By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer

The BU Jalwa team/ PHOTO VIA David Uzvalok

The BU Jalwa team/ PHOTO VIA David Uzvalok

I clearly remember researching colleges during the summer before senior year, trying to decide what qualities of a college were really important to me. Sure, academics were the forerunner, but my teachers kept emphasizing the importance of a well-rounded college career.

They stressed that the college I would end up going to had to be the right “fit” for me. That idea really resonated with me, and I began to research colleges for other qualities rather than solely academics, which my parents supported.

With almost eight years of dancing under my belt, I knew I couldn’t let it go so easily. So, when it came down to my decisions, it was basically Boston University vs. Emerson College (I’m sure you can figure out which one I chose).

Upon deciding on BU, I did a bunch of research, and yes, that included dance teams. Despite how embarrassing it is, the fact of the matter is that I knew I wanted to be on Boston University’s Jalwa team when I got here. After being part of an all girls group for so many years, I wanted a change without straying too far from my favorite dance styles.

Not long after starting the Fall semester I became a member of BU Jalwa. We practice from 8:45-11 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 2:45-4:00 on Sundays. To give you a small idea of how intense this dance group is, being late results in a fee depending on the amount of minutes you were late. Let’s just say that you will rarely find me being late to practice. Oh, that broke college student life…

We begin each practice with stretches. After that, we usually focus on practicing one type of number of dance styles. Among these styles are bhangra (traditional dance from Punjab, India), hip-hop, contemporary and Bollywood (a fusion many different dance styles, but primarily from classical and modern Indian dances), not unlike this video.  Occasionally we dedicate to a practice to stunts, which, believe me, is as scary as it sounds.

This may not sound that bad, but enter competition season and everything changes.

All of a sudden, practices are ramped up to most (if not all) days of the week. The stress of learning different choreography, formations, and using costumes begins to pile on. During this period, the guys and girls on this team basically become like family – people I’m forced to like.

I’m only kidding, promise!

Seriously though, it takes a lot of dedication and effort from everyone, especially from our board, the individuals responsible for organizing our entire team.

But all this for an eight minute routine? You may wonder why. College of Arts and Sciences sophomore Rohan Rastogi has one answer:

“Competition season is grueling in terms of physical and mental stress, but it’s by far the most rewarding experience. There’s no feeling comparable to performing in front of a huge crowd and seeing an entire year’s worth of hard work pay off in a span of just eight minutes.”

Speaking of competition season, we are currently preparing for South Asian Showdown, a competition for Bollywood and Fusion dance teams. It will be held at John Hancock Hall right here in Boston on Saturday, February 8th starting at 6 p.m.

If you’d like to see all our hardwork finally being put onto stage, buy a ticket and come out and support BU Jalwa in our hometown!

Here’s a video of BU Jalwa performing in a dance competition a few years ago: