Glory Lee

MSD sophomore Priya Kalaria starts a Dance Club on campus to provide an opportunity for students to freely express themselves through the art of dance.

MSD sophomore Priya Kalaria starts Dance Club to create a stress-free environment for dancers like herself

A couple of students begin walking down the halls, slowly approaching one of the classrooms blaring with loud music. Filled with curiosity, they enter the room as the first meeting of the newly-introduced Dance Club starts. As students wait in anticipation for the presentation, the officers gradually begin their introductions to the members. Finally, sophomore Priya Kalaria, who founded the club, introduces herself.

One of Kalaria’s major interests is dancing, which motivated her to start the Dance Club this 2021-2022 school year with the help of their sponsor Michelle Chirichella. The purpose of the club is to give students of all grades the opportunity to start hip hop dancing without the expense of actual dance lessons.

“I realized that a lot of people like to dance in Parkland and Coral Springs,” Kalaria said. “I also realized that people may not have the time to put in the 14 to 20 hours a week, so I thought that it would be great to incorporate it in school hours. Multiple people dance to relieve stress, so I thought it was a great idea.”

Kalaria’s club meets every other Monday of the month at room 421, allowing students to express themselves in a stress-free environment once school hours end. However, she faced many challenges to get her club up and running. 

“In the beginning, I was having a rough time trying to get the word out, but I started telling my close friends, and they helped me get to where I am now,” Kalaria said. “We also had trouble getting the club approved from the head of clubs and sports, so it took a month to get that processed.”

After months of planning and waiting for her club proposal to be approved, Kalaria is overjoyed by the turnout of her club. She feels accomplished in the space she provides as students can freely express themselves as they learn to dance. Kalaria has been recognized as a hard worker by her family and friends due to her success in school and in her extracurriculars.

“When I was little, I was an overachiever,” Kalaria said. “Everyone that I was close with would talk about how accomplished I was. I have always been in honors or gifted classes, and I know many languages. I also used to play piano and do gymnastics.”

Besides managing her own club and creating dance numbers for her 14 club members, Kalaria is enrolled in several rigorous courses, such as advanced placement and honors classes. She is also an active member in Interact Club, Investment Club and the Hope Sunshine Club. 

Kalaria believes that MSD has given her more freedom with the extracurriculars and activities offered, which allowed her to meet new people through different activities and classes. 

“I feel like there’s a lot of different groups of friends that I can be with. There’s many clubs and classes, so I feel free to do anything I want,” Kalaria said. “I never feel limited.”

Kalaria partakes in many interests apart from her time at school, allowing her to feel less stressed and enjoy her own company.

“I’ve been into reading a lot, as well as watching movies,” Kalaria said. “I also like cooking, baking, and dancing. Dancing is a big thing for me, it helps me relieve my stress.”

Kalaria has accomplished much already in her sophomore year of high school. She has created a club for others to relieve their stress and to express themselves, and plans on continuing her path of success throughout the remainder of her high school experience. 

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