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Bhavya Dore, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, November 07, 2010
Bopping to the rhythms of “Mee Hai Koli”, on Sunday morning, US President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, unleashed a little bit of their dancing selves in a school auditorium clapping and cheering them on. At Holy Name School in Colaba, which the Obamas visited on Sunday morning, staff and students were delighted to have amongst them, a dancing American first couple.

“He danced with our students,” said Florin Martis and Elizabeth Nathan, teachers of the school, after the event. “That was definitely the highlight, it was amazing.”

The President’s visit began with visit to a classroom to see the students’ science projects. He then lit a diya and proceeded to the school auditorium to watch the performances. While a group of students performed a ‘diya dance’ choreographed as a Bharatnatyam dance, another group did a Koli dance.

Towards the end of the performances, the students invited the First Lady to join them. She did, and soon picked up the steps of the traditional fishermen folk dance. The children then asked Barack Obama to join them and he too got on the floor and matched steps with the students.

“I will never forget this Diwali,” said Sudha Shinde (12), who performed the Koli dance. “It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.”

Others were only barely able to keep themselves together for the big day. “I was so nervous yesterday thinking about today, I slept just one hour last night,” said Sangeeta Ayer (12), who performed the ‘diya dance’.

Students and staff were still on an Obama-induced high after the President and his convoy drove off. “The students gave wonderful performances, there was not a single hitch,” said Father Michael Pinto, the school’s principal.