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April 26, 1973 : Los Angeles

Srutakirti: It was here that Brahmananda Maharaja and I introduced the Bengali style of dancing to Srila Prabhupada's American disciples. It started very simply. The two of us were standing in front of Srila Prabhupada's vyasasana facing each other as the kirtana was going on. Hundreds of us were all standing in place dancing back and forth, doing the 'Swami step.' Brahmananda and I kept looking at each other as we danced in the kirtana.

Without saying a word, we began to move towards Sri Sri Rukmini Dvarakadisa, moving about ten feet forward and then back towards Srila Prabhupada on the vyasasana. It was not easy to do at first because no one else was moving with us, but there was always a space in the center so that Srila Prabhupada could see the Deities. Using that area we began dancing enthusiastically going back and forth as the kirtana progressed.

Within minutes, everyone in the temple room followed. Hundreds of us were moving back and forth towards Srila Prabhupada and then away again. He sat there watching all his children dancing wildly as he played kartalas and encouraged us by the nod of his head. Many of the devotees loved it and Srila Prabhupada was smiling as he watched the devotees dance before him.

Afterwards some devotees said they thought that this new kind of dancing was not bona-fide. There was some controversy about this new dance form. Some of the devotees thought it strange and out of place in the temple room. Pradyumna asked Srila Prabhupada if it was all right to dance in that way. "Yes, of course!" Srila Prabhupada replied. "It's very nice." Srila Prabhupada loved to see his disciples chant "Hare Krishna" and dance in ecstasy.

Reference: What is the Difficulty? - Srutakirti Dasa