Varada Divekar, a young girl living in the area of Bibwewadi, is a great dancer, a child prodigy. She danced for the first time on stage when she was two and half years old.
She started taking formal dance classes from the age of four, and she has been spinning on her heels unremittingly since then. Classical dancing is her penchant and Katthak is her forte. More than 70 trophies, 4 of them at the national level and 7 at the state level among others, adorn an entire wall of her living room.
Her father is a class one government officer and he has been transferred from place to place many times. The family has had to travel extensively with him, and Varada has had to change no less than five schools. But Varada, along with her mother, decided to settle in Pune, considering the better prospects that the city has to offer. She is currently studying in Ahilyadevi High School in 8th standard and wishes to continue her career in dancing.
"All parents want their children to become engineers or doctors, but we wanted Varada to do something different," says her mother. "I liked dancing myself when I was young, but couldn't continue it due to the social dogmas," she continues. But Varada's parents never burdened her with their expectations. It was her decision to take up dancing, being inspired by the likes of Waheeda Rehman, Hema Malini, Sudha Chandran, Madhuri Dixit. Varada says, "I really understood the meaning of true dancing and started liking it when I saw the film 'Nache Mayuri' starring Sudha Chandran."
Speaking about her achievements, her mother tells that Varada has won the national level competition organized by "Akhil Bhartiya Sanskrutik Sangh," twice securing the second prize and the consolation prize on two occasions too. Moreover, she has also won the 'Rangakarmi' competition, organized at the state level, for three consecutive years. She has even performed commercial shows at Omkareshwar (Madhya Pradesh), Nandurbar, and Jalgaon. She has completed the 'Madhyama Pratham' dance exam from Gandharva Vidyalaya and the 'Kathhak Bhushan' diploma from Chandigarh with a first class.
In future, she wishes to complete the 'Visharad' stage till her 12th and later, 'Alankar' during her graduation and subsequently choose a path that suits her best. She has been blessed by the able guidance of Manisha Sathe, whose disciples include quite a few prominent names in the film and television industry. Not only does Varada dance for her own sake, she has put forth a brilliant example by donating her prize winnings several times to various orphanages all over Maharashtra.