Sharaara Dance Team Photoshoot | University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - manaliphotography.com
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Sharaara Dance Team Photoshoot | University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

January 4, 2016

I’m Manali
Brand photographer & educator based out of Northern VA & DC. When I'm not behind a camera or teaching about systems, you'll find me at a vineyard with wine & cheese or cuddled with my cat Keegan on our cozy couch!
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My time at UVA has been pretty well defined by my decision first year to join a cultural dance team called UVA di Shaan that specializes in a kind of dance called Bhangra. There’s two other teams Indian dance teams on Grounds each with about 25 to 30 dancers. These dancers put in anywhere from 9 to 12 hours a week at UVA’s gyms learning choreography and formations for routines that tend to be anywhere from 6 to 8 minutes long. We call the AFC, Mem, North Grounds and Slaughter Rec Center our second homes. There are days that you have classes, a bunch of meetings, a fleeting dinner and then three hours of practice where you’re expected to put in the blood, sweat and tears. If it sounds like a lot of hard work, that’s because it is but at the end of the day you get to travel around the country and compete dances you spend hours perfecting. More than that, you make the best of friends through your team. You know each other best because you’ve seen them at their least glamorous (sweating in practice) and their best (if you need evidence of this, just look below). There’s nothing quite like being on a dance team!

Sharaara is UVA’s only female-fusion dance team and since it’s birth in 2002, this team has been competing all over the country in national inter-collegiate competitions. Last season these girls competed at UC Berkely, Boston, and Ohio State University and this season they’ll be making their way out to Georgia Tech, Boston again, and the University of Iowa. I can’t wait to see how they do this upcoming spring but until then enjoy some of their individual & team portraits we took last fall!

I’ve never had to photograph so many people at once but these girls definitely know how to work as a team both on stage and in front of the camera. That sounds so cheesy I know, but it’s true!

Sharaara, thanks for letting me take your pictures! I’ve always wanted to do team pictures  & you guys were a dream to work with. I know firsthand all the hard work you guys put in each week and I can’t wait to see how you guys do this spring!

If you haven’t seen any of their dances definitely go over to their Facebook page and check out some of these videos:

2015 At Srujan (2nd Place)

2015 South Asian Showdown (3rd Place)

2014 NKD, William & Mary (1st Place)

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