Summer 2016

Dancing to change lives

Anish Chandak
Photo by Patrick O'Leary

Finance and economics honors student Anish Chandak, ’17, has been dancing since he was 5. “An aunt taught my friends and me Bollywood-fusion dance,” says Chandak, a native of India. So when Chandak, a recipient of the Donald R. Zander Alumni Award and other scholarships, realized the University of Minnesota didn’t have a Bollywood-fusion dance team, he and four classmates took action.

What did you decide to do?

The violence of the 2012 Delhi gang rape horrified us, so we created Jazba (a Hindi-Urdu word meaning “passion”), a nonprofit that hosts a
Bollywood-fusion dance competition at the U for teams nationwide. Proceeds go to Women in Need (WIN) in Nagpur, India, which empowers women in South Asia who have suffered from sexual assault, HIV/AIDS, and mental illness.

Jazba, a Hindi-Urdu word that means "passion," is a nonprofit that hosts a Bollywood-fusion dance competitioon at the U.
Photo by Zach Bielinski

How successful has it been?

Jazba’s first competition in 2015 sold out and we donated $3,000 to WIN. In 2016, more than 2,200 people attended and we donated $10,000. In 2017, we anticipate raising even more.

After you graduate, what happens to Jazba?
Our plan is for Jazba to continue because it’s helping transform lives. We want to come back to the U years from now and be in the audience, cheering like crazy.