The following is a post by Narayani Maharaj an Instructor, Performer, and Director of  the Belly Motions Bollywood Program.

Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014!

Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014

When I saw Nina Davuluri perform a Bollywood routine in this year’s Miss America Pageant my jaw dropped to the floor.  Who was this COURAGEOUS, TALENTED, and INDIAN-AMERICAN woman?

Nina was born in Syracuse, New York to Indian parents. She won several smaller beauty pageants before becoming Miss New York in 2013. She graduated from the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in 2012 with a B.S. in Brain, Behavior & Cognitive Science and plans to enter medical school.

Although she was born and raised in the United States, she has embraced many traditions of her Indian heritage, especially by studying Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, both classical Indian dance styles. She took her heritage even further when she performed a Bollywood number in the talent portion at the 2014 Miss America Pageant…and WON!

Here is the video clip of Nina’s Performance at the Miss America Pageant!

Nina Davuluri Performing a Bollywood number!

As an Indian-American I have drawn great inspiration from Nina. In my eyes she is a role model. She has dedicated herself to studying at a university, competed (and won!) at the Miss America pageant, and had the courage and strength to represent her heritage through dance in front of millions of people!

Congratulations to Nina Davuluri, a modern, multi-talented and self motivated individual.