beginnings: Dr. Bhavani Vaddey

Risk involves stepping into the unknown in faith that life will bring you what you need. It’s a process of discovery, of revision, of growth. Here, Dr. Bhavani Vaddey shares the wisdom she learned from participating in the Dancing with Show Me Stars competition and fundraiser for the first time.

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Dr. Bhavani Vaddey, ER physician at SoutheastHEALTH, is taking on a new challenge this fall: participating in the Dancing with Show Me Stars competition to raise funds for the Community Partnership of Southeast Missouri. Vaddey, whose hometown is Hyderabad, India, has lived in Cape Girardeau since October 2013 and was introduced to the show almost four years ago but never had the time to perform because she was busy taking care of her child. This year, however, seemed like the right time to say yes, so she decided to go for it.

Although she has no formal training in dance, she performed as a dancer during medical school nearly 17 years ago. In this competition, she will be performing solo a dance with belly and hip movements to a 1980s Bollywood hit song, as COVID-19 made it difficult for her to practice with professional choreographers. Thus, she is choreographing the dance herself, using YouTube for inspiration.

Bhavani’s wisdom about doing something different: “I’ve learned through this process that I need to take a break apart from work to do something fun. A good mentor of mine from med school once said, ‘Charity is an obligation, and one has to perform their share and help their community grow.’ It makes me feel good to be a part of this community, and that I am able to do something for this community. Even if I am able to help one or two people to come out of their hardships in these tough times and help them to make it through, I consider that a big success.”