The rains finally arrived, albeit later than usual, this month, providing the much-needed relief from the scorching temperatures that our city witnessed. Pune recorded the hottest day in 52 years at a whopping 43 degrees on April 28, 2019. But nothing really, even these hot summers, has been able to stop our young, dedicated and sincere ballerinas from their rigorous prep for the highly anticipated Nutcracker concert taking place on Sunday, 7th of July 2019.
Keeping our traditions alive, after our short hiatus, we’re back at turning on the spotlights on the best of our students with the Ballerina of the Month series. We’re exhilarated to crown AaratrikaWahi as the Ballerina of the Month for June 2019.

A 6th grader at Vibgyor High School-NIBM, 11-year-old Aaratrika (aka Misha fondly), is the only child of Rishi Wahi, a startup entrepreneur and Aditi Wahi, a former Sr. Manager at Infosys. Aaratrika will be playing the much-coveted role of the Nutcracker Prince, who leads the battle against the fierce Mice King and his army.

When asked about how her daughter started with ballet and LDAB, Aditi recalls,
“It was the classic influence of her friends, who were already learning ballet at LDAB that got Aaratrika initially interested. She had her first class in August 2018 and since then there has been no looking back!”

Aaratrika is quite a diverse young person when it comes to her interests and hobbies. She’s always had a soft spot for all things art and craft. She’s also a singer, with pop-singer Taylor Swift’s music having a huge influence on her. She’s also a budding sportsperson. She plays basketball for her school team.
Aditi describes Aaratrika as someone’s who’s shy and a tad bit moody at times. On one hand, she happily sings in school recitals and dances to contemporary Hindi music tunes at school & at their housing society programmes, but then she will also act all coy when asked to do the same before her relatives at family gatherings. We can’t really fault her on this though! It’s the same story in every home, isn’t it?

We enquire about how the Wahis are getting up to speed on Ballet as a dance form and her dad Rishi tells us, “We weren’t really aware or educated about ballet as a dance form until last year. Aaratrika’s foray into this world has been educational for all of us and this really has been a journey. As a parent, I’m glad to see her be so enthusiastic and engaged with something that she really cares about.
Another important trait that her mother talks about,
She just needs to be nudged in the right direction and then she’s all set to perform wonderfully!
That nudge has certainly come in the form of our Nutcracker concert, where Neha, our creative director, chose Aaratrika to play the lead role of the Nutcracker Prince.

Providing the rationale for her selection, Neha speaks highly of Aaratrika,
She has been a very dedicated and focused student. Her dedication is complementary to the fact she has natural grace & a strong acumen when it comes to picking up choreography fast. This role required someone who possessed all these characteristics and someone who could put up with a very demanding rehearsal time schedule. And I must admit she has managed all of this beautifully. She’s also been really helpful with guiding 5-year old ballerinas who are soldiers in the play. I’m very satisfied with my choice and I’m sure that she’ll set the stage on fire with her portrayal this week.

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