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19th Mar 2011
Dhivya Senthil Murugan topped Colorado's State Spelling Bee
In a proud moment on Saturday 19th March, Dhivya Senthil, daughter of Senthil Murugan and Geetha topped the Colorado's State Spelling Bee competition. When this 10-year-old girl finally heard the word that she needed to spell to become Colorado's spelling champion, one thing went through her mind. "Yay, I know this word!" said the Denver fifth-grader.

Dhivya, who attends Cherry Creek's Challenge School, correctly spelled "plumicorn" - the tuft of earlike feathers on some species of owl - in the 19th round to win The Denver Post's 71st annual Colorado State Spelling Bee on Saturday. Senthil is working as Account Manager for TCS - India's premier IT Company.

Two hundred eighty-five students from grades four through eight from across the state descended upon Denver to compete for a chance to go to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. A written exam in the morning narrowed the field to 36 competitors for the oral round. Then, one by one, round by round, students walked up to the microphone to hear their word. Some breathed sighs of relief upon hearing familiar words, while others were not as lucky. One competitor, upon hearing the word "doctrinaire," simply said "uh-oh," into the microphone.

As rounds went on, the bell indicating a misspelled word rang out as students walked off stage to applause and hugs from their family members. When third-place finisher Jake Keohane stumbled on "purfle" in the 15th round, only Dhivya and eighth-grader Jacob Durso-Sabina of Morey Middle School remained on stage. In Round 16, Dhivya misspelled "rutilant" and Jacob correctly spelled "boniato" to earn a chance to win the title in the next round. But he was unable to spell "vitiate," and Dhivya was given another chance. In the next round, Dhivya correctly spelled "esurient" and Jacob was unable to spell "caisson," and Dhivya finally clinched the title with "plumicorn." Dhivya now gets an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, where she will compete with spellers from around the country beginning May 30.

It's a far cry from what she expected going into the competition, because she had failed to make the oral competition in last year's spelling bee. "I didn't even think I would make the oral round, much less the top three," Dhivya said. Even as she spelled her last word, she said she had no idea she had won. "I was still a little dizzy," she said. She credits memorizing word lists and picking up the study habits of past spelling champions as the reason for her drastic improvement. "I guess I just studied a lot more words this time," Dhivya said. "I felt more prepared this time."

21st Feb 2011
Colorful dances at Bharat Utsav 2011
The saga of Indian dances was enacted one more time on the stage in Colorado on February 19th Saturday at the Aurora Central High School. The event was staged before huge crowd of audiences from all over the city. The program started with the American National Anthem by Sahana Narayan and Indian National Anthem by Navya Roy and Vishmaya Bachu. The show began with one of the famous traditional dance of India, Kuchipudi style. This was performed by Laasya, Himanvi, Ananya, Srinidhi, Kyathi, Harshitha and Charitha -students of Mrs. Lavanya Yammanur of SaiMeghana Dance School. This was followed by Masti Mix a fun filled Bollywood Dance by Ananya, Nisha, Sindhu, Rima, Sriya, Sarayu, Sanjana, Anushka, Shreya, Sahana, Rithika, Adithi, Nandini, Akshitha, Arya, Aanika. This was choreographed by Mrs. Prathyusha Apparasu of Laya dance academy.

India has many traditional dance styles. Every state in India has different style of dance forms. One of the old and traditional forms of dance is Bharatnatyam; The Padam was performed by Vani Topkar, Punya Ramesh, Shreya Pandit, Apoorva Gundu, and Tara Srinivas. This is choreographed by Mrs. Puja Allepalli of Shivanjali Centre for Fine Arts. This is followed by Semi Classical Fusion performed by 6-9 year old kids Sanavi, Pillai, Arjun, Peroor, Arundathi Nair, Shriya Vijay, Nikhil Madhu and Nidhi Unnikrishnan. This was choreographed by Sindhu Bejoy, Madhu and Renju Anand. Medha Gudavalli from SVTC Dance School performed Balagopala Tarangam which centres around Lord Krishna's childhood pranks. This was choreographed by Mrs.Sarita Bangarala. An Odissii movie song was performed by Jignesh Mohanty, Anika Dash, Adya Panigrahi, Ananya Buxi, Disha Mishra, Astha Panigrahi, Ananya, and Sarthak Samal. This was choreographed by Kalyani, Sheela Dash, and Debasmita. Students of Natya Priya school of Bharatnatyam performed a dance drama which depicts the story of how Ganesha got the face of an Elephant. This was performed by Nisha Omprakash, Gowri Kalyani, Shama Bhargav, Anjali Kurse, Subi Cooduvalli, Aishwarya Kunigal, SriValli Guha, Nishi Veer, Aditi Murthy and Tia Abraham, choreographed by Ajay and Atul Shankar.

