Shonchori Mukherjee : NPHS’s Dancing Queen


Sophia Vardas, staff writer

Shonchori Mukherjee is a senior at New Providence High School who dances and teaches Bharatanatyam, a form of Indian classical dance. She started dancing when she was four and a half years old, and has continued ever since. Shonchori got into dance through her mom, who is a dancer herself and also owns a dance school.

“She’s definitely shaped how I’ve approached dance. So I would say she’s my biggest role model.  Her love for dance has translated to me,” she said.

In 2018 Mukherjee had her arangetram, which was a debut performance of all the skills she had learned so far. From then, she has won many titles and even has performed to raise money for fundraisers.

Before COVID Shonchori would go to upstate New York to perform in person.  This ended due to pandemic, instead she became involved with more virtual performances, which were based in London, San Francisco, and even India.

“It was all done through digital and I was able to receive a lot of recognition and kind of become more, like, popular in that,” she said.

She participates in monthly competitions where she sends in a video of her performing, where she has even come in first place, also being featured on the leader board a couple of times. 

During her junior year of high school, she hosted a fundraiser for Feeding America, where she worked with another dancer to perform a piece.

She said, “I partnered with a dancer in Virginia, and we still keep in touch. I think it was a great connection”.

When COVID-19 had just started, Shonchori did a sponsorship fundraiser for COVID and raised around $4,000: “I did it on what would’ve been my sweet 16, and I felt isolated at the time because of quarantine so I wanted to give back and use the opportunity to funnel it into something productive.”

Another way Shonchori gives back is by teaching what she loves. All the way back in 8th grade, Shonchori started teaching at her mother’s dance school, and still teaches on the weekends.

She said, “I really like teaching because, for me, my teachers in dance had a big impact on why I like doing it so much.”

She teaches classes to younger kids around the age of five, and enjoys the time she spends teaching them and getting them involved: “I think just working with them is so much fun and trying to find innovative ways to get them engaged is important and helped me and has translated into my daily life as well.” 

Although it’s her senior year, Shonchori still tries to get as involved as she can with dance:  “Obviously I’m busy with college applications and everything but hopefully after that it dies down a bit, I’d like to get back into it.”

Besides dance, Shonchori is on varsity volleyball and the swim team at NPHS, as well as the Debate club. She started swimming when she was three years old, and volleyball her freshman year. She also started the Pop Culture club at the high school with one of her friends Gia Pellegrino.

She said, “We came up with the idea during COVID, and we thought people could use a break from everything, and we grew the club from 0 to 60 in less than a year.”