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Video by Rocky Mountain PBS

How this dance studio connects adopted children to their native roots

GRANBY, Colo. — Every year, families from across the country gather for a heritage camp where adopted Indian and Nepalese children come to learn about their roots.

Mudra Dance Studio has been part of the annual camp for over 20 years. Founder Namita Khanna Nariani said the mission of the studio is to “celebrate diversity through the universal language of dance and music and to expose the world to the beautiful cultural fabric that India brings to our culture here [in the United States].”

Indian and Nepalese children participate in traditional dance classes. Photo by Shawn Herbert

The Aurora, Colorado-based dance company leads many crafts and workshops throughout the three-day camp, including traditional Indian dance classes, leading up to a big final performance on the last day.

Nariani’s favorite class to teach is an adult class for adoptive parents. She said that during the final performance some children are laughing, some are embarrassed, some are overjoyed. It allows the parents to feel closer to their kids because “they’re taking a little piece of culture with them.”

Adoptive parents also participate in the classes. Photo by Photo by Shawn Herbert

The goal of the camp is to expose adopted children to their native roots, but Namita also hopes to spread love and diversity throughout the world, connecting cultures and people together.

This report originally appeared on Rocky Mountain PBS’ “Arts District.”

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