By: Emma Shapiro ’20
The dance program welcomed two new dance choreographers to teach the CDWII class. In preparation for the Winter Dance Showcase, the dancers are learning both Flamenco and Bollywood style dancing.
Kavita Rao, a Bollywood choreographer, said she is hoping to teach dance students new cultural styles and broaden their horizons. Bollywood dancing is known for its joyous movements and brightly colored skirts so to get everyone in the spirit dancers dressed in Bollywood outfits.
“This is the style of dance that is really prevalent right now in America. It’s been so big all over the world,” Rao said.
Rao has been dancing since she was three, learning Western styles of dance, but eventually gravitated toward Bollywood dance due to her cultural background. She dances for a company that allows her to travel all over the world teaching dance to students.
“I get hired out by different countries to come and teach dance to different people,” Rao said.
Rao also helps choreograph for TV and movies when she is not travelling. She has taught dance for 17 years.
Rao said dance is something that really inspires people, and she said that teaching it and helping students is something very important to her. According to Rao, dance is an art of expression and can help in all situations.
“I am so passionate about dance, and I am really excited to share that passion to someone who is equally as passionate as I am,” Rao said.
The other choreographer, Wendy Castellanos-Wolf, teaches Flamenco dance. The dance requires long, flowing skirts to create an authentic replication of traditional Flamenco dancing. She hopes that teaching Flamenco will expose younger generations to new culture and diverse dances.
Students seem to appreciate both guest choreographers and the dances they introduced.
“Both dance teachers exposed me to new styles of dance. The classes are very fun and teach me about the cultures of each dance. I am looking forward to performing at the CDWII showcase,” Nina Neumann ’20 said.