After a two-year hiatus, the 38th edition of FIA’s ‘Dance Pe Chance’ returns on Saturday, May 7th, to the Patriots War Memorial Theatre in Trenton, NJ. Over 300 children participated from the various community dance schools in the tri-state area, competing to showcase their talent, discipline, technique, and costumes. Children aging from 6 years old through 16 and mixedage adult groups competed with a sporting spirit, shining on the grand stage of the theatre in colorful production lighting, backdrops, props, and music.

The mesmerizing performances were a mixed repertoire of culture and tradition set to the tune of contemporary Indian ‘Bollywood’ film songs. Inclement weather did nothing to dampen the spirit and the event saw a great turnout of over 1100 spectators. A total of 16 different performances were showcased by the groups, which included non-scoring performances by adult dancing groups.

The judging panel this year comprised renowned Kathak dancer and actress Guru Archana Joglekar, Bollywood choreographer and director Kush Banker, popular actress of South Indian films, Manya, and the star emcee, sensational Bollywood actress Mannara Chopra. Hon. Deputy Counsel General of India-New York Dr. Varun Jeph was in attendance. He expressed his joy in witnessing the participation of diverse community groups, including members from other communities in the USA. He expressed his gratitude to FIA for engaging the community’s children with such confidence and disciplinebuilding engagement that also instills our motherland’s culture through the form of dance. hrough the form of dance.

FIA President, Mr. Kenny Desai, thanked all the judges, sponsors, and FIA executive team, along with the all-female DPC team, that worked tirelessly to bring this complex event together. He also invited the community to participate in numbers for the India Day Parade in Manhattan in August this year. FIA Chairman, Mr. Ankur Vaidya, thanked the FIA President and his executive team, along with DPC Chair Saurin Parikh and Smita Miki Patel, for a job well done. He also remembered FIA’s founding member, Yash Paul Soi, and his contributions to FIA and to the DPC event over the past four decades. Vaidya thanked the Piscataway Township and Councilmember Kapil Shah for naming the Piscataway cricket field in the memory of Jay (Jaswant) Mody. Jay Mody was a lifelong FIA volunteer and a community leader who served various other organizations during his community service tenure of over 40 years.

FIA Vice President & Dance Pe Chance Chair Mr. Saurin Parikh thanked all the sponsors, media partners, and the Consulate General of India in New York for their uninterrupted service to the community during the pandemic.

The entire CGI-NY team was felicitated with flowers on stage as a thank you from the community for their selfless service to our community and for staying open and accommodating urgently needed consular services.

Also in attendance were Past President & Board of Trustee Mr. Srujal Parikh, FIA Vice President Mr. Himanshu Bhatia, FIA Secretary Mr. Parveen Bansal, FIA Jt. Secretary Ms. Smita Miki Patel, FIA Treasurer Amit Ringasia, FIA Jt. Treasurer Mr. Mahesh Dubal, FIA Past President, Mr. Alok Kumar, and BAJANA President Mr. Anurag Kumar, amongst others.

Over $20,000 was given in cash prizes, with the first price being of $5,000.00, which was won in a tie between Aum Dance Creations and Atma Dance Studios.

Dance Pe Chance, over its nearly four decades, has seen the participation of nearly 19 thousand children, and the competition aims at bringing the diverse cultures of India, inspiring creativity and encouraging teamwork combined with competitiveness among children to make them face the future better and make them aware of their roots, which lay in the diverse cultures and traditions of India. With support and compliments from the FIA executive team, and with the help of sponsors and supporters, and unlike any other dance competition this year as well, all meals and close to 400 tickets were given to the participating students to stay committed to FIA’s vision of engaging the next generation of Americans of Indian origin with our culture and our motherland. For the first time ever, the half-time show showcased a grand performance by actress Mannara Chopra (also the Master of Ceremonies), who, along with the help of choreographers Sandesh Shetty and Deepa Pais, applause from the audience.

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