- ThattAdavu - Stamping on the ground with your complete feet. Starts with one beat each with your left and right leg, then continues with 2 each, 3, 4 , 5, 6 and 7.
- NaatAdavu - The complexity starts now, these adavus are a combination of heel beats, complete feet beet and toe beats!
- PakkAdavu - The dancer starts "moving" with these steps; Moving towards sides, front or back while doing the Adavus.
- KuditthamettAdavu - This one is a combination of a small upward movement and then a normal beat on the ground.
- MandiAdavu - Now the dancer starts using his/her knees. This is the most difficult part for a young student. The adavus make the knees slide on the ground, or hit the ground with the knees (it's not as dangerous as it sounds.. it's a small slide and a slight hit). After few steps the knees ache badly... and also it's an effort to get up from the kneel-down position. Ah! How many times I have been scolded for not getting up gracefully ...he..hee...
- SarikkalAdavu - The merry-go round starts now :) The dancer is first introduced to making circles. Incidentally, in Kathak form of dance, this is the the-most-important part. I have heard that students are made to just practice circular steps for hours! Their heads must be reeling after that ;-)
- UthpluthaAdavu - The jumps start here, the interesting part is not the jump, but the "balance" after the jump :). The complexity reaches it's heights when you have to do a circle in the air as you jump....
- ThattumettAdavu - The the most complicated of adavus in terms of technicality. These adavus are programmed for a specific number of beats and it will be a combination of 2,3,4,5,6,7 beats per leg.
- TheermanaAdavu - The "final" ones. These are not only the final adavus, but it is like a full stop in an English sentence. i.e The words are combination of other 8 steps and full stop is this adavu. Every small piece of dance is supposed to end with this adavu.
It takes a fresh dancer atleast 2 years to completely master all these Adavus to perfection.
The initial dance class days are physically tiring, every nerve of your leg aches and it's difficult to even walk properly. Hence it is advised that a person takes to dance at an early age when the body is more flexible and the energy levels are also high. The later you start, the more difficult it gets.
With the mention of leg pain, I invariably remember my Pati (Grandmother), she suffered from arthritis and I used to press her legs in the night almost everyday before sleeping. But the days I had dance class, she used to do that for me :-)