As a first generation immigrant, it was important to my parents that my sister and I continue to have exposure to our culture after moving to the United States. In an effort to maintain the presence of Indian culture in my life, my mother enrolled me in dance, music, and language classes at the age of seven. It was then that I realized my affinity and passion for dance, and I knew from then on that it would be a guiding force for the rest of my life.
Trained in Kuchipudi, under Guru Padma Reddy and Guru Bindiya Prasad, and in Kathak, under Guru Rachna Agarwal and Guru Urmi Samadar, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in classical dance styles from both South India and North India. While working toward completing my Kuchipudi Arangetram (a three-hour solo recital) during my high school career, I had the privilege of teaching Kuchipudi and Kathak to other students on behalf of my Gurus. This accomplishment ultimately led me to realizing my potential, not only as a choreographer and performer, but also as a teacher and mentor.
Even after graduating high school and starting my collegiate career at the University at Buffalo, dance was never far behind. After a year of performing with UB Zeal, the university's South Asian Fusion Dance team, my partner Henna and I became co-captains and choreographers for the team. We focused on continuing the team's initial mission; to promote dance not only as entertainment, but primarily as an art form. In doing so, we attempted as many styles of dance as we could, from Bollywood and Bhangra all the way to a fusion of Nigerian and Ghanaian styles and Burlesque. While leading the team to multiple competition victories on and off campus remained thrilling, coaching and motivating my team was the most rewarding aspect of the experience.
Graduating from the University at Buffalo's School of Management with a dual degree in HR Management and Psychology and starting my first full-time job as an HR Specialist for a global medical manufacturing company took my attention away from dance for about a year. A year too long. Nevertheless, dance made sure to make its way back into my life when my former co-captain suggested partnering and certifying as BollyX Instructors. Upon discovering BollyX and its mission, I realized that dance fitness is the most natural combination of my love for dance and teaching. I also realized that Henna and I are the ultimate BollyX team! Today, I am proud to be an HR Professional by day and a BollyX Instructor by play!
BollyX member since January 2016
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