Vismaya Bachu an 8th grader choreographed the popular dance medley maa Thuje Salam, Des Rangilaa and Mind blowing Mahiya. This was performed by Denver dragon girls, Vismaya Bachu, Navya Roy and Dhevena Bachu. Bhangra is one of the Old and famous style of India dance. Lahari Mohapatra choreographed the Bhangra dance to the smash hit song Ishq Tarpave was perfromed by Ajaya Pillai, Anki, Shukla, Anushka Sharma, Bora Yu Dhwani Kothari, Hannah Steffey, Lahari Mohapatra, Sheldon Coutino and Susana. After a small intermission the program started with a semi classical dance Choreographed by Latha Sudendra. This was performed by Nischinth Kalyani, Roopa Kurse, Shashank Ganesh, Vasudha Harish, Vijaya Vittal and Latha Sudendra. This was followed by Kathak choreographed by Shilpi Nikhil from Deania dance institute of Chennai. The performers include Shilpi Nikhil, Divya, Neelanjana, Medhavi, Mohini and Nidhi.

Girls Rock followed this item. This was a dance medley for Bollywood songs performed by Dena Joshi, Ashlita Lodha, Simran Saharia, Isha Daukia and Sahana Narayan choreographed by Akansha Sharma. This took back to the traditional style of dance Kuchipudi. Students of Sai Meghan dance school performed this item in which Lord Venkateswara is compared with precious gems, performed by Anjali Sanjan, Tanvi and Shalika, choreographed by Smt. Lavanya Yammanur. Bollywood Dance Medley by young kids Arjun, Aakash, Aswaththam, Imaad, Fareed, Praveen, Inas, Ziba, Rithi, Vidhura and Anjana was choreographed by Sadhath. Sheela Dash, and Kalyani Kar choreographed an Odissi dance. This is a popular record breaking dance was perfromed by Kalyani Kar, Debasmita Mohanty, Sheela Dash, Mamata Buxi, Rashmi Samal, Manju Pradhan. Kavitha and Nivetha Muruganathan performed Thillana Choreographed by Smt. Vidya Venkatesh.

Banu Sadath choreographed a dance medley to the dazzling and sizzling performance by Inas, Sai, Anjana, Rithi, Gayathri, Meera, Trisha, Trini, Imaad, Vishal, Vidhura, Sibi, Arjun, Aakash, and Aswaththam. Smt Prathyusha of Laya Dance Academy choreographed Teen Fusion an amazing fast track beats of variety dance styles. This was performed by Sonu, Avani, Jotshna, Narmada and Dipthika. Tamil Folk dance was a semi classical folk performed by Geetanjali Gopinath and Priyanka Gopinath was choreographed by Geethanjali, Priyanka and Aarthi. The program ended with A Bollywood Dance Medley by Team Jalwas choreographed by Lahari Mahopatra. Performers include Ajaya Pillai, Ankit Shukla, BoraYu, Dhwani Kothari, Hannah Steffey and Sheldon Coutionho.

