Kathak and its impact on daily life 

By Soumya Parikh

Everyone has their own schedules along with their own worries that makes them set their own priorities. Some of us have to finish preparing for the presentation at work while others have to study for their upcoming science test. We all could get easily sucked in a whirlwind of stress if we allowed it. But, we can’t. We have to keep moving no matter how slow the clock ticks. But, here’s my question. If we all have such busy lives, what benefits do we get from adding on the new task of weekly kathak practice? It’s not like it is mandatory to do it. Yet, all of us still tie up our ghungroos and get ready for kathak class every Sunday. Believe it or not, whether you do kathak for pure enjoyment or not, there are some additional benefits to taking on this beautiful art form. This should be a no-brainer, but Kathak has a massive impact on one’s self-esteem. In a questionnaire done by a student at the University of Northern Colorado(https://digscholarship.unco.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1192&context=theses), dancers displayed an increase in their own self-esteem by about 40%. This number will likely increase over time too! Think about your past self for just a second. Do you really think you could have danced on a huge stage in front of a hundred people without a sweat a couple years ago when you first started Kathak? I know I would’ve probably ran off as soon as the lights switched on. Self-esteem, like anything else, grows with practice. The better you do, the prouder you feel of yourself. However, this does go both ways. If you feel you haven’t done well, your self-confidence will go down. This is normal, but it is extremely harmful. The best thing is to learn your mistakes so that you are better prepared for the next time. I previously mentioned how we all have packed schedules. Yet, we manage to make time for other activities. Prioritization is vital in order for us to balance work and our outside lives. Kathak is not something you can practice for last minute, and the sooner you learn to make time for it, the better. Learning the skill of decision making will help make more time for everything on your to-do list. This will help in day-to-day life whether it be something as small as choosing a science experiment or something as big as a job offer. It’s the only way we can process everything without frantically running around all the time. Work only increases as you get older, but it is important to make sure you give yourself a break. Whether it be through dance or anything else, you have to give yourself time for different things. I only listed two ways here on how kathak specifically helps us in our outside lives. But there are so many more aspects of our life that it continues to have an effect on!