Junior Helen Shen stretches into a pose used in Dai dancing on Nov. 4.
Junior Helen Shen stretches into a pose used in Dai dancing on Nov. 4.
Arushi Sharma (she/her)

Dancers at Inglemoor

Irish dance

Sophomore Kaylie Fordham (she/her) has been Irish dancing for 13 years. Fordham said the Irish dancing community is strong, and it makes her feel more connected to her heritage and her Irish grandmother. 

Irish dancing can be competitive or performative. Competitions are typically hosted by a local dance studio, and during major competitions, dancers from different regions gather to compete.

There are two main categories of Irish dance performed independently during competitions: soft shoe and hard shoe. Each category consists of two subcategories. The two soft shoe dances are the reel and slip jig, and the two hard shoe dances are the treble jig and hornpipe. 

Sophomore Kaylie Fordham shows of her moves on Nov. 4. (William He (he/him))

Dancers also perform dances during competitions that are choreographed by teachers for their studio’s dancers. 

Some Irish dancing competitions involve categories with multiple dancers. Fordham said she’ll be participating in group dance during the Oireachtas competition in mid-November.

“For Oireachtas, we’re doing team dances and we’re doing a four hand — ­­­­­which is four people, and eight hand — which is eight people,” said Fordham. “And it’s where you do skips and use your arms and you go in all these different patterns.”

Fordham said she wishes people considered Irish dancing to be a sport, and a physically demanding one, at that. 

“Some people think that dancing is easy. But I’ve been doing it for 13 years, and I’m still working and I’m still learning. So it’s a lot harder than people think,” she said.

Dai dance

Junior Helen Shen (she/her) practices Dai dance, a traditional Chinese dance characterized by elegant, bird-like movements. 

Shen typically dances at Chinese New Year events. Because Dai dancing has been part of Chinese culture for centuries, Shen said it helps her feel more connected to Chinese culture.

“It’s an art form that can connect me to my culture because a lot of the movements come from what people in China traditionally do,” said Shen. 

Junior Helen Shen stretches into a pose used in Dai dancing on Nov. 4. (Arushi Sharma (she/her))

One of the most famous Dai dances is the Peacock dance. This dance has been around for thousands of years and takes inspiration from the movement of peacocks. The dance imitates a peacock emerging from its nest and searching for food and water, then bathing in the river. At the end, the dancer spreads out their arms and skirt to mime a peacock taking flight.

Shen also uses Dai dancing to spread knowledge about Chinese culture, especially the less mainstream aspects of it. Shen described how she believes others’ concept of Chinese culture is generalized, as people associate Chinese dance with the Peking Opera but not other Chinese dances. 

“I hope others can learn about the artistic nuances of Chinese culture from my dance form,” said Shen. 


Senior Trisha Agrawal (she/her) started learning Bharatanatyam, a classical form of South Indian dancing during her freshman year. 

Bharatanatyam is characterized by rhythmic movements and the colorful costumes worn by the dancers. Bharatanatyam involves two types of attire: the Skirt (Saree) Style or Pyjama Style. Dancers also wear thick anklets with bells that ring as they dance. 

Agrawal said that Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest dances of the world and includes several aspects including storytelling and technical skill. 

Bharatanatyam is made up of three basic forms: the Melattur, Pandanallur and Vazhuvoor. Bharatanatyam is famed for its elegance, and Agrawal said she finds it one of the hardest dances to study.

“There’s a lot of footwork involved, and it’s really difficult to master because it ties into the rhythms. There are a lot of different specific types of emotions and expressions that you can convey using your eye movement, head movement and also with the hands, where you can use them to make specific symbols that tell a story,” said Agrawal.

Agrawal said Bharatanatyam is important to her and she enjoys being around the people she dances with because it makes her feel more connected to her culture.

“Originally, I really did not like doing dance because I definitely liked doing sports more,” said Agrawal, “But then over time, I became more appreciative of dance because it’s a good form of exercise and you still get the same sort of satisfaction after doing it, just like you do with sports.”


