GT Student Spotlight: Shrujana Praveen

Shrujana Praveen pictured above in costume.

Shrujana Praveen pictured above in costume.

Ayah Khamis

Shurjana Praveen is a freshman Academy student doing a GT in an Indian classical dance form called Bharatanatyam. She has been dancing for more than 10 years, training dedicatedly in this form. However, her decision to be a dancer came after trials and errors. Shrujana tried out countless sports but found dance to be her passion. She loves how dance allows her to communicate her emotions and make the audience convey feelings. Dance is also a major part of her culture that has been done for generations in her family. Shurjana has shined on the stage, performing at NJPAC, AAPI, TamFest, and at multiple Temples, religious events, and competitions. 

This year, Shrujana is using her GT independent study to provide her with more time to practice for her arangetram next year, which translates to “climbing or ascending the stage” in Tamil. It is a graduation ceremony for a dancer as they put on a 3-4 hour show that celebrates a dancer’s skills from learning over the years. During an arangetram, a dancer portrays both a physical and emotional dance routine for friends and family. 

Shrujana has been preparing since June, and she continues to commit to putting in endless hours upon hours of practicing. On top of practicing in the studio, Shrujana also rehearses at the venue she will be performing at. This is where she will perfect her technique, become accustomed to changing costumes and jewelry, and familiarize herself with the large auditorium used. It will be challenging as she has to have the energy and perseverance to be able to dance with the correct expressions and movements for hours non-stop. 

This show will be a huge responsibility as it pushes Shrujana to go above and beyond to put on a performance that reflects all the hard work and training she has done over the years. Not only is Shrujana being challenged through dance, but through time management. She is learning how to be more disciplined and organized to manage the difficulties of balancing schoolwork and dance. Shrujana jokingly claims that she is “living in the studio.” 

Although the arangetram requires a lot of sacrifice, she is dedicated to pulling off a mesmerizing performance that will be worth it in the long run. Shrujana will perform her arangetram on August 20, 2023, and we all wish her the best of luck!