From the Columbia Daily Spectator: Vikas Arun, SEAS ’17, is currently performing with the Catastrophe Dance Company and will be touring five cities next year with the Celebrity Dance Company. He recently sat down with Spectator to discuss how he balances his workload with his passion for tap.
From Columbia University's "First Look at SEAS First-Years":
Hometown: Seattle, WA Dream Job: No idea yet but when that dream job comes along, I'll know it’s right! Go-to App: Snapchat—It’s an easy way to keep in touch with my friends across the country. Favorite TV Show: Shark Tank and So You Think You Can Dance Potential Major: Operations Research and a minor in Economics—I have always been someone who finds an absurd amount of joy in efficiency.
Vikas, 19, began tap dancing at the age of 9 and has since maintained his equal passions for dance and science. He spent half of last summer teaching dance and choreographing competitive dance pieces in the Seattle area, and the second half living in Los Angeles where he danced for Muse Dance Company. The School’s New York City location was a big draw for Vikas, who hopes to one day perform on a major stage. He continues to train at Broadway Dance Center in midtown and recently joined a dance company set to have its first performance in November. While some may consider tap dancing and engineering polar opposites, Vikas offers a different viewpoint. “Tap dancing is all about musical precision. The best tap dancers are amazing because they can ‘speak’ clearly with their tap shoes. In relationship to the music, they know when to make sounds and when to sit quiet,” explains Vikas. “My engineering background helps me with overlapping disparate rhythm patterns. Studies have pointed to the fact that math and music use similar parts of the brain, and I guess I’m another example supporting that theory!”
Also a bit of an entrepreneur (he started a company in the seventh grade that converted customers’ old VHS tapes to DVDs), Vikas likes that the School provides an exciting entrepreneurial environment. “Through programs like Columbia Business Lab, Columbia has shown that it is dedicated to helping its entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground,” says Vikas, “and a school that fosters that type of environment is definitely one I want to be a part of.”