Dance is a gift I got from my Grandmother and my great grandmother. In those times, in spite of not having the exposure to learn new forms and perform on various platforms, they had it in them and kept learning and innovating new steps just by listening to songs. I have been tapping my feet and shaking my head to songs since the age of 2, and then it all developed into more of a way of living and enjoying life rather than a pastime.
At the age of 2, my parents still recollect that I used to dance to the introductory tune of Zee Tv which just began then. Though i don’t remember this incident, even now my family remembers it just because there was no one in the history of my family who started dancing at the age of 2 (which has been changed now...as my niece has started tapping her feet at the age of 1 J)
Dance was never difficult for me and I never saw dance to have various genres. Dance was just one soul for me, just one form of expressing what I feel in my heart, to say what words can’t say, to show what my eyes couldn’t alone speak, to reach to someone’s heart just by blending music with emotions. This may seem to be really different, but yes, this is what Dance is for me.
I started learning Bharatnatyam at the age of 8 when I wasn’t much interested in learning it, but as time passed by, I realised I have some unbelievable skills (inherited) in me to dance with wonderful expressions and movements. In a span of one year, I started giving performances in school and other clubs where I started getting compliments that I have the perfect “expressive ” eyes which makes my Bharatnatyam dance performance look even more graceful. People also told me that I must pursue this art and learn much more. I was on top of the world as this was all a big surprise for me. I kept learning and gave many performances, participated in competitions, and also got a solo and a group song to perform at Kalasadhana Bharatnatyam Academy. Later on I also went on to complete 3 levels of my Dance at the same Academy.
Things changed, and unfortunately I had to discontinue my classes due to my 10th standard studies and classes. I regret that decision because now, when I look back, I feel probably I could have managed studying and dancing at the same time, but less did I know about my Multitasking skills then. And then, as years passed I hardly found time for dance.
I slowly moved to Bollywood songs and started choreographing at college level. I kept thinking about which new steps could be added, how I can make it more different from the usual. I used to set steps in my mind even in sleep, which is like so silly and funny, but yes, I love it, because it generates so much of positive vibe in me to dance the way I think I can dance(both of them do differ). I remember waking up from sleep suddenly at 3 a.m and writing down on some page what formations I thought of for my group dance, which songs I could include and what steps I could choreograph.
I remember times when I hardly cared about food and sleep when we were practising for the Aarohans dance show 2 years back. Unless and until someone didn’t push me to go and have food, I just disliked to leave something what I simply loved.
It has somehow been a coincidence or fortune I would say, to also have people around me with similar interests. My best friend(and my soul sister) Suvarna, I really need to mention you and your importance in my life especially when it came to dance. J Our friendship has blossomed with dance and all we do when we meet is also drink, eat and sleep dance!! J Together we have given some of the best performances whether it be the Rajasthani folk dance, Gujrati garba, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Bollywood, Western pop, Salsa, Retro and what more!! You have really been the best dancer and the best partner I could ever get in my all my dance performancesJ
For me, dance has been the solution for all my worries, my best friend at all times, one which gives me a new perspective to think about everything, one which makes me smile, laugh, and jump when Im happy, one which makes me say to people what I feel and what this society makes me realise. It has been within me always and would surely come out to be a revolutionary way of seeing dance for every individual.
I wish to learn all the dance forms right from Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odisi to the western Samba, Hiphop, Salsa and others. Dance doesn’t have any language or medium to communicate but it has music and a very strong form of expression to connect people’s hearts. According to me it is something which each one of us must appreciate, must admire and learn because it has always been about being real and being yourself when you dance, no matter which culture it may represent. J