News

The 5C Experience: Claremont Tamasha Exploring South Asian Culture through Bollywood Dance

CLAREMONT, California - April 24, 2017

Photo credit: Asha Gupta ’18

A crowd of more than 400 from The Claremont Colleges (5C) community turned out for an evening of South Asian dance, music, and cultural appreciation at Sanskriti 2017. Now in its fifth year, Sanskriti is one of the largest 5C student-run performances, attracting both participants and audiences. This year’s Sanskriti, held on April 7, 2017, featured over 150 dancers from all 5Cs.

Claremont Tamasha, a 5C club founded in 2012 for students interested in learning Bollywood dance, organizes the Sanskriti events. Members hone their dance skills, socialize, and build community while learning about South Asian culture. The club meets three times a week for dance practice and regularly hosted Bollywood movie nights.

Claremont Tamasha co-vice president Francesca Inocentes ’17 has been excited to see the club grow in popularity, attracting students from various backgrounds.

“Claremont Tamasha has gotten bigger every year in [size and] the diversity of people who have joined. This year, we’re trying to add a competitive dance group to the existing campus dance community,” she says.

For Sneha Deo ’17, co-president of Claremont Tamasha and president of Scripps Associated Students, the club plays an important role in the fabric of 5C campus culture.

“I think a lot of people see Tamasha as just for fun, but it is really political to have a space that’s centered on people of color, especially folks within the larger Asian community who aren’t often the center of focus. It’s important that Sanskriti is one of the biggest opportunities for international students to come together, collaborate, and celebrate our identities,” says Deo.

Asha Byrd ’17, a Claremont Tamasha board member who has participated in the club for four years, says that some of her favorite college memories have come from her participation in the Sanskriti performances.

“The feeling of a tightknit community that comes out of practicing for weeks and weeks, and staying up for hours at night perfecting a dance is incredibly exhilarating,” she says.

Ashweetha “Ash” Louis ’20 agrees. “When I first came to Scripps, Tamasha was one of the communities I immediately felt like I belonged to. It’s played a substantial part in my college experience, helping me branch out and make friends across the 5Cs.”

For more information about Claremont Tamasha, click here.

By Kyla Aiko Smith ’20