Deepa Liegel: Dancer on the Rise

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Deepa Liegel is walking back to her dorm room on a warm December day in Dallas. She treads with a bit of a limp, but still has a certain grace as she eases down the stairs of the Owen Arts Center.

The birth of this minor injury came about a couple of weeks ago at the SMU Dance Program’s annual fall dance concert, where she performed a solo. Liegel is halfway through her third year in the program and smiles as she reveals her admiration for it.

“I really couldn’t give the program here higher praise. It has helped me to grow in so many ways that I never thought I would coming into college,” she said.

Liegel has been dancing since she was three years old. She was adopted from Calcutta, India and her parents decided to enroll her in Indian Khatak dancing to help her stay attached to her cultural roots.

“I was always a very active child and they thought Indian dancing would be the best way to go,” Liegel laughed.

This piece of information comes as no surprise considering her vivacious personality and fierce passion for dance both on and off of the stage.

Shortly after she began learning Indian style of dancing, she transitioned into ballet, jazz, modern, and the rest is history.

Liegel has not only perfected her movement as a dancer over the past three years, but also the vision she has to use dance to make a difference in the world.

One of her role models is Misty Copeland, who is the first African American Female Principal Dancer with the American Ballet Theatre.

Liegel hopes to perform in a modern company after graduation. Her friend and fellow dance mate Cassidy Counts sums up Liegel’s devotion to the sport.

“Deepa is a really dedicated dancer and whenever I dance with her she pushes me to do better,” said Counts.

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