13th September 2010
Busy weekend in Colorado with multiple events
As we approach into the fall, Colorado has been experiencing busy weekends with multiple events in Desi arena. Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were the highlights of this weekend in Colorado, with several temples performing the pujas at different times. Sri Venkateswara Temple in Castle Rock has celebrated the Ganesh Chaturthi on Saturay afternoon starting at 12:30pm, that went till 4pm. Several devotees have attended this major event which included the Vidya Ganapathi puja, focused on students. Marathi Mandal celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi on Saturday 11th September in Westminister City Park Recreation Center with a great attendence of devotees. The event stared with Pooja started at 2:30pm, that ended with dinner at 8:00pm. Colorado Kannada Koota has celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi at Hindu Temple on Sunday 12th Sepetmber. On the occassion, they organized a health camp in association with CAHEP, that screened more than 60 people. Colorado Telugu Association has organized the summer picnic on Sunday at Stearn Par in Littleton. There was a sizeable crowd, who enjoyed the day filled with socializing, fun, food and light sports. Sunday has been a special day at SV Temple with the visit by world renowned spiritual guru Sri Bodhinatha Velayanswami from Hawai. Swamiji has addressed the devotees about Hinduism, Spirituality and Temple worship.

28th August 2010
Colorful, Rocking Dances of India 2010 by Indian Association of Colorado
India has rich cultural heritage and the varied dance forms. As the popularity of dance is increasing, the Indian dance festivals came to be organized in various parts of the world. As a part of this event, Indian Association of Denver has been organizing the Dance of India every year in a big fanfare. This yearís Dances of India organized on Saturday August 28th, 2010, has left behind the memories of the great Indian Dances to the latest Bollywood movies.

The program started with American and Indian National Anthems by Sahana Narayan and Savitha Sharma respectively. Sujatha Narayan, the President of IAOC warmly welcomed the guest, invitees and the members. The guest of honor Dr. Ved Nanda, Director of International Legal Studies at University of Denver addressed the crowd reiterating that it is always important to keep up our culture and to pass it on to the future generations.

The cultural program has started with the famous Bollywood fast beat song Nimbooda-Nimbooda by Niranjana Rajesh, choreographed by Sajitha Rajesh. Niranjanaís movements with the rhythmic song received a great applaud. Dance Medley by kids choreographed by Anshu Srivatsav was really a kidís hungama. Prathyusha Apparasu of Laya Dance Academy performed and choreographed a great enduring Bollywood Dance Medley. Her student Sonu Venkatraman performed a Kuchipudi classical dance on Lord Ganesh kept the audience in tact to their seats.

This year the dance festival has introduced a good number of new choreographers and dance teachers. Padma Avinash choreographed a Tamil Dance Medley with the kids who were simply superb on the stage. Following this was a semi classical dance choreographed and performed by Meghna and Kavya from Sai Meghna Dance School, along with Sravani and Sahithi was really a spellbound. Mrs. Vidya Venkatesh choreographed Bhojpuri dance was a fast number by Azelia Pradhan. Vidya has exposure to different dance styles. She also choreographed a classical dance offering prayers to Lord Ganesh performed by Nivetha Muruganatham who did her best on the stage.

The dance festival tried to depict diversity presenting various dance forms of India. The dances of Kerala Choreographed by Sindhu Bejoy and Bijili Madhu, was a great number. The kids occupied the stage with bright colors. The following item completely took the audience to the fast moving world. The girls expressed frenzied passion between consensual flowers that was beautifully choreographed by Ramya and Sangeetha. Just Dance Pe Chance Medley by Team Jalwa, choreographed by Lahari Mahapatra was an amazing job.

The program continued after a small 20 minute break. There were good number of stalls of food, jewelry, mehandi, Indian dresses and many more. Audience had a good time in spending time in the stalls. It was a good socializing time for the attendees.

Dance Medley by Kannada Koota, choreographed by Latha Sudendra resumed the event after the break. It has the best rhythmic steps for the fast beat Kannada song that showed the dancers ease in movements. Kollywood Kuthu Dance choreographed by Niyaz Rasheed and Vijay Raavan was a breath taking dance item. The highlight of the day was the performance by the students from University of Colorado with the troupe name Nau Do Gyarah. The teamís performance made the audience glue to the seats. All the boys and girls from this team were very selective of their costumes, and chosen the very best steps for the song. Kathak dance form followed the hip hop performed and choreographed by Mansi Sangar was a spell bound item. Masti filled dance full of upbeat music by Sarvya Kattula and Sanjana Garimella was terrific. They choreographed and performed this number with a great hard work.

The whole event was great fun. This show saw such a variety of pool of talents. The MC's Satya and Sandeep did a great job on the stage in putting up the programs together. The year 2010 proved to be one of the exclusive dance festivals.

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