Image Credit: Shutterstock

A Year 12 student of Wellington International School, Aditi Singhdeo is pursuing an IB Diploma with Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Economics as her subjects. ‘‘Healthcare and medicine have been areas of interest for me, and I am aspiring to study medicine after completing high school,’’ she says.

Aditi Singhdeo

A lover of dance, she has been learning ballet since the age of 4, and is also interested in photography and drama.

Fusing her passion for dance and photography, she is working on a photography project on Seraikella Chhau, a masked dance which originates in Seraikella in Eastern India, Aditi’s home town. ‘‘I find the Chhau dance to be similar to ballet in its style,’’ she says.

Excerpts from an interview:

Tell us about the photography projects you have done.

I have been fascinated about Seraikella Chhau and have been looking into some of the old photographs of the dance. Given my interest in photography, I decided to work on a coffee table book, showcasing different aspects associated with the dance. Over my last summer vacation, while visiting Seraikella, I photographed different dances and the process of making the costumes and masks that the dancers wear, which I did with the guidance of Sankalp Meshram, who is a filmmaker. This allowed me to have a different approach to photographing the dances. Through my project (which I am still working on) I hope to throw more light on the Seraikella Chhau dance and its rich history.

You are also a dancer. What led you to choose ballet?

I started ballet because of the pretty costumes, fancy hair and the professional ballerinas that I looked up to. I admired the elegance with which they danced, and this excited me as a 4 year old. I continued enjoying ballet even though I pushed myself to the point where I was breathless after each performance. I ultimately learned the dance and mastered the technique. It made me realize that practice and hard work can help you to improve and excel.

How has dance shaped your personality?

Ballet is the key reason I started drama and took an interest in piano. All of these made me more confident and expressive; they sparked creativity within me and so I was able to appreciate art in different forms. Ballet taught me discipline, helped me stay focused and gave me the chance to meet amazing people, whom I spent the next 12 years with.

You also interned at an investment firm. What were the 3 biggest takeaways for you from your experience there?

In 2021, my team won the Business Minds competition, giving me an opportunity to intern with Lallic Partners, which is an investment firm based in California, founded by highschool students in 2020. The three biggest takeaways from my internship were the following:

Your age does not limit when you should start working.

Your age does not determine how successful you can be.

Technology has allowed people to collaborate across geographical boundaries.

Tell us about the pre-college course you did. How did it help you?

I did a summer course in Brown University in the year before my GCSE. The course pushed me to read more novels and learn different writing styles. The fast pace of the course content made it crucial to have a good work ethic, one that helped me during my GCSE preparation.

Who are your mentors and what are the 3 best lessons you have learnt from them?

I consider my elder brother as my mentor. The other people who have influenced me are my parents and friends. The 3 lessons I have learned from them include the following:

Create meaningful experiences based on your perception of a journey.

Be curious and question everything.

Focus on things you can control and don’t worry about the things you can’t.

For information,