Club Spotlight: ‘Nova Nassa

Tallulah Laska, Staff Writer

Dance teams are not unheard at Villanova, as there are eight different dance groups on campus. ‘Nova Nassa is Villanova’s only coed Bollywood fusion dance team, consisting of 20 individuals. 

“Nassa combines elements of classical Indian, Bollywood and hip-hop dance set to a blend of beats reminiscent of Indian roots fused with the modern hip-hop of our Western culture,” Nassa’s description reads. “In combining these various styles of dance, Nassa brings to the stage an exciting and energetic performance that crosses continents and the boundaries of traditional dance leaving you mesmerized and breathless.” 

Nassa is in its 15th season of competition, competing in the Desi Dance Network (DDN) circuit. DDN is a circuit of competitions across the United States and Canada. Nassa competes in the spring season against many other collegiate teams. In early February, Nassa attended competitions in Illinois and at Virginia Tech. 

In the fall, Nassa spent 10-12 hours per week practicing for the competition season. Planning competitions and choreography takes up much of their weekly practice time. Sophomore co-captain Swetha Saravanakumar stresses how much effort the team puts into their practices. 

“In the week leading up to a competition, we practice all day on the weekends and have four hour practices on the weekdays,” Saravanakumar explained. 

Nassa is expecting two more competitions in April, so it is taking the next two months to prepare by revamping its marketing and branding. The teams Nassa competes against are big-name teams, so Nassa wants to be as prepared as possible for the national competitions. 

Saravanakumar has been dancing since she was eight years old and was trained in Bharatanatyam, which is an Indian classical dance style. She auditioned for Nassa her freshman year and is in her first year of co-captainship. 

“Dancing is something that has played a big role in my life, so being able to stay in touch with it in college is something I enjoy,” Saravanakumar said. “My favorite part is definitely being able to do something I love, while getting to share that with a group of people that is like family to me.” 

Saravanakumar is grateful that Nassa allows her to have an escape from the hard work of college to focus her energy into dancing. She hopes to continue dancingduring her time at Villanova and beyond. 

Saravanakumar sees Nassa expaning greatly in the future. This year, it is already improving after putting in a lot of work with creative ideas and planning. Saravanakumar  believes Nassa will make it to Nationals in the coming years. 

For now, Nassa is performing at upcoming campus events. It will be performing at the Oak Tree Films Dance Fundraiser on February 23rd, which is a fundraiser for the Nina School for the Deaf. More information about the fundraiser can be found on the Oak Tree Films’ Instagram page. 

Anyone interested in auditioning for Nassa should look for its spring competitions. Nassa hosts tryouts exclusively in the fall season so it has as much time as possible to rehearse with new members. It also hosts dance workshops in the fall for anyone auditioning. To stay up to date on Nassa’s competitions and when auditions will be, follow @novanassa on Instagram.