I don't remember when it all began, but I was raised in a filmy world: the Bollywood capital and the city of dreams, Mumbai, India. My mother, my inspiration, and my only motivation, had noticed that I had that spark in me. I would stand in front of the television at the age of 4, mesmerized by the color, sound and the music and try to copy their moves.
She found the best Bharatnatyam class for me nearby and I learned the traditional, basic Nritya Kendra form of Bharatnatyam from Mrs. Shyamala Shanmugham. I wasn't too intrigued by the dance style initially and would treat it just like School. I was just 7 years old when I started and I liked more filmy dance styles. Though, when it was time for me to dance to multiple songs using the classical style I had trained in for 3 years, I got so much more into it. I would practice hard, but my teacher would never allow me to do any other dance form; only strict Bharatnatyam. Bollywood was not allowed for me then because it would affect the quality of my classical moves. In school, I would participate in Classical dance competitions and win prizes in that genre. I did that for 7 years. Still, my filmy mind didn't stop me and I would continue to stand in front of the television and gaze with admiration at the Bollywood stars.
When I was in my last year of my Bharatnatyam training, Indian Folk dance classes began at my school. I enrolled after putting up a fight with my classical teacher and expressed how hard I practiced and how many group and solo competitions I had won. The instructor was very talented and he taught us all sorts of folk dance styles.
Being a science student, there was a pause in my dancing until I got into an engineering college. I continued my studies there, but my department in my college didn't witness anyone participate in dance competitions because of the conservative environment. My love for dance made me fight and I became the cultural head of the Students association. I eventually became the President of this group so that I could dance and help students like me show their love for art.
After graduating from college, I wanted to explore new forms and learn new styles, but it was difficult to do that. Around this time, Dance India Dance (DID) debuted on television. I watched the contemporary, hip hop, and aerial dance styles on this dance competition show in awe. My sister and I were glued to the television every time there was a DID episode on.
My love for dance continued after I moved to the United States after I got married. I always waited for special events and occasions to dance and dance more! Unfortunately, I got busy with daily life and never thought I would be able to pursue my passion further, especially after giving birth to my son.
When he was 2 months old, I was going through Postpartum depression and that's when my colleague recommended BILB to me. I called Pavani and told her that I am a dancer and if I could get a chance to live my passion and participate in shows, I would be ecstatic. She was warm and she recommended that I go to Sharanya's Ladies’ class. After attending a trial class, there was no looking back.
I have been with BILB since 2017 and I love the way the instructors teach. The dance company encouraged me to relive my dance journey and they have always been kind and flexible with my schedule as a mom. I expressed interest in Zumba class to get in shape and I wanted to explore the opportunity to take on more of a teaching role! Pavani and Sharanya were kind enough to train me as a Naachfit Instructor and here I am now!
I cant thank these two ladies enough for giving me ME back! The ladies' competition class with Umi was the icing on the cake. The dance moves she taught us were my long lost dream to learn the contemporary dance form! I want to keep dancing with BILB and I recommend everyone out there who is still trying to make their dance dreams a reality to come join us!