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Shaila Sateesh

Florida Folklife asked our artists a series of questions to learn more about their traditions and how those traditions have impacted their lives and the lives of those around them. Take a look at the answers we got from Shaila Sateesh below.Photo of Shaila Sateesh (right)


What folk tradition(s) or traditional art(s) do you practice?

Indian classical dance – Bharatanatyam

How did you learn those traditions?

I trained in India as a child and later continued my training during my visits to India.

Why is it important to maintain folk traditions?

Folk traditions keep us in touch with our roots which we can then pass it on to future generations. It also gives us an identity, a sense of oneness and a sense of belonging in my country of residence.

How did you first get involved with the Florida Folklife Program?

I had the honor of being invited by Florida Folklore to participate in the Apprenticeship program in 2018. I was also interviewed for the 2017 Southwest Florida Survey.

What Florida Folklife Program projects have you participated in and/or what folklife awards have you received?

I participated and completed the Apprenticeship Program.

How has the Florida Folklife Program benefited you or what value does the program have?

The Florida Folklife program has helped me meet and learn about other folklorists in Florida. The program gave me an increased sense of pride in my culture and a valuable encouragement to train and preserve the traditional dance form. I was delighted to know and be part of a program that recognizes and motivates folk tradition from every part of the world.

How can the Florida Folklife Program better serve you?

Although I am fairly new to the program, I have seen the Florida Folklife Program is already doing a fantastic job in offering a platform to artists to keep folk tradition alive, with various projects, awards and scholarships. I hope to continue to be a part of the Florida Folklife Program and offer my humble contribution to the organization.