Graduating Senior Spotlight #2: Nihar Abhyankar

This week in our graduating senior spotlights we interviewed Nihar Abhyankar. Nihar has been a part of the FOCUS competing family since last year. He began his dance journey at age nine, and had been doing gymnastics since he was four! As a competition dancer, Nihar competes in Jazz and Contemporary, and trains in ballet, musical theatre, and lyrical. 

We are so proud of how far Nihar has come, and have loved being a part of his dance journey.

To give Nihar the opportunity to share some of his memories, advice, and favorite times at FOCUS with you all before he ventures onto the next journey, I got the amazing opportunity to interview him. 

FOCUS Memories

To start off our interview, I asked Nihar what one of his favorite FOCUS memories was. He told me about how fondly he looks back on the competing run through before competition last year. He said it was such a nice experience because everyone was all together at the studio and it was such a fun time.

Another memory Nihar shared with me was when:

“Last year during a “Teenage Nights” rehearsal Niko and I decided to play a YouTube audio of a chicken clucking to prank Robert that a chicken got into the room so we ended up spending like 10 minutes looking for this fake chicken we made up.”

Pictured above is a snapshot of one of Nihar’s dances last year: “Sign of the Times.” Nihar absolutely shines in this dance, and it is one of my favorites from last season. Nihar said that this dance was special to him because it was his very first dance with FOCUS, and that he really loved the song, so it was an easy piece to perform. To watch “Sign of the Times” choreographed by our very own Shannon Willard: Click Here.  

Looking to the Future + Closing Thoughts

Next year, Nihar will be attending Irvine Valley College (IVC), and then plans to transfer to a UC. He is thinking about studying global health or international studies. He plans on getting a job, traveling, and is glad to be staying close to FOCUS to take classes, and maybe even teach.

As a person, Nihar said that FOCUS has really helped him with his time management skills. Especially because he started at FOCUS right at the start of his Junior year, and right out of the pandemic, Nihar said that FOCUS has taught him super valuable time management. Nihar also said that not only that, but dedication, determination, and perseverance are all skills he has learned through FOCUS. 

One piece of advice that Nihar would give to younger dancers would be to take as much class as you can and go into the class with a focused mindset. Nihar also gave this piece of wisdom: 

“Being there to learn this is the best way to maximize your growth.”

We are so so proud of Nihar and cannot wait to see all of the amazing things that he will accomplish in the years to come. Congratulations to the class of 2023!