#58. Most Popular of 2022: Skiing in a Saree: How South Asian Dance Builds Community and Connects Cultures

Divya Maiya gives us a peek into the world of South Asian dance. She is the co-founder of the South Asian Arts and Theater House — SAATH — based in Minneapolis, MN.

More than Bollywood and Bhangra, she looks at how dance can be a fun way to build community across and beyond the South Asian diaspora. And, she talks about breaking stereotypes, appreciating cultural traditions and the motivation for her own #SareeAdventures.


  • About the Roots of Various of South Asian Dances
  • How Dance Can Tell the History and Culture of a People
  • How Dance Can Build a Diverse Community among and beyond the South Asian Diaspora


Divya Maiya is a saree adventurer and co-founder of SAATH, the South Asian Arts and Theater House in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

New to town, she originally sought dance as a way to meet people. Today, SAATH is home to a diverse arts community. It includes, Asian and non-Asian dancers who come together for performances and informal classes. Most of all, it offers a fun way to connect to the cultural roots of South Asian arts and the people who share a passion for it.

SAATH is a 501c3 non-profit organization that celebrates “cultural diversity and social harmony in our communities through the joyful medium of dance, performing arts, and related South Asian cultural traditions.”

Divya Maiya also serves as the President, Executive Director and Artistic Director of SAATH (formerly named Bollywood Dance Scene). She is a techie and social media influencer who has a passion for travel and photography.



01:17 – Topic: South Asian Dance

02:36 – Defining South Asian Dance

05:47 – Influence of African Culture on South Asian Dance

06:45 – Dance and Cultural Exchange among South Asian Diaspora

09:19 – What is South Asian Dance in American?

14:41 – Challenging Stereotypes

15:58 – #SarreeAdventures

18:50 – What about the Second Generation?

19:43 – Art and Social Commentary

20:38 – Despite the Haters

20:53 – Forming Community and Starting with a Small Group

22:36 – Not Just Bollywood Dance Scene

23:30 – Cultural Appropriation or Appreciation?

25:13 – Creating Community Where You Are

29:48 – How to Get in Touch with SAATH

30:43 – Family and Joke Ahead


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