Full Name: Anagha Sreenivas
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
Favorite Color: Pink
Ever since a young age, I have always been fascinated by our wonderful Indian Culture and our classical dance forms. Following in my mother’s footsteps, I started the intricate form of Bharatanatyam and Kathak at the age of 9. I had been doing Bollywood dance since the age of 6 and as I grew older, I developed a passionate interest in choreography. From choreographing small group dances for my brothers in our basement, I slowly grew into choreographing huge dance productions, incorporating multiple dance forms, for 100+ participants each show for a variety of cultural events. Dancing is my breath, it’s the one giving me life! To this day, I teach and choreograph various forms of dances (salsa, hip-hop, contemporary, indo-contemporary, semi-classical, classical, Bollywood, etc.) for all age groups, while I successfully completed my Rangapravesha in Bharatanatyam and will be completing Kathak soon. One of our most renowned dance productions is a production called “NADI”, which received a lot of appreciation. In this dance production, we showcased and emphasized the need to take action to help save our dying rivers in India. We followed Sri Sadhguru’s vision and created a production that showcased the problems India’s rivers are facing. I really enjoyed supporting the Rally for Rivers cause and helping our community.
My mom and I also organized fundraising, cultural event called “Karunya” to help raise awareness for “rare diseases” and help the organization (ORDI). It was a satisfying and successful event!
I have received numerous awards, and have been blessed to have been given opportunities to perform on prestigious platforms. I was selected as a finalist on Dance India Dance North America (Zee TV), the winner of the Dance With Madhuri (for salsa) judged by Madhuri Dixit, runner up in Boogie Woogie (Washington D.C.), I have been invited to perform at Washington DC’s Department of Treasury, DC’s Asian Festival, Reston Multi-Cultural Festival, and I have received special recognitions from renowned Bollywood choreographers, Saroj Khan, Dharmesh sir, Geeta ma, Mudassar Khan, Puneet, and many more iconic role models out there. Dance has shaped me to be who I am today! Dance has given me a chance to show my dedication to my community, by involving people and voluntarily dedicating personal time to receive the best results from our community. Apart from this life- changing passion, I am a black belt and grand champion in Tae Kwon Do, an Ambassador Girl Scout and have performed numerous causes to help our community, I love to read and write, edit videos and music, and I have my own dance Youtube Channel as well. Bringing Indian Culture to Oakton High School has always been a dream of mine, and I was able to do that as the Founder/President of the Bollywood Fusion Dance Club at Oakton High School. Being the President and Chair for Charity/Fundraising for the Kaveri Youth Committee, I organize fundraising events, one of them being the Houston Hurricane Flood Relief. I also encourage my friends to help volunteer at various events. I really enjoy volunteering at shelters such as the DC Kitchen, which I attend every year, to help prepare food for the homeless. I volunteer annually at shelters to preserve gardens, pick up trash, prepare food, wrap Christmas gifts for the homeless, and many more.
As a girl scout, I have earned my Silver Award and I am currently working on my Gold Award. I had to dedicate a good number of hours to make a change in our community and as an action I built a garden to help attract the Monarch butterflies and bring them back! Apart from this, I love to model and have modeled for various designers. It feels really good to always look for ways to give back to the community and I want to continue to do so in the future. This is the world we live in, and I want to make sure it’s a place that thrives with positive attitudes and is oriented towards the well-being of humanity.
What are you doing presently?
I am a rising senior at Oakton High School, and a blooming choreographer and dancer. I am an active Girl Scout, working towards my Gold Award by choosing a cause that we want to fix in the world. I am in the process of taking action and bringing awareness to certain topics affecting our world. I am also currently working on two dance productions with my mom for an upcoming international Kannada Convention. I am choreographing unique pieces to accommodate dancers from all over the United States of America. I am also working on getting ready for this pageant, which has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember!
What are your future plans?
In the future, I plan on pursuing my dreams as a creative and ethical citizen. I want to tap into the creative part of my mind and innovate extravagant ideas to help our world. I want to help people find where they belong and stand by their side to hope for the best. Also, as a choreographer and dancer, I want to bring out the best in people and help them learn to accept who they are and believe in themselves. Dance is a way to express oneself, and I believe that people can change through this innovative art form. The world should be a positive place to live in and I want to make sure that it happens. I want people to be confident and considerate, understand each other, and help each other thrive rather than pulling each other down. In the future, I plan to start my own dance school and possibly work at Disney in the film/media arts and design field. The film/media design field has always been a field of interest for me as I love to work with technology, animations, light, sounds, AV, etc. I have had experience in these areas as well, and going into this field would give me a chance to pursue what I love. At the same time, I am also looking into starting a business career. I want to choreograph more dance productions, meet new people, build new relationships, and model as well after I complete my education. I plan to focus my career on my dreams and at the same time, play a role in the wellness of humanity.
Why do you want to participate in the pageant?
