Student puts South Asian heritage in the spotlight with ground-breaking assembly - St Albans High School for Girls


Student puts South Asian heritage in the spotlight with ground-breaking assembly

Date Posted: Friday 24 March 2023

A Year 12 student with a passion for dance is proudly promoting her South Asian heritage within the School community.

Fusion Dance Club founder Nethaya B kicked off last week’s STAHS Festival of Language and Culture with a solo Kandyan performance and an engaging presentation on Bollywood, Kathak and Bharatnatyam dance forms.

‘I was really pleased that my assembly was so well-received and appreciated,’ said Nethaya, who’s British-Sri Lankan. ‘My aim was to raise awareness about South Asian heritage and advertise the club as a pathway to include and represent the community at STAHS, and to make [its members] feel seen and heard.

‘My peers were really impressed to see South Asian culture represented on such a large platform in the School. They felt that this was a massive stride forward, in terms of paving the path for younger students to do similarly, and to embrace and advocate for their culture and its beauty.’

Fusion Dance Club members blended South Asian moves into last week’s House Dance competition, and will be performing as part of the STAHS Gymnastics and Dance Display next week. Nethaya is also keen to mark South Asian holidays such as Diwali and Holi.

Nethaya – who’s been dancing since she was four – joined STAHS in Year 9, and founded Fusion Dance Club last term in a bid to bring South Asian culture into the mainstream.

She said: ‘Fusing both my motive to improve the culture and diversity quotient of the School, and my experience in South Asian dance forms, teaching and mentoring, I decided that starting this club was the first step to achieve my goals.  

‘Whatever doubts or fears I had about the launch of the club were totally overpowered by the love, support, admiration and appreciation I received from the School community!’