The story of a young girl who followed her passion for classical dance and made a career out of it
I was just five years old when I started dancing. My grandmother had always been very fond of classical music and dance and so when my aunt, Smt. Bindu Juneja – a well known Odissi dancer got married into our family, my grandmother requested her to teach me.
My first performance was when I was 9 years old at a small temple in Bhopal and everyone loved my dance. At the time, I was too young to decide whether I wanted to take up dancing as a career, but even then dancing was just as important as studying for me.
When I was 11 years old, I received a junior scholarship from the Ministry of Culture, associated with the Government of India. Soon after, I was practicing and performing hour-long solo dances that was received with a lot of appreciation. At 16, I did a performance for the Sangeet Natak Academy in Jabalpur, and that’s when I found my calling to pursue dance as a career and explore it from a new perspective. Dance was no longer about performances, it had become a medium for personal growth.
In my junior college, I had opted for the science stream. However, I took a gap year after completing my 12th grade and devoted the time to my growth in dance. That’s when I found my own beat. Following that, I did my graduation and post-graduation in Sanskrit literature. I was also invited to perform for the former US president – Barack Obama at the Rashtrapati Bhavan during his first visit to India. A dinner reception was hosted for him and a cultural evening was planned at the Mughal Garden. I performed with my guru and we did an amalgamation of three dance forms – Odissi, Kathak and Bharatnatyam. This was an opportunity of a lifetime and I will always cherish it.
Currently, I am a performing artist and I also teach dance. The understanding of music and dance came to me naturally because all my life I have been surrounded by artists. I am currently under training for “Abhinaya” which means expressions in the dance form Kathakali, from Margi Vijay Kumar.
Looking back, I am extremely grateful for my family and my gurus for being the guiding light of my life and in helping me become who I am today.
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