Meet Finalist Akurati-Tadakamalla-Valluru (Getting to Know the 2021 St. Louis Teen Talent Competition Finalists)

Meet Finalist Akurati-Tadakamalla-Valluru (Getting to Know the 2021 St. Louis Teen Talent Competition Finalists)


Names: (pictured left to right) Mounica Valluru, Srisahithi Tadakamalla, Srijana Akurati

School: Parkway South High School and Marquette High School

Talent: Indian Classical Dance

How long have you been performing and what inspired you to start?
Valluru: I have been performing for more than 8 years. My keen interest and passion in classical dance from a very young age inspired me to start dancing.

Tadakamalla: I have been performing for over eight years and my passion for dancing and watching other dancers dance since I was a young kid inspired me to start dancing.

Akurtai: I have been performing for over 8 years and viewing other dancers dancing inspired me to begin my dance journey at a young age.

How are you preparing for finals? Are you doing anything differently from your usual practices?

Valluru: We are working harder than ever before. This is something we want to do our very best in. We are practicing not only from a performer perspective but also an audience perspective. Recording and watching ourselves every practice.

Tadakamalla: My team members and I are focusing a lot on synchronization and we plan on improving our synchronization by practicing in front of a camera where we can see ourselves while practicing.

Akurati: With my team members I plan on working on synchronizing specific steps and moments to further improve out synchronization as a team we are doing nothing different from our usual practices.

What will performing on the Fox stage mean to you?
Valluru: It will mean everything to me. This is the biggest opportunity of my life, and I feel blessed to be dancing on the Fox stage.

Tadakamalla: Performing on the Fox stage is an amazing opportunity and I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity and to dance alongside Srijana and Mounica.

Akurati: Performing of the Fox stage would mean a new experience for me and something I’ve never really went through.

Is there someone you look up to and draw influence form for your talent?
Valluru: My dance teacher is the one person who I adore and draw influence from. Her passion for dance, her incredible journey, her career, and her love to teach us through the dance academy she built is greatly inspiring.

Tadakamalla: There isn’t anyone specific I look up to but rather a group of Kuchupudi dancers.  I look up to my senior dancers, who are now in college and I also look up to my teacher, Sujatha Vinjamuri.

Akurati: There is no specific person except for a wide-range of Kuchupudi dancers that I look up to such as my dance teacher who has helped me succeed in dancing, Sujatha Vinjamuri.

What has been the highlight of your performance career?
Valluru: Teen Talent is definitely the highlight of my dance career. I am so grateful for an opportunity like this.

Tadakamalla: The highlight of my performance career is making it to finals in the teen talent competition, but also being able to be part of four dance academy’s annual dance performances.

Akurati: The highlight of my performance career would have to be when our dance academy holds annual production performances and we all performer together as a dance association.  Its so much fun!

What do you hope to learn from your experience?
Valluru: After this, I hope to be more confident in showcasing my talent. I hope to learn how to improve my skills and learn new techniques to become a better dancer.

Tadakamalla: I hope to learn how I can improve as a dancer and as a teammate.  I also hope to make new connections and have a great time during the teen talent competition.

Akurati: From my experience with this teen talent competition I hope to learn the value of dedication motivation and to enjoy life as it is!


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