Nisha Agarwal performs at the prelims. (Arnab Mondal)
Class X student Nisha Agarwal is trying out new flips, to make sure she puts her best foot forward.
Teacher Nilanjana Chowdhury has been busy getting costumes ready and making last-minute arrangements for her students.
Nisha — the only girl to compete in B-Boying, a first-time event at the biggest school fest in town — and Chowdhury — a veteran who has been part of the craze for seven of the nine years — are among the hundreds counting hours to Dabur Red Paste presents TTIS Challenge 2013 powered by Hero Cycles at Swabhumi.
More than 3,000 participants from over 100 schools are expected to hit the Challenege arena over the weekend to take part in a host of events from Fusion Band to Tug of War and Creative Writing to Unconventional Orchestra.
“Last year during Fusion Dance, a lot of kids asked about B-Boying and we found out that there is a huge B-Boying community among school children in Calcutta. So, we thought of giving them a platform,” said an organiser.
The queries also translated into numbers with as many as 26 participants enrolling for the on-stage event. Nisha will be competing against nine boys in the finals.
“I cannot repeat what I did for the prelims. The challenge is double for me because I will be competing against boys,” said the student of St. Helen’s School in Howrah. “Usually girls don’t opt for this dance form because there is a possibility of getting hurt. But if girls and boys are to be equal, they must participate in all things equally,” said the girl who picks up her flips and floats from YouTube.
The spirit of the fest is not in competition alone, but in participation and interaction as well. “I enjoy accompanying my students because every year I get to interact with so many new people. Since I have been coming every year and I am thorough with the rules, I try to answer the queries of students of other schools as well,” said Chowdhury, a teacher at Vivekananda Mission School.
Actress Swastika Mukherjee, special guest on the final day, is looking forward to soaking in the spirit as well. “It’s very nostalgic, whether it’s your own school or some other school walking to stage to collect prizes,” said the actress, who will be there with her daughter Anwesha, a Class IX student at South City International School.
Swastika, an alumnus of St. Teresa’s Secondary School, is getting ready to scream and cheer for the participants. Be there to join her!