Ethan Warren wanted to make a change. He felt disconnected from his culture and was determined to embrace it once again.
As a sophomore at the University, Warren had been convinced by his peers to try out for one of the most prominent groups on campus, Bhangra. He never viewed himself as a dancer, but he knew this would be the best chance to reconnect with his Indian heritage.
September 8 was the first day of tryouts. It was one of the most nerve-wracking evenings of his life. He watched as all his friends showed their talents on stage, embodying the beats of the music, demonstrating dance combinations to all the prospective group members. He thought he didn’t stand a chance of making the team.
“I have zero rhythm, so I expected to get cut,” Warren explained as he recalled the details of that adrenaline-filled Tuesday evening. “But I was determined to make the team because I wanted to perform with them so badly. I just told myself, ‘Go for it.’”
But as soon as the music started playing, he was transported back to his childhood home during, surrounded by his family during the holidays. He could hear his relatives speaking Kannada and could smell the concoction of curries being made in the kitchen. Even though he was not with his family, he had never felt so at home than on that stage.
His guts to try out paid off; he not only made first call-backs, but he had also made the team. Since then, he has performed at multiple gigs and has been able to get back in touch with his Indian heritage.
But Warren found that Bhangra was more than just Indian dancing. He had discovered a hidden passion and had developed friendships he never thought would happen.
“Part of why I love the team is because I get along with everyone on it and they’re like family to me,” he said. “It’s hard to find that everywhere you go.”
His passion for the team carries both on and off the stage and is extremely influential amongst his teammates.
“Ethan’s a passionate member of the team, always bringing his smile and jokes to the team […] He’s been a big support,” said Amogh Kare, a seasoned Bhangra veteran.
Another teammate, Ryan Daley, called him an extremely dedicated and hard-working member.
Warren’s undeniable passion for Bhangra would have never been discovered if he had never had the courage to show up to tryouts.
“New things are scary,” Warren said, “never be afraid to fail. If you never try, you’ll never succeed.”
His success on the team is more than just his ability to perform well. Warren has reconnected with his heritage and has made unbreakable relationships with his teammates. They have become family, and he will always be grateful that he took a chance and tried something new.