Dance as a Career in India (Part 2)
By Shiamak Davar
Music in itself is therapeutic. Dance is a physical interpretation of what the music says. It is a great way to release energy, shed inhibitions and let your emotions out. When you dance you sweat, and you release ‘feel good’ endorphins that make you happy. Good music, good dancing is a great way to be in a happy state of mind. The teaching pattern is interactive and communicative ensuring that the learning process is fun and stress-free. More importantly, Dance is now a viable career option in India.
Dance is a celebration of life; it is such an integral part of our culture. And what better than doing something that gives you joy and also gets you fit! So I truly believe that there is a good that dance does, an impact that it has on the mind that reflects in the body and the spirit of everyone who experiences it!
In times where kids are constantly on their mobile devices, dance is a great hobby where they learn, enjoy and work out at the same time. Each class targets towards skillful progression to improve fitness levels, confidence, focus, concentration, team spirit, positive thinking, discipline, all-round development, posture, and body language. They are encouraged to learn in a healthy environment where no one is judged. My motto has always been “Have Feet. Will Dance.”, therefore each student is given equal attention and the entire group grows together.
Parents often tell us that their children show an improvement in their academics because of the dance classes. The reason behind this is primarily that their focus increases as they have something to look forward to, they get to do what they like and enjoy. Also, many students who are introverts get a platform to express themselves and their personality develop through these classes. Not only do they learn to dance, engage in a physical activity but also experience something that highlights their spirit.
Helps to overcome difficulties
Dance is a holistic activity for the mind, body and the soul. It aligns all these, and the student is then more aware of their strength and weaknesses giving them an opportunity to identify them and work on them. With a dance class, they have something to look forward to and they get to do what they like. Also, many students who are generally introverts get a platform to express themselves and their personality starts reflecting positively after attending dance classes. Not only to they learn to dance, engage in a physical activity but also experience something that highlights their spirit.
Dance has the ability to heal. For me, health is a state of mind and fitness is a way of life. A fit body homes a healthy mind. This is the most important health benefit of dance, that aligns the mind, body, and spirit.
In fact, Music in itself is therapeutic. Dance is a physical interpretation of what the music says. It is a great way to release energy, shed inhibitions and let out emotions. Good music and dancing is a great way to be in a happy state of mind.
Necessary to dance as a routine
Any activity that you engage in, needs to become a part of your regular schedule to really experience and appreciate its impact. It is a form of art that evolves constantly and continuously, so to imbibe the maximum, it is essential to make it a part of the routine. There is a progression in your the to grasp choreography, understand movement and realizing the positive impact it has on your personality, that one can only achieve by making it a part of their lifestyle and routine.
Dance as an offbeat career option
Dance is now a viable career option. Those who are not too familiar with the career options in the world of dance, read my previous post on dance as a career and my career journey.
Whether as a performer, dance instructor, choreographer or entrepreneur in the field of the performing arts; there is a plethora of opportunities. Being a first-hand witness through the transitional phase of western dance in India, the last thirty years have been a revolution of sorts. I’ve observed a positive and impactful change in people’s attitude towards dance as a career. The industry has opened up tremendously, arts and culture have become hugely popular and in effect, people don’t fear to make their passion a profession. This transitional change in people and the overall market has opened doors.
Technically, to make it a profession, one must be flexible, agile and have an understanding and knowledge of music and rhythm. Being a versatile dancer will give them an edge of being able to adapt to different movements and dance styles. Dance is not just physical experience, but a mental, emotional and spiritual one too. You need to be mentally strong to sustain hours of rehearsals, years of struggle and decades to find acceptance. If you have a grounding in either ballet or Indian Classical dance forms, your foundation will be extremely strong. These styles form the basis and prepare you for any other dance style. In terms of technique, understanding of the body, positioning the weight, balance… the overall understanding and adaptability become easier.