Mayuri Bhandari (2012)
A Language Without Words
For her Stronach Baccalaureate Prize project, Mayuri will teach dance and movement to blind and deaf children, ages 3-15, at a school located in a small village in Maharashtra, India. Mayuri states, “All children need movement in their lives, not only as a form of physical fitness but also as a form of enrichment for their souls. In India especially, disabled children do not get such opportunities. Statistics state that India has the world’s largest population of children, and one in every ten is disabled.” Using a variety of dance styles and activities, Mayuri will train instructors and students in different forms of creative self-expression. She hopes to expand her dance program across India to more schools for the handicapped.
Since childhood, Mayuri's passion has always lied in the arts and conveying her thoughts and feelings through creative expression. She has been dancing and figure skating since she was a young girl, and teaching and choreographing since 17. Her dance styles include Bollywood, Indian Classical, Folk, Fusion, Salsa, African, Modern, Contemporary, Hip hop, Bhangra, Belly dance, and Lyrical Jazz. In the summer of 2011, Mayuri was a finalist on the Indian dance show "Just Dance," which was held in Mumbai, India. In 2008, she won the Indian National Junior Ice Skating Championship. Her other hobbies include photography, poetry, and painting, which she plans to incorporate into her project in India. Mayuri graduated in May 2012 from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Dance performance and South Asian Studies. She was a recipient of the Regents and Chancellor's Scholarships and the Alumni Scholarship. She is fluent in Marwadi (her mother tongue), Hindi (India's National Language), and can communicate in Marathi and understand Gujarati (state languages).