FILE PHOTO: CHRIS BIEN/THE HOYA
FILE PHOTO: CHRIS BIEN/THE HOYA

Not every interested student will be able to participate this year in Rangila, a first for the South Asian Society’s 19th annual dance show.

More than 600 students crowded into the Intercultural Center auditorium for sign-ups last Tuesday, and approximately 60 students have been placed on a waitlist. Last year, 550 students danced in 11 sold-out performances.

No prior dance experience is required to participate in Rangila, and it is unclear what factors determined who was placed on the waitlist. Rangila Coordinator Smiti Mohan (MSB ’15) said that seniority was considered, although some seniors did not secure spots in the show.

“The waitlist is partially determined by seniority but also sometimes we factor in the preferences of the dancers as to what they put as their top three. It is honestly determined on a case-by-case basis, and we try to be as objective and fair as possible,” Mohan said.

While there is not a hard limit set by the Center for Student Engagement on the number of participants allowed, the show’s coordinators, Mohan and Neal Seshadri (COL ’15), are hoping to bring the number of participants down to, at most, last year’s count of 550.

“We love having so many people sign up, but it’s also really unfortunate because we can’t accommodate every single person,” Mohan said.

Rangila coordinators and choreographers hoped limiting the number of people in the shows would improve the quality of the dances.

“One of the most common critiques we had last year was that there are so many people on stage, it just looks like one big blur of color,” SAS Vice President Mariam Ashraf (COL ’14) said. “We needed to find that balance of making the audience happy and making sure that the dancers don’t feel like they are one of a million.”

The SAS and CSE decision was also motivated by concerns about overcrowding the Gaston Hall stage.

“It’s come to the point where we are worried we are breaking the stage,” Ashraf said.

Other changes Mohan and Seshadri have made this year include limiting students to one dance each and increasing the number of seniors in the senior Banghra, which is now at 150 participants, so that non-seniors can fill other dances.

Mohan and Seshadri expect a portion of students to drop out in the first few weeks, which will allow for other students to come off the waitlist.

Some students are upset that they were unexpectedly waitlisted.

Laura Grannemann (SFS ’14), who is on the waitlist for senior Bhangra, said that she was told this year’s sign-ups would not guarantee a spot in the show.

“They pretty much told me it was unsure from the beginning, but you expect there wouldn’t be a problem, but I guess I was basing that expectation off previous years,” Grannemann said.

“I was very excited about dancing in Rangila after attending signups, so receiving the waitlist email Sunday night was a disappointment,” said Katherine Seder (MSB ’16), who is on the waitlist. “If I get off the waitlist, I will definitely still participate. I do not want to miss out on this fun and unique Georgetown tradition.”

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