There are no excuses to make excuses in dance

Rasmi Ranjan Swain
When I was in 4th std I was sent to learn gotipua in Raghurajpur.

My father didn't want me to go out and live by my own but my mother convinced. I missed my parents and used to cry. I was always inclined towards studying and my sole purpose was to become an officer but all for my mother's will I was dancing. But gradually I developed my interest so much in dance that it became difficult to leave. Moreover I loved the respect I got at that age from my village and family.

I wanted to study commerce but even my teachers said that if I'm in dance I should study in this very field. So I chose dance and came to Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyala. It was a struggle as during college time I used to travel everyday from Puri to Bhubaneswar. In 9th std I saw Rudrkashya at Khandagiri and I had decided that if I go to Bhubaneswar I am definitely going to go there. Once I was here I asked everyone around me to guide my way to Rudrkashya and here I am.

I was an extreme introvert and was so scared regarding guruji, seniors, the tough dance schedule but it was all worth it. In this gurukul I have learnt to live an independent life where guruji has taught us all everything from dancing to cooking. I am really inclined towards studying as I said I wanted to be an officer so now I channelise that interest into studying dance. In a gurukul, you don't have an excuse to make an excuse.

Classical dance is spreading all over the world and it's because of the uniqueness of our art and the jagganath culture for Odissi. It's natural to get attracted to other dance forms especially western dancing for our generation, even I did. In India we have come a long way but amongst our generation we need to uphold it as the torch bearers of the art. Struggles are evident. I am the eldest of my family, thus have some responsibilities towards them. In these uncertain times the question of 'stability' definitely bothers me but I take that up as a challenge with Odissi being my priority.

Thus, aspiring dancers like us can go ahead only with utmost patience and with the patience and belief of people around them.



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