Learning Disability Not a Barrier for This Teenager to Shine on Stage

By: Michelle Liew

Seeing her elegance while performing the Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam solo on stage, no one would have guessed that the teenager was a student with learning disabilities (OKU).

M. Neranjan started learning the dance moves four years ago from her mother and YouTube. Now 17 years old, she has proven that her talent is no different from other teenagers.

Despite having a learning disability, it only took two weeks for this teenager to remember the steps of the classic dance.

"I have been interested in dancing for a long time, but I used to be shy to dance in front of people because I was afraid of being laughed at and laughed at.

"But my teachers and mother always supported me until I finally was brave enough to dance in front of the crowd on Deepavali last year and now I don't care about other people's opinions anymore," she told local news reporters.

Neranjan is among the 10 talented stage performers with disabilities who successfully staged a two-day concert held at 3pm and 8pm yesterday at Stage 1 Theatre, Petaling Jaya Performing Arts Center (PJPAC).

A student of the Special Integration Education Program (PPKI) at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Desa Perdana, Neranjan stated that the activity indirectly also increased their self-confidence and creativity.

In addition to the classical Indian dance, Neranjan also participated in traditional Malay dance groups and is proficient in Balinese dance moves.

She has also expressed interested in painting and desires to become a professional dancer one day.