Amplifying Voices for Racial Equity in MD-DC-VA

by Story Tapestries Inc.
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Amplifying Voices for Racial Equity in MD-DC-VA
Amplifying Voices for Racial Equity in MD-DC-VA
Amplifying Voices for Racial Equity in MD-DC-VA
Amplifying Voices for Racial Equity in MD-DC-VA
Amplifying Voices for Racial Equity in MD-DC-VA
Amplifying Voices for Racial Equity in MD-DC-VA
Amplifying Voices for Racial Equity in MD-DC-VA
Amplifying Voices for Racial Equity in MD-DC-VA
Amplifying Voices for Racial Equity in MD-DC-VA

Project Report | Dec 21, 2023
The World of Artistry & Education

By Arianna Ross | CEO

There are individuals whose passion shines brightly, leaving a lasting impact on both young minds and the world at large. Praneetha Akula, a talented teaching artist, is one such luminary whose work at Story Tapestries is not only inspiring but also enriching the lives of students and communities. Join us as we delve into the world of Praneetha, her journey, and the magic she brings through her art.

A Dance with Destiny

Praneetha Akula’s journey into the world of dance began at the tender age of three. Guided by her late mother, she embarked on a remarkable path of learning and mastery. Starting with Indian folk dance, Praneetha soon transitioned into the intricate realm of Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam. This dance form, one of the oldest from South India, became her canvas for self-expression and storytelling.

Her devotion to art led her to study under renowned gurus, honing her skills and deepening her understanding of the art form. Notably, Praneetha’s commitment to dance has lasted for over four decades, a testament to her enduring love and dedication.

A Fusion of Education and Artistry

Praneetha’s journey didn’t stop at mastering dance; it extended into the realm of education. She spent 11 years as a classroom teacher, specializing in English as a second language and Spanish. Her experience as an educator laid the foundation for her unique approach as a teaching artist.

One of the remarkable facets of Praneetha’s work is her ability to bridge the worlds of academia and art seamlessly. Drawing from her classroom experience, she skillfully incorporates math and language concepts into her dance lessons. Through rhythmic counting and syllables, she not only teaches dance but also enhances language and mathematical readiness in her students.

Connecting Culture and Community

Praneetha’s impact extends beyond the classroom. In an increasingly interconnected world, her work highlights the importance of cultural exchange and understanding. Through Bharatanatyam, she shares the rich tapestry of Indian culture with students, fostering cultural awareness and appreciation.

Her cultural inclusion approach doesn’t just cater to those of South Asian descent but engages learners from diverse backgrounds. By embracing the global perspective and promoting cultural diversity, Praneetha encourages students to appreciate the beauty of different traditions.

Dance as a Tool for Mental Health

Praneetha’s classes are not just about physical movement; they are about nurturing the mind and soul. Her approach to dance emphasizes the importance of rhythm, joy, and emotional well-being. Through rhythmic patterns and interactive exercises, she helps students connect with their bodies and emotions, providing a powerful outlet for self-expression.

Additionally, she incorporates elements of mental health and emotional well-being into her dance classes. Teaching individuals techniques to manage emotions, she equips them with valuable tools for life beyond the dance floor.

A Lifelong Journey

Praneetha firmly believes that dance is not just a fleeting hobby; it’s a lifelong journey. Her own experiences reflect the enduring benefits of staying true to one’s discipline. Dance, she attests, helps maintain physical health, emotional balance, and mental agility as one age.

Her advice to aspiring artists and dancers is simple yet profound: stay true to your craft, embrace the joy it brings, and never give up, no matter where life takes you. Praneetha’s own journey, from student to teacher, dancer to teaching artist, serves as a testament to the ever-evolving path of artistry.

Into The Future

Praneetha is not one to rest on her laurels. She continues to explore new horizons in dance and teaching. She recently performed at the World Culture Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., a testament to her passion for sharing culture through dance. As are we, Praneetha is excited about upcoming projects with Story Tapestries, where she aims to use her classroom teaching experiences to enhance her dance lessons! By incorporating visuals and manipulatives, she hopes to provide students with a more immersive and engaging learning experience.

Praneetha Akula’s journey from a young dancer to a seasoned teaching artist is a testament to the enduring power of art and culture. Through her dedication to dance, commitment to education, and cultural inclusivity, she weaves stories that transcend borders and connect communities. Her work is a vibrant tapestry of art, education, and cultural enrichment, and we look forward to witnessing the continued impact of her artistry in the years to come.


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Organization Information

Story Tapestries Inc.

Location: Poolesville, MD - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @storytapestriesengage
Project Leader:
Arianna Ross
Germantown , MD United States
$7,868 raised of $15,000 goal
105 donations
$7,132 to go
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