DV Dhadkan dances to new heights

DV Dhadkan, a Dougherty Valley Bollywood dance team, has started the year by gaining acceptance into the prestigious Dil Se dance show and expanding its membership.

This is DV Dhadkan’s fourth year as a team and they are completely student-run and choreographed. The team specializes in a fusion of Indian dance and modern styles such as hip-hop, and regularly auditions for shows around the Bay Area.

Dil Se, DV Dhadkan’s next performance, is a Bollywood dance show hosted annually by Irvington High School in Fremont. Twisha Chawla, a freshman and first-year dancer with DV Dhadkan, expressed the significance of performing at the show.

“Teams all over the Bay Area audition for Dil Se, and it’s the one show everyone wants to get into. When people think of a Bollywood dance show, they think of Dil Se,” she said.

Dil Se will be held on Jan. 12 and tickets will be released online in the coming months.  

In addition to these accomplishments, DV Dhadkan is also expanding in diversity and size this year. Bhuvan Jammalamadaka, one of the team captains, explained that there are significantly more underclassmen on the team this year. The team also offers insight into a new culture.

First-year team member and sophomore Ian Lim says, “I joined DV Dhadkan because I want to explore cultural diversity and see how well I can become accustomed to other cultures. So far, I’m having a lot of fun in a new environment.”

For dancers, the activity gives them a way to escape from everyday stress and express themselves.

Chawla says, “It’s a way to just let go of everything. High school is stressful and life is stressful, and this is a way to express your emotions.”

Jammalamadaka agreed, adding, “Performing onstage gives you a great feeling about yourself. Seeing other people clap and smile for you makes you feel really good, and you want to perform even better.”

Beyond personal stress relief, DV Dhadkan and other cultural dances also create a tight-knit community that connects dancers to their culture.

Shreyas Prasanna, the lead organizer of Dil Se, said, “Dance allows people to get in touch with and showcase their culture. Our love for dance brings us as a community together.”