Cultural Centre of India announces 
Winners of Dance Scholarship Awards 2007 
- Padma Chebrolu, Cincinnati, OH
January 4, 2007 

As Thomas Friedman says in his book, the world has become flat especially for the dance art form. Dances of India are no longer just learned and performed in India and few international tours by well-known dancers. Awareness about these great dance styles
of India is growing phenomenally. There are Indian dance teachers and students in every corner of the world. The market is flooded with dance DVDs and of course, pirated DVDs and video clips on YouTube.

Indian dance is not a mystery anymore but an art form that is in the process of being understood by non-Indians and children of Indian origin. We as performers, students and audiences have a long way to go in the way we operate professionally and provide constructive criticism. We also need to think of the big picture where Indian dances need to be popularized and we need to develop younger audiences and male dancers and male audiences for us to have long term success.

Even though Cultural Centre of India is a small arts organization based in the midwest of US, we have a core group of visionaries who provide strong support. Our goal is provide a nurturing environment and plenty of opportunities not only for the youth who are part of our organization but also youth elsewhere and help them showcase their many talents. We let them know, dual careers for dancers is a necessity given the uncertainties of the art world. We teach them what an art form is really about and where they fit in - as performers, teachers, audience, writers, sponsors, photographers, scholars, etc.

Our annual scholarship program of 2007 is one of small steps in this direction. We have received essays from US, India, Peru, UK, Australia, South Africa, and Brazil.  We were completely fascinated by the fact about how these young people regardless of their national and ethnic origin perceive dance the same way. It is not about becoming a world famous dancer and gain riches. But it is about how dance touches their hearts, gives them an identity and how their family comes together and develops stronger bonds because of dance. Itís a good reminder for all the adults about lifeís priorities.

We have received 98 entries from all around the world from young dancers aged 10-18 and all dance styles. They have submitted an essay on the topic "Why is being a dancer important to me." In a world full of utter chaos, teenage issues and competitiveness, dance brings these young people joy and physical and spiritual wellbeing. Dance enriches their lives with positive aura and lifelong health benefits. We would like to thank the parents and gurus for taking good care of our next generation of dance leaders.

First Prize: $100 winner Divya Kunapuli
Second Prize: $50 winner Melvin Varghese
Third Prize: $25 winner Sushupta Gouri Srinidhi
Honorary Mention: Kuchipudi Ranga Pravesam DVD & CD Boxset winner - Melody Singh
Honorary Mention: Bharatanatyam Arangetram DVD winner - Rucha Desai
Honorary Mention: Dances of India - World Calendar winner - Anisha Kumar
Honorary Mention: Dances of India - World Calendar winner - Reshmi Kaur Oberoi

Two essays from the Scholarship Competition will be published on every month. We do appreciate the essays from all the 98 participants from around the globe. We hope to have more participants in our next Scholarship Competition. We would like thank for being part of this effort.

Padma Chebrolu is the Artistic Director of Cultural Centre of India. She is also the founder and executive director of a non-profit organization, World Cultures Media.
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