Freshman Friday: Lineya Andrews


By Serinna Joseph

The NWN had the chance to talk to Freshman Lineya Andrews, who has a passion for dance and would like to share her experience as a dancer.

NWN: What are your hobbies?

Andrews: Some of my hobbies are singing, playing volleyball, baking, but most importantly, dancing. I love to dance because I’ve done it for a long time, and its been part of my life ever since. For some people, sports or playing an instrument is what they dedicate themselves to. Just like those people and their dedication for an activity, I have a passion for dance.

NWN: How did you become interested in dance?

Andrews: I was first introduced to dance by my older cousins, who had been involved with it many years before I did. After seeing them do live performances on stage, I wanted to be one of them. I saw how much time and effort they put into all of their dances to show their commitment and pride as a dancer, who not only did dance because they wanted to, but because they lived it. I wanted to show others that I had the same commitment and devotion for dance.

NWN: Did you take dance lessons? If so what kind of dance have you learned?

Andrews: Yes, Natraj Dance Academy was like a second home for me. Saturdays for most people is a day of relaxation, but for me it wasn’t. Waking up early mornings, dancing and practicing for two to three hours was normal for me. This was not your typical type of dance like ballet or jazz, but a traditional, classical form of dance originated from India called Bharatanatyam.

NWN: How many years of experience do you have and how have you improved throughout those years?

Andrews: In total, I’ve been dancing for eight years, and I still do today. There are so many ways I have improved. Practicing steps not just once but for weeks and weeks was what made me the dancer who I am today. It did take time and patience, but overall the work really paid off when I performed. Stage fright was another thing I conquered while performing, but gradually performing in front of a crowd became natural.

NWN: Being a dancer, for this many years what have you learned?

Andrews: The most important thing I’ve learned as a dancer is that practice makes perfect. This idea  came into play when I started learning the basics of dance. At first, I had a hard time just getting the facial expressions and hand gestures that symbolized a part of the story that the dance was meant to portray, but they all came naturally as I practiced expressing them within the dance. The dance steps itself were very challenging and still are even till this day, but I have improved with years of experience and practice.

NWN: How are you involved with dance at Niles West?

Andrews: At Niles West, I am part of Indo-Pak. As you may know it is a cultural club which explores the cultures of India and Pakistan. Currently, we are preparing for International Night. The members and I are doing a dance which comprises of Bollywood songs and natures of cinematic dance. Another event which is solely presented by Indo-Pak is Indo-Pak night where my friends and I are planning to present our own routine of a mix of Indian cinematic and classical dances.

NWN: Do you dance by yourself or with a group?

Andrews: So far I have only done dances with a group, whether it is my group from my dance classes or my friends. Even though I have never done a solo, I wish to do one someday, but somehow I haven’t had the courage to. It is not that I have stage fright, but I feel much more comfortable dancing with a group of people or another person rather than by myself. I hope to overcome that obstacle and gain the courage to show the true colors of my talent one day.

NWN: Can you describe a memorable experience? For example, a performance.

Andrews: I’ve done many performances during my eight years of dancing, but a special experience that I will forever cherish, and have been so thankful doing till this day, is the last dance I did. This dance is called Kuchipudi. In this form of dance we use props like a brass plate, on which you have to balance both your feet and a brass pot which is placed on your head while dancing. This particular type of dance not only took great balance, it also took hard work and true dedication to never give up even during the hardest moments.

NWN: Do you wish to continue dancing in the years ahead?

Andrews: Of course I wish to continue dancing. I feel like if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be me…I wouldn’t be happy. Dancing is my life and I will do anything to continue it throughout my life. Even though I do not take traditional Indian classical dance lessons anymore, I am interested in learning other dances from other cultures. Frankly speaking, dance has no culture or language it is an expression of art moving your body to the rhythm of music.