When I was in 2nd grade, a lot of my friends started learning classical Indian dance (Bharatnatyam).
So, not to be outdone, I pestered my parents into allowing me to join the class.
But, my father, having all dreams of his only daughter becoming a famous dancer, decided that the place where my friends went for dance classes wasn’t good enough.
So, he found a supposedly good enough (by his standards) teacher and started my first dance class.
Horror of horrors! It was to be held in my house! Yes, my house! And I was to be the only student there.
But, the worst was yet to come, for I hadn’t seen the teacher yet.
I made many excuses and squirmed, but my parents held firm. They told me that since I was the one who wanted to learn dance, I had to attend the class.
So, on a Friday, I believe, my first dance class was held.
Halfheartedly, I entered the living room, where the class was going to be held and caught my breath.
No, it wasn’t just that all the furniture had been pushed back messily, by my ordinarily tidy parents. I had just caught my first glimpse of my teacher.
He was tall, dark, and heavily built and quite scary-looking for the 7-year old me.
So, I started doing what I did best, then.
I ran back into the dining room and refused to budge from there.
Somehow, finally, my parents coaxed me out.
And I did learn the basics of Bharatnatyam, or whatever part of it that I could learn in the first hour.
My parents refused to let me quit, telling me to finish what I started. Now I know where I get my stubbornness from.
As years went by, my distaste for the dance classes faded slightly. I still disliked the dance lessons, but I didn’t hate it as before. That might have also been due to a new teacher.
I even loved the small-time publicity I got, by going for dance programs.
Finally, the new teacher wanted to go back to India and my parents had become to busy to hunt for a new teacher yet again. Besides, I was starting high school and I’d started to rebel against the lessons.
The classes finally ended after 7 years of classical dance lessons, which included Bharatnatyam(a sort of fast dance form), Mohiniattam (a rather expressive dance form) and Kuchipudi (a dance form where one dances some parts on a tray-like thing and balances a bowl of water on the head).
The only sorry part is that even after all this, I’m neither graceful, nor expressive, and am still a terrible dancer.