My Arangetram!!!! :)

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Hey guys!

I can’t believe that here I am, officially a post arangetram student!!!

First of all, thank you all so much for supporting my blog and my arangetram! I honestly feel so blessed to be part of such a large, amazing and global dance community. You guys are the best!

So good news, my arangetram was on Sunday, August 21, 2016 and it was the best show I’ve ever done, hands down even  better than the rehearsal. Before the show I was a raw bundle of nerves. I was really excited to go up on stage but at the same time I was nervous because I didn’t know how I might react on the spur of the moment nor what kind of a response I would get from the audience. From the moment I came up on the lotus to the moment I went down in it however, I had no fears because the audience gave me such an overwhelmingly positive response! I had so much fun dancing that I even felt comfortable enough to improvise on some of my steps just for fun! After the first two or three dances, I felt really confident in myself and my ability to perform. It didn’t feel like stage anymore, it felt just like the dance studio, but with heavier jewelry! I felt like I just breezed through all of my dances, because I’d done them so many times. The practice definitely paid off.

 I’m so glad this day went down perfectly! It will always be the most memorable day in my life.

I also want to thank Padma Events for their amazing job with the decor! They made this beautiful Ram darbaar for my lobby, and truly lit up the stage with their beautiful podium decor!

Here is a link to Padma Aunty’s decoration:

https://goo.gl/photos/tBGJZ4AqT1B7gZ2f9

Be sure to stay tuned for more of my weekly tips on arangetram planning, the process, dance tips and events!

Lots of Love and Best Wishes,

Ritika Lal

The Dress Rehearsal 

​I honestly feel this could have gone a lot better. There were still a lot of kinks that needed to be worked out and I needed calmer nerves. However, for the most part, everything went pretty well.
For my dress rehearsal I had hair and makeup done exactly as I would for the performance, and wore one costume from beginning to varnam, and a sari costume for the rest. Usually people wear just one costume throughout, but I have a very different thillana and I wanted to be sure I could do it in the sari style.

Considering that I typically go onstage quite a few times annually between my 2 dance forms, I didn’t realize how much being alone onstage would affect me. It’s a good thing I got to experience this once before my arangetram.

I had a lot of fun trying out the props. There’s this really special one that I want to keep a surprise because of how cool it is. I hope you enjoy!

I received a tremendous amount of support from several other arangetram moms and dads and two of my fellow arangetram sisters. Without their constant cheering, help backstage and in the changing room, there was no way I could have pulled it off. Pretty much every volunteer there also now has a special place in my heart!

Although I was drop dead exhausted, I have to say that now I’m pretty pumped for my arangetram! Now I know what to expect, and I feel pretty confident about myself!

Pre-Arangetram Jitterbug

Greetings once again from one of the busiest households in the world!

I just had the most exciting rehearsal ever!!! It was also my first rehearsal with the musicians…

Okay, so the musicians flew in last night and this afternoon I spent about 3 hours with them   going through my Margam. It was so amazing.  From the beginning I felt totally energized and just consumed by the dance and music because of just having live artists with me. They sounded so good – I’ve never experienced anything like it. We spent the time working out the kinks and making sure all the beats fell in the right place. We went through 7 out of 8 items. I can’t wait until my stage rehearsal because that is my next time working with them!

The next super cool thing to happen today was that my family from India flew in and is now at our house!! It’s just really cool to know that family is there and rooting for you.

In case you were curious about what a house looks like just before an arangetram, it’s kind of a mess. See above pictures for reference. My mom jokes that at this point it isn’t any different from a wedding!! Our house is filled with boxes, with lobby decor, stage decor, altar decor, podium decor, brochures, makeup, jewelry …It’s pretty crazy. Plus we’re still constantly running around to get our planning and other errands done.

However, now that most of our planning is falling into place, I can’t help but feel the excited jitters of a show about to come on! It’s been a long road, but it is 100% worth it. By the way, tomorrow is my stage rehearsal!  Don’t worry, there’s no way I can forget to keep you posted on that!

The Kickoff to the Season!

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Yesterday  was the first arangetram-  the kickoff to the season!!!!  Here’s my OOTD …

And selfie with the dancer backstage …

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And memories during the makeshift stage rehearsal…

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First and foremost, in case you havent noticed, I have gotten my braces off! That means my arangetram will be performed braces free, which is incredibly exciting for me!

I spent hours helping backstage yesterday and even got ready here at the Irving Arts Center. Fun fact: my arangetram is now 20 days away, same place, same time. I got the opportunity to learn a lot about how the whole process of prepping for the program goes and just how much work goes into it. You need a separate team for the altar, podium, musicians seating, lobby, getting the dancer ready, making sure lighting is alright, making sure sound works- boy is there a lot to do.

This arangetram didn’t have a dress rehearsal, so I can’t speak on that. My first dress rehearsal experience will be my own. Don’t worry though-  I’ll make sure to make time before the 21st to discuss it in detail.

Well, that concludes the beginning of the season. Six arangetrams until mine! Wish me the best!!