While some Anderson University students headed home for the summer or took on internships, AU dance students Lizzie Loveland, a junior, and sophomore Brittany Hinkle packed their bags for a four-week trip to Mysore, India.
Along with Dance Area Coordinator Shauna Steele, 12 students from the University of Michigan, and two of their professors, Loveland and Hinkle were immersed in Indian culture.
[Photo: Brittany Hinkle (left) and Lizzie Loveland]
"We went to music and dance concerts, and we had various lectures on things such as the caste system, Kannada — the language spoken in Mysore — leadership, and the Gita on days that we didn't have our music lessons,” said Hinkle.
While in India, Loveland, Hinkle, and Steele also participated in traditional Indian dance lessons while other students attended Indian music lessons.
The trip was facilitated by Stephen Rush, a professor of performing arts technology at the University of Michigan. Steele and the AU Dance Program partnered with Rush in the facilitation. Hinkle received a stipend due to her position as Steele’s research assistant, while Loveland used individual academic scholarships to fund her trip.
“All of the fantastic dance technique classes at AU prepared me, physically and mentally, to learn Bharata Natyam, an Indian dance style,” said Loveland. “Taking religion courses also really helped prepare me for the type of philosophy and religious practices that I would see while in India, and they helped me to better understand their perspectives.”
Along with providing a positive experience for Loveland and Hinkle, the trip has sparked interest in planning future trips for students of the AU Dance Program.
“I have come away with a dear appreciation for these people, their religion, their culture, and their beautiful country,” said Loveland.
— Lydia Hawley is a junior from Homerville, Ohio, majoring in communication arts and minoring in dance performance. Hawley is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.