Dance is a source of entertainment for most people, but for 9-year-old Svaya Naik of Fishers, it’s a way of life. She’s learning the classical Indian dance form of Kathak at Nrityangan Kathak Dance Academy. The process takes approximately five to seven years to master.
“When she completes the training, there will be a special ceremony and recital,” said Kalpana Naik, Svaya’s mother. “You have to invite people and book a place to hold the performance. She has to show what she has learned from the beginning to the end. It’s two hours of non-stop dancing. The teacher will watch very closely and then approves her and gives her a certificate of completion.”
Syaya choreographs dances for other students and has created her own dance school called Swarang Dance Academy.
“Currently, she has some students learning from her. She would like to teach other children, and so she created a dance school,” Kalpana said. “She is choreographing some dances for other students at our Hindu Temple in Indianapolis for our Temple Anniversary.”
Svaya comes from a creative family.
“I’m an art teacher at the Fishers YMCA, and I also make art sculptures with natural clay,” Kalpana said. “My husband is a writer. He writes poems and short stories. He writes in English and also in our native Indian language. My son also draws cartoons and he makes up dialogue for those. My grandfather was a choreographer for movies, as well.”
Svaya writes about dance in her journal and says that dance is something special that brings joy to her heart and makes her feel happy.
“I saw a girl doing a bunch of spins on TV and thought it was so cool,” Svaya said. “I wanted try Indian classical dance, so I tried and I turned out great. I like dance because it takes me to a different world.”
She has danced three solo performances that she choreographed herself.