Nishita Shah personal project

Video provided by Nishita Shah

Ridhima Kodali, Staff Writer

Outside of Ms. Kim’s Personal Project room, the faint sounds of traditional Indian music can be heard. The noise comes from Nishita Shah’s iPhone X, as she dances to traditional Garba, which is an energetic Indian dance that honors the Hindu goddess Durga. Shah, a sophomore at Huron High School, has been dancing ever since she could remember.
“Dancing has always been a part of my life,” Shah said. “My family always encouraged me to be a dancer, and I believe it is an amazing way to express oneself.”
Not only does Shah dance, but so does her entire family. She grew up dancing different forms of Indian dance, such as Bollywood, Garba, Classical Bhangra, Dandiya, and Lavni, at religious and family functions.
“Music and dance are in our blood,” Shah said.
When creating a personal project topic, Shah knew that she wanted to design a project that involves that love of Indian dance. She created a dance class program where she will teach three different cultures dances, within India. The program is held at her house, every Saturday, over 5-7 weeks. After the classes are finished, she will hold a final performance, including her and seven other people.
“Lately, I haven’t had enough time to choreograph and teach, but this class gave me the opportunity to pursue this project,” Shah said.
Shah has been choreographing since she was in sixth grade, and this year will be her fourth year choreographing for the Gujurati Society of Greater Detroit.
Janvi Desai, a junior at Washtenaw International High School, is a part of Shah’s personal project.
“I wanted to do something different from my regular activities, and when she told me she was doing this project, I saw it as a way for me to do something,” Desai said. “Nishita is an amazing dancer and choreographer. She is very creative with the ways she chooses to express herself.”
“What’s my favorite part of choreographing, and dancing?” Shah said. “Well, I don’t know where to start. Maybe it is the moment when all the hard work that has been put in is finally going to be seen on stage. Or it’s the moments during practice where the music and choreography click together. But one thing I know is, I love the thrill of dancing.”