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The Student News Site of Clague Middle School

The Cougar Star

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The Cougar Star


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Bharatanatyam is Beautiful: a feature on Jay Tavane

The world is brimming with an array of diverse dances, each with its own unique beauty, all the way from the fiery passion of flamenco to the graceful movements of ballet. One such dance that stands out is Bharatanatyam (bha-rut-uh-naat-yum), which holds a special place in the heart of 7th-grader Jay Tavane, who has been involved in this art form since the age of five.

“I do Bharatanatyam because I love to dance,” Tavane said. “And especially expressing my culture in my dance makes me extremely happy.”

Bharatanayam is a famous dance all across India, though it originated in the state of Tamil Nadu, which is located in South India. Currently, this dance is expanding its popularity throughout the world. While it is quite difficult initially, the time and effort are worth it, with the product being such a beautiful dance.

“It was my mom who first got me into Bharatanatyam. She signed me up and told me to see if I liked it and if I did that I could continue it. Well, I ended up liking it a lot!” Tavane said. “I started it when I was five and I’ve been doing it ever since. And honestly, I am so glad I did.”

But of course, Tavane’s Bharatanatyam journey has not just been all fun and games, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was especially hard learning during the pandemic. We had to do online classes and let me tell you that doing a completely new dance without someone to help you physically is hard,” Tavane said. “We ended up having to re-do some of our dances because we were all so confused and didn’t get it.”

Tavane’s commitment paid off in the end, as she has been dancing for about seven years and has not considered stopping.

“One of my best memories is going to my dance center every Friday night and playing with my friends after dancing. We were able to do this before quarantine; during quarantine, we did online classes but now we are returning to the dance center.”

Tavane added that another memorable moment is when they perform.

“If you have performed you know you get very nervous but then when you are on stage it’s actually incredibly fun,” she said.

Bharatanatyam does not only teach you how to dance, it teaches you other things that apply to daily life, such as patience.

“For example, you have to be incredibly patient with Bharatanatyam,” Tavane said. “In my case, the pandemic had stopped me from learning for a bit, and even if it didn’t you have to be patient because there are so many dances and other things to learn. And even when you learn all of that, you have to do something called an Arangetram which is when you perform all the dances and things you learn in front of all your teachers and friends, you can become a teacher and you are done!”

Bharatanatyam also teaches you commitment, body awareness, acting/expressing oneself, and more.

“And as I just said you need to be very committed or else you’ll fall behind, my dance teachers are sorta strict so if you miss a class you have to ask a student what you did and practice by yourself,” Tavane added. “You need to be very, very aware of your body, you need to coordinate everything with your hands and feet, which can be pretty confusing. And lastly, acting is key in Bharatnatyam. You have to show expression for every dance you do because every dance tells a story. Just like an actor can’t act without a facial expression, a dancer can’t dance without a facial expression.”

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About the Contributor
Saanvi Kulkarni
Saanvi Kulkarni, Staff Writer
Saanvi is a 7th grader at Clague Middle School. This is her first year doing yearbook/newspaper. In her free time, she likes to read, write stories, do karate and play piano, as well as hanging out with her friends. Also, she spends way too much time wishing for a pet.

Comments (6)

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  • J

    Jayani TavaneMay 1, 2024 at 10:56 am


    • S

      SaanviMay 1, 2024 at 3:30 pm

      lol ty
      ur just that good am i right

  • E

    EmmaApr 9, 2024 at 12:50 pm


  • S

    SophiaApr 5, 2024 at 8:09 pm

    yayyy jayyy!!!

  • J

    Jayani TavaneApr 5, 2024 at 8:52 am

    Ikr Im so amazing ✨✨✨

    • S

      SaanviApr 6, 2024 at 9:18 am