went to us.

I don’t have words for how proud I am, but I have to say – it was all worth it.