Indian IDA 2023

Eesha Oza

With all of the diverse backgrounds and cultures at BCA, International Day of Acceptance (IDA) is one of the most popular and widely appreciated events, with dance performances ranging from hip hop, to traditional Chinese dance, to Punjabi Bhangra. A very close-knit community at the Bergen County Academies, Indian IDA (IIDA) is one of the most populous IDA groups, and attracts many participants year after year, as members learn new choreography, rehearse dances, and prepare for their final performance on January 26, 2023. 

This year, Indian IDA has a five minute window to perform their six dances, as opposed to last year’s five dances in three minutes, giving this year’s leaders more leeway in choosing the songs and creating the choreography. In past years, due to COVID-19, the Classical dance portion of Indian IDA was removed. However, due to popular demand, it has reappeared for the 2022-2023 performance year. This style of dance requires previous training in either Bharatanatyam or Kathak, two traditional forms of Indian Classical dance. “I was a classical dancer for several years and it has been a major part of my life,” said Miloni Modi, a sophomore in AEDT. “For me to be able to show something I’m so passionate about really excites me.” 

In addition to Classical dance, the other dances Indian IDA will perform include Girls’ Bollywood, Boys’ Bollywood, a Seniors dance, Bhangra, and the Finale.

Every year, IIDA is led by a group of seniors who determine the songs for the dances, create the choreography, and recruit members. This year, the IIDA leaders are Sunjukta Vaidhyanathan, Divyash Shah, James John, and Amishi Mittal. The songs they have chosen for IIDA 2023 are: “Manwa Laage” by Arjit Singh and Shreya Goshal, “Kar Gayi Chull” by Badshah and Amaal Mallik, “Kala Chasma” by Amar Arshi, “Diliwali Girlfriend” by Arjit Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan, “Koka” by Jasbeer Jassi, and tentatively, “Dhoom Machale” by Sunidhi Chauhan and Praveen Duth Stephen for the Classical dance, Girls’ Bollywood, Boys’ Bollywood, a Senior’s dance, Bhangra, and the Finale dance, respectively. 

“I think these songs have a lot of potential to get the audience hype even if they don’t know the songs,” said Annika Ramani, a sophomore in AMST, who is participating in IIDA for the second year in a row. “I love them all, especially the classical dance.” Of course, the audience of the IDA assembly will be diverse and include students and teachers from different backgrounds, making it essential to strategically choose songs to elevate viewers’ enthusiasm. 

When asked how he would rate the song choices on a scale of one to ten, Hrishi Kothamasu, a freshman in AEDT who is participating in the Boys’ Bollywood dance, gave them a 7. “They are better songs than last year and are good in general,” said Hrishi. “But some of the songs are a little overplayed and I’ve seen many dances to them.” 

Miloni added, “The classical and girls song would be a 9/10. The finale song is 100% a 10/10 as it truly showcases the Indian ‘dhamaka!’” Clearly, there are many different opinions regarding the song choices for Indian IDA this year. 

Furthermore, IIDA has seen an overwhelming amount of sign-ups this year, to the extent that the current group is nearly thirty people over the maximum limit. For this reason, the leaders are encouraging members to drop out of IIDA if they cannot commit, are not interested, or are not coming to three out of five practices. 

Additionally, many new students have joined IIDA this year due to encouragement from their friends and the success of the program in the 2021-2022 school year. “Last year was my first year in IIDA since I was a freshman, and I made many new friends and had a lot of fun hanging out, dancing, talking, and laughing with them,” said Hrishi. “It was one of the best experiences I have had so far at BCA and I’m excited for it to happen again.”

Despite the long practices after school and an overwhelming number of participants, many members, both returning and new, are looking forward to getting to know each other, learning the choreography, performing on stage, and getting to know their culture better overall. 

“I’m very excited for IIDA this year because as a sophomore, I know more about how IDA works and how to make even the long practices a bunch of fun,” said Annika. “My favorite part of all is when I see all the dances come together at the end and everything flows so nicely.” 

“I am most looking forward to talking and dancing with my friends and new people,” said Hrishi. “While being part of IIDA, especially the boys group, we have fun with everyone although dancing is our main priority.”

IIDA has been one of the most popular and enthusiastic of performances, and the members are looking forward to demonstrating their talent and dedication. “I would recommend doing IIDA for those who have not danced before as it is an opportunity to express your culture and it’s a fun experience,” said Miloni. 

Good luck to the members of BCA Indian IDA and all of the students who will be performing at the IDA Assembly on January 26, 2023!