Senior Mckenzie Wilson (she/her) has been dancing ballet for 16 years, and she said it’s taught her important skills, such as discipline and grace. 

“I think [it] definitely gave me a lot of discipline. It teaches perseverance, and I think it taught me a lot about respect and etiquette,” Wilson said. 

Ballet is characterized by fluid, graceful and precise movements, all while the dancer stands on the tips of their toes using pointe shoes. Though ballet is very structured, it’s still a form of expression for Wilson.

“[I can express] myself through movement, and I feel like how people can cope with all the stresses of life through their sport, I feel like dance does a very similar thing,” said Wilson. 

Senior Kenzie Wilson in her ballet studio on Nov. 4. (Jackie Su (she/her))

Ballet is primarily performance-based rather than competitive, and though there are some competitions, skilled 

ballerinas are much more likely to be found in a theater than on a podium. Ballets like the Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake all include elements of theater and tell a story. 

Wilson has performed as Swanhilda in Coppélia and the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker, both produced by the Emerald Ballet Theater. Her competition titles include placing first in the Youth America Grand Prix junior division and second place in classical for YAGP semi-finals. 

Wilson hopes to become a professional ballerina, which is a highly competitive field. Despite its challenges, Wilson loves the art of ballet and the way it’s shaped her over the years.

“I think ballet is the most challenging for me personally. And I also think that for me, it’s the most beautiful type of dancing,” she said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Sarah Krug (she/her)
Sophomore Sarah Krug is a reporter in the 2022-2023 school year. This is her first year in Nordic News. She is excited to learn how to write interesting and impactful articles for people to enjoy. By doing this, she is also hoping to improve her own writing skills and explore the world of journalism. Outside of Nordic, Sarah plays trombone in the school band, participates in various STEM activities, participates in Model UN and dances.
Siqi Li (she/her)
Siqi Li (she/her), Sports Editor
Senior Siqi Li is the Sports Editor for Nordic News for the 2022 -2023 school year. This is her second year on staff. This year, her goal is to write articles other than sports articles and meet all the deadlines. She also wants to use her talent to create meaningful and valued pieces. She hopes to continue to have fun and get better at Adobe. Outside of Nordic, Siqi is an IB diploma student, tennis manager for the Inglemoor tennis team, Vice- president of the Chinese club, and a painter. She also enjoys hanging out with friends, shopping, and eating.
Arushi Sharma (she/her)
Arushi Sharma (she/her), Co-Editor-in-Chief
Senior Arushi Sharma is Co-Editor-In-Chief of Nordic News for the 2022-2023 school year. She hopes to increase Nordic's engagement in her third year on the staff and allow for all voices in Inglemoor to be heard. She also hopes to provide the Inglemoor community with a diverse range of stories. In school, Arushi is also the president of Speech and Debate, and she is involved in Inglemoor's drama department. In her free time, Arushi enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family and friends, and traveling. She is excited to see what this year has to offer, and is thrilled to work with this year's staff.
Jackie Su (she/her)
Jackie Su (she/her), Co-Editor-in-Chief
Senior Jackie Su is the Co-Editor in Chief of Nordic News. Outside of Nordic, she is also Co-President of DECA and a victim of the IB program. This year, she is excited to lead and mentor Nordic’s staff and continue to write thought-provoking pieces that challenge her community’s thinking. When she’s not studying or stressing about something, you’ll find her reading, playing the cello or buying unnecessary things. She also dabbles in social advocacy and is the renowned karaoke queen of Nordic.
William He (he/him)
William He (he/him), Junior Web Editor, Photo Editor
Junior William He embarks on his journey of the 2023-2024 school year as the Junior Web Editor and Photo Editor of Nordic News. In his third year on staff, Will aims to continue Nordic’s mission of serving the Inglemoor community by expanding the newspaper’s physical and digital presence by creating relevant, informative, and entertaining content. Outside of Nordic, Will is a full IB student and participates in DECA. 

Comments (0)

Please leave your name and email when commenting. Harmful or spam comments will be removed. Visit the comments policy tab for more info.
All Nordic News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *