MV 9th grader Maya Chopra is a creative spirit who uses dancing to foster joy and connection in herself and her community. She has been dancing since she was three years old, spending years learning different dances such as ballet, Bharatanatyam, and Bollywood, as well as performing different types of dance, such as Jazz, Hip-hop, and Contemporary with the Mount Vernon Dance Team throughout middle school.
Outside Mount Vernon, Maya dances at the Kruti Dance Academy, where she takes both Bharatanatyam and Bollywood master classes at the senior arangetram level. This commitment to her art extends to community service, as she volunteers to teach the dances to the younger girls at the Academy every Saturday. The culmination of the year’s work is the annual
recital, which, in essence, is a cultural production with 4,000 people in attendance.
Maya sees dance as one vehicle toward cultural diversity, global interconnectivity, and inclusivity that Mount Vernon aspires to promote. The beauty of the art form fosters cultural awareness and connects her both to her Indian heritage and her community members in the audience. During the winter showcase, for example, Maya teamed up with fellow student Aisah Franklin to choreograph and perform in a Step/Bollywood fusion piece that joyfully entertained us and inspired us to engage in further inquiry, innovation, and impact. On a personal level, though, Maya recommends dance as a wonderful way to alleviate stress and anxiety, making it a perfect hobby for busy high schoolers.
Here are five fun facts about Maya:
- In fifth grade, Maya performed Bharatanatyam for the middle school talent show in a Bharatanatyam costume.
- As a senior-level dancer at Kruti Academy, Maya has opportunities to perform at other events such as birthday parties, school parties, competitions, and national TV shows.
- On Saturdays, Maya teaches Indian dances to younger girls as a volunteer teacher.
- She plans to continue dancing after MV and would love to be on a college dance team.
- Maya is planning to continue helping people by becoming a surgeon!