In episode 42 of ADOR LOVESHOTS, enjoy this conversation between Udit Shah - CEO of ADOR Dating app and Anindita Neogy Anaam -
Please share a brief about you and your journey in dancing.
I started dancing when I was 4 years old. My parents put me into dance classes. My mother is a musician and my father is an engineer. So, growing up, we had an equal emphasis on academics as well as dance and music. I went to Kathak Kendra in Delhi and various Gurus to hone my arts. In college, I was into cultural activities, dance activities and choreography. When I moved to the United States, that's when my challenges started. The language barrier, challenges from other dance forms, etc. It was an emotional setback. It has been a journey of various ups and downs and I've learned a lot from it. J am still learning but it has been a beautiful journey nonetheless.
Can you please elaborate on the key highlights of spreading the Indian culture abroad?
My journey is a bit tricky. My husband was posted in a rural area of America. There were no Indian dance organisations. So, I started going locally. I went to western organisations to educate and break the stereotype of Indian Classical dance forms and Bollywood being the same thing. I started going to school, colleges, local libraries and children's museums. From then on, I started getting noticed. At that time, my education helped me to navigate through these challenges. It was indeed a big challenge for me to take the initiative, voice our representation and have the right communication channels. Since I was on my own, this journey has taught me to:- either sit back and do nothing or fill the blank canvas. I chose to fill the canvas with my colours.
How did you start your journey in teaching?
When I started my teaching journey, my main aim was to connect dance forms all across the world. Social media helped me to reach out. I started uploading videos to tell people about Kathak, how to simplify it, its movements, etc. so that we can have a dialogue. I have students from all over the world. Hence, my classes are mostly online because I have a child and I work full time. This journey has also taught me that I need to be a little softer when I am teaching my students. That has helped my girls to prosper.
How does dancing impact our mind, body and soul?
When a person is very sad, let's say they turn on music and start to dance, your movements will also reflect your mood. It will help you channel your negative emotions and flush them out. When you can't express something verbally, it does through your art. Therefore, it is important to invest your time in extracurricular activities and your passion. Take time out for yourself otherwise, one will be lost in the hustles of life.
How can the youth easily learn the art forms and start their journey?
With the presence of Youtube and other social media platforms, people are teaching various courses for free. I highly recommend it to people who dong have many resources and are interested in learning. They can do so by following them. You can get so many tips and tricks. Use these online resources efficiently to do what you love.
Can you please share how one can choose which dance forms they can learn as there are so many options out there?
People can get easily scared by Indian classical dance forms as they still follow the old school, traditional methods while the western dance forms have a more friendly approach. But now, that is changing as more young people are beginning to teach them with friend-like nature and approach. This helps the students to take up Indian classical dance forms and not get scared by them.
What are your tips for women who wish to balance their responsibilities and passion?
First:- you need to believe in yourself. Secondly, ignore all the negative comments it opinions of others. Nobody can tell you what you are capable of since you are capable of so many things. Do not let others define you. Third:- if you don't get support from your home then seek it outside. Take some time out for yourself to recharge and unwind. Love yourself and take care of yourself.
Fun and Rapid Fire round with ADOR LOVESHOTS.
Udit Shah: If you had to choose between dancing in front of a 10,000 audience or with a Bollywood star, what would you choose?
Anindita: I'll go dancing in front of a 10,000 audience.
Udit Shah: Who are your top role models in dancing?
Anindita: In Kathak, Pandit Jai Kishan Maharaj Ji. In Odissi, Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy. In Bharatanatyam, Shobana.
Udit Shah: If you had a chance to spend 1 hour with one dance legend, who would that be?
Anindita: My Guru. I love watching him dance and listening to his talks.
Udit Shah: What would a month without dancing look like for you?
Anindita: Very bad.
Udit Shah: If you had to choose Bollywood actresses for their passion for Indian Classical dance forms, who would they be?
Anindita: Vyjayanthimala and Madhuri Dixit.
Udit Shah: If you had to select one male actor who can make Indian Classical dance a hit, who do you think he could be?
Anindita: Kamal Haasan.
Thank you for your lovely time!