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Kasthuri excels in Indian Classical Dancing

She took third place out of 32 acts at competition in April.

Samanvita+Kasthuri+dances+on+stage+at+the+Fox+Theater+during+the+St.+Louis+Teen+Talent+Competition.
Samanvita Kasthuri dances on stage at the Fox Theater during the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition.

Samanvita Kasthuri dances on stage at the Fox Theater during the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition.

Mariah Kesner

Mariah Kesner

Samanvita Kasthuri dances on stage at the Fox Theater during the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition.

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like dancing in front of thousands of people? Well, sophomore Samanvita Kasthuri faces that challenge all the time.

Kasthuri specializes in Indian Classical Dancing. She recently took third place the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition at The Fox Theater in April. She also performed in the Festival of Nations held at Tower Grove Park in August.

Kasthuri said the win was her greatest award she’s ever received. She won $4,000 in scholarship money and $1,000 in cash.

Even though she is just 15 years old shes dancing for 10 years. She has been taught by her dad Prasanna Kasthuri who established a dance and music school called Soorya Performing Arts in 2002.  He created “Gokula Nirgamana” the first Indian Opera ever performed outside of India.

Kasthuri said there are pros and cons to being coached by your dad.

“It’s a lot of stress, they are harder on me then other students and I have a lot of performances because my dad’s hard on me but it’s also great because I’m constantly surrounded by the art,” she said.

Many people suffer from Stage Fright but Samanvita has been dancing for a long time.

“No, I don’t suffer from stage fright. I feel like throwing up though before for some competitions,” she said.

Out of the 32 acts who performed at The Fox in April. Kasthuri took 3rd place she thought the fact it was cultural and indian made her stand out from the rest.

Many of Kasthuri’s friends went to the competition at the Fox to see her dance. For many it was their first time including sophomore Madeline Crawford.

“ It was my first time seeing her dance. I did know she danced a lot but I didn’t know the extent of it,” she said.

For sophomore Mariah Kesner it was not her first time seeing her but she talked about the experience seeing her and all the other performances at Fox.

“It was really cool seeing talented people and it made me feel proud and excited to see all her work and practice pay off,” she said.

Kasthuri’s dad is an indian classical dancer and Samanvita comes from a long line of dancers.

“It’s exciting that I’m the next line and it goes on and on,” she said.

She said the hardest part of being a dancer is memorizing all the steps because you’ll have to remember all of them and sometimes you have to dance for hours.

“It’s because of the constant practice before any dance. I learn all of them because they were stuck in my head,” she said.

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Kasthuri excels in Indian Classical Dancing