By Amrit Prasad Poudel Myagdi, Sept. 14:c The third national sports competition held at Birjung in 1985 also included a folk dance competition. In the event also the team led by Dhankumari had won the ‘Thali’ dance competition. The Thali Naach is performed by holding a plate in the palm of the hand and dancing to the tune of folk music by carefully rotating the plates. It is believed that the unique Thali dance was started by dancer Hiramaya Pun and Dhanakumari made a big contribution to making this dance popular in Nepal as well as all over the world. Along with the dance, Dhankumari is one of the great singers, who has so far made public over two dozen music cassettes and lent her voice to over 200 songs. Songs like, “Shirphule”, “Salaijo”, “Yanimaya”, “Abijale Maya”, “Sailobhakaa” and “Kholapari Nirmaya are some of her famous songs. Dhanakumari has sung together with singers like Khadka Garbuja, Bam Bahadur Karki, Bir Bahadur Karki, Prem Raja Mahat, Ratna Baniya, Pandav Sunuwar and Tirtha Bahadur Gandarbha among others. She has also reordered songs in Radio Nepal. She said that in 1995, her team and singer Raphik Miya’s team had reached the final of folk duet competition and the opposite team said that her team won, but the organisers deceived her team, since then Dhankumari had stopped participating in folk duet competition. She said that Thali dance was originated from Chhimkhola of Myagdi in around 1967. During that time, they used to dance in the village by lighting kerosene and plastic fires on both sides with sticks. “If dancing with a stick can be done like this, why not to do Thali dance, thus the practice of Thali dance was developed,” said Dhanakumari. Dhankumari led Thali dance was also performed at the third Summit of the South Asian Association for the Regional Cooperation (SAARC) held in Kathmandu in 1987. She first performed her show in Jomsom, Mustang at the age of 15 in 1974. In the first attempt, she was able to win the first prize in a duet song competition. She was involved in teaching profession from 1981 to 2012. She quit teaching profession after she was nominated by the Nepali Congress in the proportional representation category in the Constituent Assembly election 2013. Lately, Dhanakumari has been seen as a judge in duet and dance competition in various programmes. Dhanakumari is a founder member of Nepal National Folk and Duet Song Academy and had served two terms in its central committee.