Sohel Bagai: The Story of the Stuttering Ballet Boy

The story of Sohel Bagai, a dancer, with dreams inspired by his surroundings and his journey


Senior Sohel Bagai seeks his journey from the moment he became inspired by his family 

Senior, published author, ballet dancer, and data scientist, worked his way through society to receive the best education possible. Through the way he’s gone through obstacles yet nothing stops him from achieving his dreams. 


Bagai was born on May 23, 2002 in Mission Hills, California .  As a child he faced a speech problem with stuttering. He was eventually bullied for his problem which intervened with his education. Bagai’s mother took him to speech therapy to help him with this problem and eventually he was speaking well. 


From the moment Bagai was born he was different from the other kids. The fact he got bullied did not affect his self esteem though lifted him up and inspired him to write The Stuttering Little Ballet Boy, a children’s book that reflects on the problems Bagai faced and how he faced his fears. As a child it was difficult for people to understand him but through time he learned to speak better and better through a speech therapist. His confidence also grew stronger because his mother allowed him to dance. Dancing became a way he could express his true being. Bagai became that boy with the confidence to speak and dance.


Bagai started dancing hip hop in middle school but realized he preferred to try a new style. Ballet grasped his attention. He felt the need to jump, fly, and feel free the same way these dancers did. Bagai was one of the few boys in ballet. It was another difficulty he faced as people pointed fingers. He realized he wasn’t the only boy going through this problem and that didn’t stop dancing. He auditioned for the American Ballet Theater with no ballet experience and  got in. Ever since he’s been with that program, working harder and harder everyday in order to keep dancing in college. 


Bagai was not only a dancer but he had dreams of growing intellectually. Academics play a big role in Bagai’s life. Mathematics has always been his greatest strength. He wasn’t forced to follow the academic path but he became inspired by his family around him who attend Harvard university. Bagai realized that hard work and dedication to school can allow him to get accepted by a well rounded school. Now he has a full ride to Chapman University though he seeks a different environment further away from home. Bagai looks for a university where he can dance and major in data science. The University of California Berkeley offers him this opportunity. He can major in data science but dance outside of school in a dance company around the campus. 


There are many activities Bagai would like to do but his priorities are data science and dance. Since he wasn’t able to choose between dance and data science Bagai hopes to follow both paths. He is not clear in the journey yet but Bagai awaits for the journey. 

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