Meet Freshman & Award-winning Dancer Aadithya Prem


Freshman Aadi Prem is a world-class dancer.

OU freshman and communications major Aadithya Prem ’17 is devoted to the Indian classical dance form Bharathanatyam. This typical college student transforms himself into a “performer par excellence” when on stage.

Aadi, as he’s known to his friends, has won numerous awards for his dancing, including India’s National Championship before moving to U.S. at the age of 12. In the U.S., he continued his winning ways by earning the award of excellence in Dance and Choreography in Kentucky and then in Georgia more than once. Aadi has performed Indian Classical Dance, Bollywood and Fusion dances on more than 150 stages in India and the U.S., which includes the biggest Indian Festival of Diwali, World Fest of Louisville and the International Women Empowerment Conference. He also was the brand model for Triphala Brahmi, Dhatri Win Smart, and for scholarship programs back in India. In the U.S. he has been featured in advertisements for supply chain giant Manhattan Associates and in Gwinnett County Public School System’s “My E Class” ad.

Aadi04Indian culture is diverse and so are the content and style of Indian classical dances. A continual and unabated interest for the Indian Classical dances through the ages has helped to evolve new structures and thus even the dances outside the traditional milieu do not deviate from the time-honored tradition. Ancient themes are re-introduced in new formats using updated technique and innovative themes infused into the old style of performing. Fusion of an Indian classical dance form with modern day sport, martial arts, other dance forms such as ballet, flamenco, etc. makes for exciting performances.

Aadi first learned Bharathanatyam from T.B Chirta, a versatile dancer who graduated from Kalakshetra, a distinguished school of Bharathanatyam started by Smt. Rukmini Arundale. Currently he is associating with Mehak Shah of Mehak Dance Academy and Kumudh Sawla of Nritya Natya Kala Bharti in Atlanta. Aadithya also studies modern dance at En Pointe Dance Academy, Lilburn, Ga. and loves teaching Indian classical and Bollywood dancing to those who are interested.

Here, Aadi performs at the Vishu Program of Atlanta Metro Malayalee Association:


OU’s Social Enterprise Fellowship Makes an Impact

Through the IDEX program, ten recent college graduates have traveled to Hyderabad, India to develop and implement business plans for some of India’s low-cost education schools.

In the summer of 2010, Oglethorpe University partnered with Gray Matters Capital to take three OU alumni and seven other recent college graduates to Hyderabad, India.  These young professionals are part of the IDEX Fellowship in Social Enterprise program and are using what they learned in the classroom in the real world.  IDEX comes from IDeate, EXecute, and Solve—which is what these talented young people have put into action during the past six months.

The fellows are using social enterprise, a fairly new concept in the business world, to better India’s Affordable Private Schools. These fellows are not teachers, however.  They are working on the business-end of the system to implement programs that can change and develop schools that primarily serve underprivileged youth in India.

One OU alumna, Ember Melcher ’09, decided to start an in-house library at the school in which she works.  After noticing boxes of books collecting dust, she implemented a plan of action to advance a library, including working around financial barriers by “hiring” student workers in exchange for free tuition. Ember’s operation illustrates what IDEX is all about—tackling social problems with sustainable business models.  The idea is that years after she and her colleagues are gone, the school can still operate an economical library within the school, using her business model as a foundation.

Beyond these fellows’ nine months in the country, IDEX plans to make a difference in years to come.  In 2011, the program sent 40 new fellows to the country. View this video, produced by the IDEX Fellows, to learn more about the Fellowship and the work they’re doing:
Or, view directly on YouTube: