Dancing to Give Back
I am sure all of you have heard about THON as current Penn Staters and a lot of you are probably even on a THON committee. This is just one of the many amazing ways dance enables us to give back to those who need it most. Dancing is a great way to raise money for different organizations all serving well deserved causes. Just as THON raises money for children with cancer, dance performances are held around the world with international dancers going from one place to another raising money for various causes.
I have grown up surrounded with dancers in a performance environment and many performances I have seen have raised money for different causes. For example, a few girls from a neighboring dance academy held a show raising money for Down syndrome and another for autism. In addition to the performances done by others, I have also been fortunate enough to participate in such an event myself. As mentioned in my blog a few weeks ago, I gave my Arangetram (three hour solo graduation performance) at the age of thirteen and it is normally a common courtesy to bring gifts for the performer. However, instead of gifts, I asked the guests to donate to the charity organization AIM for Seva, which stands for All India Movement for Seva or contribution, and together, we raised $5000. It was the most fulfilling feeling in the world knowing that the selflessness expressed by the audience could create such a powerful impact on those living in such harsh and destitute environments. Similarly, five of my other friends also gave their Arangetrams that summer and each of them raised money for different charity organizations. We all were dancing not only for the audience and ourselves, but also for a cause that could leave a lasting impact on those around the world.
There are also performances held across America that my family and I attend every year executed by dancers from India who tour nationwide raising money for AIM for Seva wherever they go. There are about twenty to twenty five shows in numerous locations and while the tickets are free there is a different kind of payment involved. Every attendee has the choice to either donate or just come for entertainment purposes, however, as the performers are professionals their performances are outstanding most people in the audience donate money for this wonderful cause and are also awe-inspired by the moving performances and thus, get the best of both worlds.
After being part of these types of shows since my childhood I am so thankful to be able to continue this legacy here at Penn State. The dance teams I am involved in enable me to perform at THON and I could not be happier to be part of such a momentous experience. The exhilaration of dance comes not only from the adrenaline rush, but also from the cause one is dancing for. Although not every performance will have these kinds of purposes, I encourage everyone to involve themselves in THON and other organizations because everyone deserves to feel the fulfillment involved with dancing to give back.