In episode 41 of ADOR LOVESHOTS, enjoy this conversation between Udit Shah - CEO of Ador Dating App and Maithri Rao - dancer, teacher and yoga professional.
Please share a brief about you and your journey as a dancer and Yogasana professional.
I am a Bharatanatyam artist, choreographer, and artistic director of Shivansh, and a young and promising dancer from Hyderabad. I have trained for over 20 + years under various prominent teachers from Bangalore and Mysore. I have been honoured with Yuvashri and National Nritya Mani awards for my excellence in Bharatanatyam. I love experimenting and exploring within the framework of Bharatanatyam vocabulary to make it more relevant and interesting to future generations. I am also a yoga practitioner and internationally certified yoga trained. I have trained over 80 students in my institute.
Online Digital Content creation has opened up many avenues for sharing the passion of our community. What are the steps for any dancer to become an online content creator?
Digital creation has helped a lot of dancers including me. When I first started uploading on Instagram, it helped me to reach a lot of people. Although, in terms of online content creation, being good at your art comes first than anything else. On any social media platform, using a lot of creativity to showcase yourself will help you to stand out.
What are the core reasons for your passion for the field of dancing? Share with us how dancing has become the core of your daily life ?
Dancing has become an integral part of my life because I have spent a lot of my childhood learning how to dance. During any important event, dance was always there. In return, I have learned a lot of life lessons through dance instead of education. So, as I have learnt a lot from dance, that is why it has become a core part of my life. Also, when the time came to choose my career, I think those things helped me to choose dance as my career.
If you had a chance to spend 1 hour with one professional dancer, who he/she would be?
I think it will be Bijayini Satpathy didi. She is a very famous and graceful Odissi dancer. I will love to spend time with her and observe her moves.
Why traditional dance forms like Kathak and Bharatanatyam are the utmost importance to learn for the youth?
It is the core of our Indian culture and it is our responsibility to take it forward. They are structured in such a way that the artists get to learn a lot of things apart from the dance. Be it patience to get perfect or having the dedication to train in the art form. It takes a lot of years and it is something you can't just learn in a day or two. It takes years of dedication and hard work. I think learning the dance teaches you a lot of things and makes you a better person.
What are the easiest ways for the youth to learn the basics of dancing from the comfort of their home i.e. online?
I would say there is no easy way. Although the pandemic has opened doors for learning at home through online classes. So, I would say that you need to choose your teacher wisely. There are so many platforms offering you online classes but you need to make sure which is authentic. Also, again, a lot of dedication is required to learn. Even if it is from the comfort of your home, you need to have the dedication to go through the entire process of learning any form of classical dance.
How does dancing help in the growth of the practitioner in terms of physical and mental benefits?
Dancing is very therapeutic. Just practising it every day, moving our body and letting go of our emotions helps us to be in a better state of mind. Physically, it helps you to maintain your body, and your fitness and helps you to improve your stamina, especially in classical dances where you are trained to perform for more than 1-hour recital. Hence, dance practice helps you to improve your stamina. So, a better body comes with a better mind. Overall, it gives you good health. It also improves your body and mind coordination which is one of the biggest advantages for kids who are learning dance. It also helps you to improve your patience, concentration levels and body and mind fitness.
Your Top 3 favourite dancers in India?
I don't have a particular name as I get inspired by many dancers. Be it Bollywood dancers, belly dancers or classical dancers. Very difficult to choose just 3.
How does Yogasana impact the overall mind, body and spiritual spheres?
Yogasana has helped me in many ways. The reason I took up teaching yoga was to get better at it and also to spread the benefits that I have experienced to others. Overall, it is helpful in terms of body, mind and spirituality. In terms of understanding yourself better, I think yoga has helped me to understand my body, be mindful of my thoughts and shaped me as a better person.
Fun and Rapid Fire Round on ADOR LOVESHOTS.
Udit Shah: One teacher who changed your life?
Maithri Rao: My parents. They are my biggest teachers.
Udit Shah: Your favourite dancer in your favourite dance form?
Maithri Rao: Can't name a favourite.
Udit Shah: Your topmost favourite Indian actor?
Maithri Rao: Priyanka Chopra.
Udit Shah: You cannot imagine your single day without?
Maithri Rao: Dancing.
Udit Shah: Top 2 benefits of Yosgasana?
Maithri Rao: Body awareness and flexibility.
Udit Shah: If you were given a chance to choose one Global dance celeb for sharing the stage with, whom would you choose?
Maithri Rao: Akram Khan.