Amita Batra, a student at UT Austin, is studying to become a mechanical engineer. She chose this major because she finds it interesting and allows her to continuously think outside of the box to solve problems. She also loves the fact that she is following in her father’s footsteps and can relate to his inspiring journey. This summer, she is currently interning for Chevron, in the downtown Houston office, and is working on a short film with her best friend. A few things to know about Amita is that she enjoys jamming out to music in her car, she sometimes pretends to be a superstar singer, and really likes cooking and plating dishes to look like pieces of art.
How long have you been dancing?
I have been dancing for 15 years.
What does dance mean to you?
Dance, to me, means expressing yourself through a song. While cool choreo and visuals for an audience are definitely great, I feel that the root of all dancing comes from your inner emotions. It is about submerging into that emotion and, as a result of it, the art of dance just comes out.
What styles of dance do you do and why?
I love all styles of dance and I have been fortunate enough to have a background in various diverse styles, such as ballet and kathak. My favorite style would have to be Indian contemporary, because it allows me to fuse my Indian background with my Western culture to create a distinct style.
What team(s) have you been on and what made you join them?
I am currently the captain of Texas Nach Baliye. I first joined simply because I could not live without dance. I wanted to learn more from my peers and, while I have been able to accomplish that, I feel that the team has become my family in college. I am really glad I decided to be a part of it.
What struggles have you faced in your life?
When I was in high school, I was not always surrounded by the most positive influences. It took me a long time to understand that I was changing as a person. As a result, I was full of negative emotions and I did not even understand why.
How has dance helped you face this adversity?
In this situation, dance allowed me to take all of my negative emotions and create sad Indian contemporary pieces. To be quite honest, I have always been obsessed with the emotion of being sad. I feel like it is intense and powerful enough to make me express my feelings through dance.
What do you want people to take away from your story?
I am sure that most of us have faced negativity at some point, where we feel like we have lost who we used to be. I want to say that in that case, the most positive thing you can do to yourself is put all your emotions into something you love even if it is not dance. The energy that you would waste being upset/feeling negative can be used to drive your passion forward to new heights.
What advice do you have to share with other dancers?
One of my biggest pet peeves is when people have expectations in dance. For me, dance is an art form and subjective to the viewer. When you start expecting certain results from your dancing, it shows that you are not dancing for you, you are dancing for something external. Dance for yourself and be confident in who you are but do not allow ego to take over you. Even if you work hard and do not get the results you were expecting, do not be upset because all the hard work just helped you progress on your dance journey. The moment your focus shifts from the dancing to the reward is the moment you stop progressing.