We all know that a pageant is not just about beauty and looks. By winning a title like “Miss India DC”, the person accommodates an array of talents, knowledge, and skills that people can look up to knowing it will lead them in the right direction. I want to participate in this pageant to help contribute to shaping our society and explore myself in a deeper aspect as well! This pageant is also a learning experience for me. I will be able to learn lots of new things from the other talented candidates and build new relationships as well. It is a chance for me to gain new perspectives on ideas and build my circle with these wonderful people. This is an opportunity for me to humbly showcase my knowledge and talent, meet new people throughout the process, and proudly present what I can do to help our community and world thrive.
Talent you plan to do for the pageant: I will be dancing.
What 3 words sum you up:
Dreamer- I always aspire to dream big and do my best in whatever I do. With bigger dreams comes positive motivation and a desire to make a mark in this world.
Optimistic/Artistic/Innovative- I love to create. I love the idea of being able to witness the works of your mind in real life. Especially in choreography, I love watching the dance come alive on stage—the dance that was once in my mind! It’s a feeling I can’t describe. I’m also very optimistic. I believe that anything is possible and if we work hard enough for it, we can only see the good in any situation.
Passionate- being involved mentally in the work you’re doing can take you places. If your heart is in it, it’ll be something you won’t regret.
Being brought up here in America, my parents have strongly emphasized on preserving our culture, traditions, and values. We (my family and I) always speak our native language, Kannada, at home and we celebrate every festival just like we would in India. I always pray after a shower, we always go the temple on our birthdays and special occasions, and I always call and speak with my grandparents and family in India. Even though our generation is getting used to American customs, I think it’s extremely important to preserve our Indian Culture and respect our heritage.
Super Power: If I had a superpower, I would want to be able to increase levels of happiness in this world. If at any time someone is feeling depressed or stressed, I want to be able to make them relax and remember to always stay happy. All the excess stress is not worth it, it’s important to stay happy and get your work done while enjoying life to the fullest. Live each moment.
Three things I would take to a desert island: I would take my family. Nothing is better than being with the ones I love and want to make more memories with. I would take a music system, so I can continue to dance to music on the island. And lastly, the intangibles; hope, optimism, and happiness. I want to incorporate these qualities into my life on this island to help me stay happy!
Most embarrassing moment: Probably when I walked in on somebody in the bathroom, and I was too shocked to say “I’m sorry” and I randomly left.
My mother sacrificed her dream of becoming a doctor for my brothers and me. Although she completed medical school, she didn’t start practicing. My mom now follows her other dream as a traditional classical dancer and has opened her own Bharatanatyam school here. She works endlessly to support our family and pursue her dreams at the same time. If it weren’t for her constant push and perseverance towards me, I wouldn’t be where I was. Thanks to her I’ve been able to choreograph big-scale dance productions and establish a name for myself. She works hard day and night and never gives up. She knows how to do it right. I don’t know who else I would say is a bigger inspiration for me. Both my parents have always supported me and have encouraged me to go to greater heights every day. I want to become a human being like my mom. I want to gain the same respect she has, and learn to power through any situation and come out stronger. Apart from my mother being my biggest inspiration, I am inspired by my gurus who have showered me with endless support and love constantly. I am inspired by the girls who have participated/won this pageant earlier. I am inspired by all those dancers out there who are making a name for themselves. I am inspired by all those people out there who are getting closer and closer to achieving their dreams, as they have taught me how much dedication and hard work it takes to be successful.
My worst nightmare would be messing up a golden opportunity and not taking advantage of it, leading to regrets later. Humans have a tendency to not appreciate something they have right in front of them and then when it’s gone its value blossoms.
How would you spend your last day on Earth?
If I knew that today would be my last day on Earth, I would spend it by doing the things I love for one last time. I would be with my family the whole day. I would go to all the places I have heartwarming memories in and spend time in each place. I would visit my friends and thank them for everything they have done. I would say “I love you” to each person in my family and thank them for everything they have given me. It’s important for a person to make the most out of each day. Each moment is inevitable and it won’t come back. Like this one. And this one. One thing I have learned, is to live your life. It’s your life, not anyone else’s. Do what makes you happy, do the right thing, and leave no regrets. On my last day on Earth, I wish to end with the same clean slate that I started with.
Best piece of advice received:
If something didn’t happen according to your will, then it happened according to the will of a divine force which is even better. I believe that everything happens for a reason. My mom always uses this line to help me look at situations in an optimistic perspective. If a certain action took place, there’s always a reason for it and it’ll eventually help you in the future. This piece of advice stands very true to me and it has taught me to accept the situation because it happened for a reason that we don’t know yet, and that God will keep you on the right path no matter what.
Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years:
In 10 years, I hope to see myself doing what I love the most. Working with others, being a positive asset to our community, choreographing dances for large productions, and making a positive impact on our world. I want to be able to pursue my dreams, establish my career, continue to volunteer, and of course, be happy!
Hey guys! I’m Anagha Sreenivas and I am so excited to be participating in the Miss India DC 2018 Pageant! I am thrilled to be competing for the Miss India DC title, and it’s definitely going to be a memorable journey. Please come and support me and all the other wonderful contestants as we humbly showcase our talents and knowledge on such a prestigious platform! Hope to see you all there, lots of love!