A Little Travel Memory… Swirling Skirts and Indian Dancing

Last updated on May 25, 2020

A local artist I met in Udaipur, India (who honest-to-god proposed marriage to me a few days later) insisted that I attend a cultural dance show while I was in the city. We had met on my wanderings around town and then we motorbiked through the city a bit with my cousin and his friend in tow. He hadn’t led me astray on previous tips, so I took his advice and arrived just in time to squeeze into the front row of seats near the children’s area of a cultural show featuring elaborately clothed Indian women showcasing traditional dances.

When agreeing to go to the show, I hadn’t realized was how much I would enjoy various elements of the staged cultural show. The Indian dancing was gorgeous, and this photo so perfectly points out one of my favorite aspects of India—the vibrant colors and ornate decorations.

Indian women dancing
A cultural show for tourists ended up being gorgeous, with vibrantly-colored dresses flowing as Indian women showcased their traditional dances.

My would-be suitor was waiting for me right after the performance, to ensure that I enjoyed the dancing and music, and we followed it the performance the only way you follow up anything in India—with a steamy cup of chai looking out over the Lake Palace. This is one of those unexpectedly pleasant memories because I don’t often go to the staged events as I travel. I’m not sure why either, because although it’s lovely to happen-upon an event as I pass through a town, there are elements of festivals, celebrations, and traditions that I can only bear witness to by attending the staged shows. In this case it was great, a lot of fun, and the women were beautiful. Add to it that I dodged the proposal days later and Udaipur was a highlight on my India travels.

This wasn’t the only time I was able to watch Indian women dancing beautifully! I traveled through India during Holi the Festival of Colors as well, and in Jaipur I was lucky to watch many cultural performances there as well! Here are some of the best dancing shots from that performance as well:

An Indian dancer rests before her performance.
An Indian dancer rests before her performance.
Women dance at a cultural show in Jaipur, India.
Women dance at a cultural show in Jaipur, India.

20 thoughts on “A Little Travel Memory… Swirling Skirts and Indian Dancing”

  1. I love folk dance. The way the artists move their hands is so lovely. I always appreciate their work. They are really dance very well.

  2. Nice to see that you had a wonderful time in Udaipur.
    I had been to Udaipur a couple of years ago. Its a small city with friendly people. The 3-wheeled”auto-rickshaw” driver who took us for local sight-seeing believes that there’s something magical with the water of Udaipur.He says that once you taste the water of Udaipur, you’ll definitely come back for another visit. Well, I haven’t paid a second visit, but yes it is worth another visit. :)

    • I did not know that about the water in Udaipur – maybe that’s why I enjoyed
      the city so much! :-) It’s such a charming little city and as you say,
      really friendly people!

  3. Lovely photo and so evocative with all of its colours and movement. You can create a whole story around a picture like this, but even better to know your own story that goes along with it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Shannon, the dance that you witnessed, looked like an amazing photo opportunity. The colours are vivid, and the background is authentic to the shot, and does not impact on your image. I’m interested, how many times were you proposed to in India? Just the once, or were there other encounters?

    • Thanks so much for the kind words Jason! I just loved the way the women’s
      dresses swirled in the photo :) As for the marriage proposals…there were
      a couple who got *almost* to that point in the 6 wks I was there – but I
      began to recognize it and backpedal rapidly when it happened, lol. My cousin
      kept telling me to reel in the friendliness…but instead I just accepted
      the occasional *over-friendliness.* Perhaps I shouldn’t go back or I’ll be
      writing this blog permanently from India! ;-)

    • Thanks Andi! No ring in sight for the proposal, but there was some awkward
      hand-holding on a rooftop overlooking the lake and lots of flattering words!

  5. Ah, I can just see the women’s movements through this photo. What a treat! (The dancing, not the marriage proposal! Well, unless you liked him…)

    • I could have done without the suitor :) lol but he makes the memory more
      fun, so I guess I look back on the ridiculousness fondly!

  6. What beautiful costumes! This photo reminds me of a dance I went to in Egypt… it looks like a fun time (complete with a would-be suitor and all!)

    • Thanks Eric – the traditional clothes in India – even not on a festival or
      dance day are just so gorgeous, their fabrics and colors are consistently
      beautiful. :)


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