Image from author. Top: The 2023 Taal team.
With a total of twenty four individuals, there lies a team at Washington High School that uses its unity to bring change to both the school and the community. This bright group is not the athletic team that many might expect. Rather, it’s Washington’s very own official Bollywood dance team, Taal. Named after the traditional rhythmic pattern in classical Indian music, Taal has been present at Washington High School for several years.
Over the years, this dance team has brought a large amount of diversity, and representation into the school and the community. The team consists of talented and passionate student dancers which by coming together, are able to learn and perform Bollywood dances for audiences throughout the Bay Area. Bollywood dance includes everything from classical, folk, to even pop styles that can be seen in intense dances. In addition to these dances, Taal also adds in a modern element, such as hip hop, contemporary, and many major other dance styles, resulting in compelling dance.
Furthermore the team also explains the importance of their bond. Nikitha Boosi, a junior captain and member of Taal since freshman year, is now in the 11th grade. Nikitha explains how “with a tight bond, it increases the trust and communication between us all, just making us improve our dance together as a team.” She goes on to explain how with trust the team is able to have fun while dancing, while keeping each other moving and overcoming any obstacles they may face. Arin Paruchuri, a junior member, says the bonds with teammates “makes me want to thrive as much as I can for my fellow teammates and captains.” Not only does Arin explain this, but he also shares how the positive team ethic that Taal holds, genuinely creates better performances throughout.
Additionally, what makes Taal so important is the impact they make on many of the students at Washington. With their dance performances, Taal is able to provide representation for many in WHS’s South Asian community. It allows students to see their culture being represented in their own community, and to feel welcome and seen. This is impactful, because it creates a feeling of belongingness and inclusivity, which is something that all students of Washington should be feeling. Through Taal, anyone, despite their differences, can come together and learn about South Asian culture.
Manjinder Singh is a Junior at Washington High School. He grew up in Union City, and he moved to Fremont when he was six years old. This is his first year at the Washington High School newspaper, The Hatchet. He is interested in sports and technology. During his free time he enjoys spending time with friends and family. Additionally, he likes playing sports (specifically basketball). His future plans are to spend two years at Ohlone community college and to transfer to a UC. He has a strong will, and believes he can do anything he puts his mind to.