My relationship with dance goes back decades. I like to believe I started dancing as soon as I was born, however impossible that may seem.
I grew up in a tiny village in Karnataka, a southern state of India, and watching Bharatanatyam on TV at a young age did it for me. I was already dancing to my own tunes and I became obsessed with it. I was also passionate about music and singing and trained in Karnatic vocal for 2 years.
I got an opportunity to learn Bharatanatyam from this amazing woman; we called her Bharathi teacher. I was an active part of my school's dance performances, drama, and sports. Anything that made me move gave me life. Both my parents were very supportive of my dancing. I even have a memory of dancing off stage at a relative's housewarming ceremony and not wanting to stop.
I met some amazing friends with a similar passion for dance when I joined college. We took part in every event that happened and loved every minute from planning to executing each performance. Watching various on TV dance contests like DID, Jhalak Diklaja, and Boogie Woogie gave a boost to my inspiration.
Believe it or not, I still have the certificates and prizes I won in schools and colleges, which I treasure to this day.
When I worked at Indian MNC Infosys, I joined the in-house dance team, RHYTHM. This team opened so many doors to different people and dance styles for me to explore. I still wear the team's hoodie. GO RHYTHMS!
When I moved to the United States after my marriage, I could have continued my IT career, but there was a part of me that wanted to pour my energy into something that feeds my soul more. So what do you do when you need to find something? You go to Dr. Google and that’s when I found Bend It Like Bollywood Dance Company. I emailed the school's founder, Pavani, we met at Starbucks, and the rest is history. I trained under her to teach the younger students and got my own classes to teach. Now I am a Senior Dance Instructor and the Managing Director at BILB.
I love the kids and the fact that I get to share my knowledge and be a kid again with them while dancing is a true joy.
Dance. This 5 letter word gives me such a thrill. Words are not enough. Dance makes me feel more alive, free. It is a mode of expressing myself in my own way.
I like to think that I can dance to any music despite the language. My expertise includes Indian folk dance, Bollywood, Semi-Classical, Western Freestyle, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, and a fusion of any of these amazing dance forms. I would love to learn other dance forms to understand the culture and stories behind them.
We also started NAACHFIT in October 2017, a dance fitness program for anybody who wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle in this fast-paced life. I had the wonderful opportunity to mentor 2 NAACHFIT instructors.
I am humbled and proud of being a part of BILB family. I hope to learn, share, and be a better person every day through dance.
Keep dancing and keep rocking!