Library Brings Bollywood to the Community ​

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Provided by Prince William County

Dance like no one’s watching and smile while doing so. That’s the philosophy of Nirathi Rao with Rythmaya Dance, who recently taught children about Bollywood, folk and classical Indian dancing during a program at Chinn Park Regional Library.

Rao told the children they should be happy when they dance and to carry that happiness with them all the time. “Everything is better with a smile on your face.”

Smiles were in abundance during the 40-minute program that featured different styles of dance. When Rao called for children who wanted come to the front of the room, dozens of hands shot up in the air. The children who came forward weren’t at all shy about dancing in front of a crowd; and soon, most of the children had gathered around Rao to learn the steps.

Franz Rodriguez said he likes to take his kids to places where they can be exposed to various aspects of different cultures, and he likes the fact that the library is offering events to help him teach his children. “I love it that they’re having events featuring different cultures. Kids need to be exposed to more cultures. Story time is fine, but I really appreciate when they bring in other things.”

Susan Stone brought her 5-year-old daughter, Olivia, and danced with everyone else in the room when Rao called for the parents to get up and move. She said she enjoyed the camaraderie Rao created. “It was amazing. The interaction between everyone was great.”

Jane Drabkin, supervisor of youth services at Chinn Park Regional Library, said the exposure to the dances of other cultures is good for children. “It expands their horizons. It gives them a chance to learn through their senses, as well. They’re getting a lot of information they wouldn’t normally get.”

Drabkin said that the children had fun throughout the program. “I think they had a wonderful time. They loved the dancing and all the movement. They learned a lot, and they weren’t just sitting still.”

Bring your smiles, and your kids ages 3 and up, when Rao brings her program to Montclair Community Library at 2:00 p. m. on July 23. Ages 11 and up can enjoy the program at the Haymarket Gainesville Community Library at 6:00 p. m. on July 23.

For more information about this and other library programs, visit pwcgov.org/library and click on the events link.

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