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Ballerina of the Month June 2018
The rains have arrived, quenching the thirst of the scorched earth, rejuvenating the life all around us and ushering in an exciting new season. We here at LDAB welcome our students to the new academic year, after our much deserved season break. We continue with our beloved traditions whilst looking forward to all that is in store this year for our students. We proudly crown Rea Gollakota, the Ballerina of the Month for June 2018.
Rea’s first brush with ballet happened a really long time ago. As a child, she accompanied her parents to a ballet recital, where she first witnessed graceful young ballerinas performing en pointe to soothing music. The memories of this night, stayed with her as the years passed by and blossomed into dreams of becoming an accomplished ballerina.
Today, Rea, a young 13 year old tall, slender and pretty teenager, has been a student at LDAB for the past one year. She’s the daughter of blessed parents, Major Venu Madhav, a military officer in the Indian Army and Doctor Sapna Gollakota, who’s now pursuing her Masters in Healthcare Administration. She’s a student at St. Mary’s in Camp on the weekdays. But beyond that she’s a dynamic creative juggernaut.
Her dad proudly enlists all the activities she pursues,
“Rea’s always been a person with a creative bend in her mind and body. Before ballet, she learnt Bharatnatyam. She excels at not just tennis but golf too. She plays the casio beautifully and now is in the midst of learning the guitar. Recently she’s also started taking gymnastics class with the intent to strengthen her core and make her muscles more flexible, which will both go a long way in helping her become a better ballerina. To top that, she’s also begun taking creative writing classes to hone the storyteller inside her.”
Given our predisposition to worrying about grades I enquire about how Rea manages to balance out all that is on her plate and her mom shares her insights,
“Rea’s always been an outdoor person. And she’s juggling all these activities for so long now, that it’s almost a way of life. She’s sincere and that reflects in the fact that her grades haven’t suffered and I’m content with that. She finishes all her homework in school itself, which leaves her enough time after school to whole heartedly pursue these extra-curriculars.”
I asked Rea a very fundamental question, what’s the best thing about being a ballerina for her? Her answer makes me wonder, she’s really wise, beyond her years perhaps,
“I feel content from inside when I perform ballet. I feel this joy deep inside my heart knowing that my performance makes my parents happy.”
Her mentor Neha Sujhani, Creative Director at LDAB, has profound observations regarding Rea’s growth as a budding ballerina,
“Rea’s technique and form are impeccable. The other students in the class look up to her and try to emulate the hardwork she puts in. She almost never misses class. I recall an instance where she’d come to class despite a hand injury, we went through the motions and later I was informed about the injury. I was surprised but more importantly impressed with her unwavering dedication to the craft.”
Rea surely deserves all the high praise that her teacher showers on her. She makes it a point to practice for atleast thrice a week for 45 minutes in addition to the bi-weekly sessions at LDAB.
At the Once upon a time concert held in December 2017, Rea played Sleeping beauty and performed with utmost poise and grace, dressed to perfection in her embellished pink tutu. She has pleasant memories of the night as she reminisces,
“Everyone appreciated the sweat and tears that went in to putting up our set. My Mom, dad and my grandmother happily cheered for me in the audience and a big hug from them after the performance just sweetened the entire experience for me even more.”