Priya Koliwad is a sophomore who has been dancing for as long as she can remember.
She has enjoyed dancing ballet, jazz, and Bharatanatyam (a traditional Indian dance). However, after years of dancing Koliwad hurt her knee and took up Bollywood dancing, which was easy to learn because it is similar to Bharatanatyam.
“When I do any type of Indian dance, I feel so much more connected to my culture and that’s what originally inspired me to begin dancing,” she said.
While she cannot choose a favorite dance, Koliwad loves to dance to fast paced Bollywood songs because she believes they are the most fun.
For the assembly, Koliwad “[did] a Bollywood dance mixed with some cultural folk dances.”
Junior Melissa Milligan began to dance when she was eight years old. Currently, she dances classical ballet at Bay Pointe Ballet.
“My mother inspired me to start. She did ballet when she lived in Russia,” Milligan said.
Milligan’s favorite dance is the Swanilda Variation from Coppelia.
One of the reasons she loves dancing so much is the excitement of performing. Milligan performed a classic Russian folk dance at this year’s cultural assembly
For sophomore Rachel Maxwell, Irish dancing runs in the family. She first learned to dance in her living room, watching her sister dance and imitating river-dancing on TV. This is Maxwell's second year performing in the Cultural Assembly.
“My older sister inspired me to start dancing,” Maxwell said.
Although she started dancing in her own home, Maxwell says that she "started dancing for real at Murphy's dance school."
Maxwell's love for dance has given her many rare opportunities, including performing in the St. Patrick Day parade in San Francisco. Although she quit dancing competitively two years ago, Maxwell said she was looking forward to the cultural assembly because it’s fun to dance again every once in awhile
Senior Michelle Wang has enjoyed watching the cultural assembly in her time at BHS. She said,“I love to see all the different cultures all over the world represented in the cultural assembly.”
This year, she has decided to join the school tradition. She is representing her Chinese heritage by performing a traditional fan dance. She started practicing the dance when she was six-years-old, and continued to practice it until she was 14.
She still enjoys the activity very much, and she added, “I like the spirit that is shown in the Chinese dance. My favorite is the peacock dance, even though it is very difficult.” The peacock dance a famous traditional folk dance, especially popular with the Dai people in China.