Here’s something that tells me I had a little bit of life the last few months apart from my studies (and I have never been happier to write about something like this before... oh no! Wait... the time we climbed the Kalsubai maybe!!! But that doesn’t reduce the excitement about writing THIS one!)
Anyway, as I mentioned earlier it has been two whole months (and a few days) since I joined SDIPA (Shiamak Davar’s Institute for the Performing Arts) and my ‘Beginners’ course’ came to a sizzling and dazzling end on Sunday. The last two months have been quite an experience, to say the least :) Here’s why!
There were a lot of good things about the entire course. Off the top of my head, the things that made me happy are…
- Dancing – I love dancing, and I got to do it every Tuesday and Thursday as a part of class. Could I have asked for anymore fun??? Dancing as a part of curriculum in class (Of course it was a “Dance” class, but still!!!!!)
Putting on music at home and dancing alone was one thing; whereas dancing as a group had a totally different feel. There used to be this energy in the entire class as most of us were there because we had one thing in common – Our Love for Dancing! And when you get people who love dancing together, you’ve got yourself a partay!! ;)
And we learnt 5 different styles of dancing… Hip Hop, Salsa, Bollywood Jazz, Indo Jazz (created by Shiamak) and Rock ‘N Roll (and we totally rocked all styles!!! Well, at least most of ‘em :D)
- Work-outs – Even though SDIPA is a Dance academy, I love it that during each class, they have a portion of time dedicated to working out, which ensures that we are all warmed up before the actual dancing begins and by the end of the course, leaves us with better shaped bodies (and I’m not kidding about losing weight and getting into better shape!)
What seems to be like a task that can only be accomplished by lifting weights and/or by going to a gym that has hi-fi work-out equipment was easily accomplished with simple aerobic style dance work-outs in a matter of fifteen classes – two days a week spread over 7-8 weeks!
I had been trying to get rid of (or at least reduce) my tummy for ages and suddenly it looks a lot better. My clothes fit better and lets face it, I feel better when I look at myself in the mirror.
- New Friends – When I first moved to Navi Mumbai, I left my old friends (of some sixteen odd years) behind, only to meet a lot that was very different in every which way, be it mentality, attitude and perception. I struggled the first few years to find genuine people; and when I found them, I held on to them. But even then I had very few people I could call friends (in Navi Mumbai.)
But through this dance class I met at least twenty new people and most of them I can get along with really well. And what’s even more surprising is that most of them are a lot older than I am or a lot younger. But when it comes to making friends, does age matter??? Not at all. All in all, I did some dance, lost quite a lot of weight, got in better shape and made good friends!!
- Took my mind off stuff – The only way to relax when there’s a lot on your mind is to do something fun, something that you enjoy. I can’t even remember when I started dancing (okay, I remember that I started learning Bharata Natyam when I was about five years old, but then even for that my parents would’ve had to identify that it was worth it to pay for my classes long before!!) and I don’t remember when I fell in love with it (really!)
All I know is that I have been dancing for as long as I can remember and I don’t understand why I didn’t do more of it earlier! Even today when I go back to school, my teachers ask me, “So?? Do you still dance and all???”
What better way to take a relaxing break than dancing??
Those sixty minutes in the dance studio, all I could focus on was the awesome music that used to be playing and getting my body and limbs to move gracefully in tune with the music. And while I was in there, the rest of the world could go to hell, for all I cared! :P
And now that the batch is over and the next one starts only in the third week of April (And I’ll be a part of the Elementary course then! :D :D) I have to go a whole month without them! Obviously there are things that I’m going to miss during the next month…
- Dancing - Of course!! Why are you even surprised? I can put on music and dance at home, but that’s not as much fun as dancing with the entire group is. Moreover, with the huge books that I need to finish, I don’t think I have time to dance just for some fun! So yeah, I’m going to miss it a lot!!
- The Work-outs – Now that I want to continue to be in shape, I can’t not work-out for the next one month until class starts again. Although I’ll miss working out in class, I’m going to do it at home on my own anyway (with an awesome playlist to go with it.)
- Nothing special on Tuesday and Thursday evenings! Phew! Now there’s nothing to look forward to on Tuesday and Thursday evenings! It’s going to feel so empty because the one thing that made my week look great and happening doesn’t even feature in my time-table the next few weeks! But hey, lucky for me, I have my books to keep me company! So, I’m all set! (can you sense the sarcasm??? Good!)
- The People – Even though the dance, the work-out and the emptiness relating to Tuesday and Thursday evenings can be replaced, the one thing I cannot replace is - the friends I made! We’ve all discussed this and decided to meet often since we all stay close by, but that’s not going to be the same thing as going to class together now, is it??
The Grand Finale!!
If you thought it was all about attending classes that comprised of dancing and working out, it’s not so. At the end of our course, we had a presentation where we performed on stage (in our normal dance gear but it was still a performance.)
During this performance, all the batches from all the centers across Mumbai were present – we were the performers and we were the audience too! There were people from all age groups and I was amazed to see how oldies (people over 55-60 years of age) danced just as well as we did!!! At the same time, little children took my breath away! The grace, attitude and confidence with which they performed on stage, was remarkable!!!
There was a special performance by the instructors and they danced Indo Jazz. I’m sure even the most beautiful words I use will fail to describe the beauty that that dance form is. And the way the instructors performed, almost had me in tears. It felt as if they were gliding, almost flying with such ease and perfection that it seemed humanly impossible. We were advised against video taping the act so I can’t show how beautiful it looked. But trust me on this, once you see it, you would want to be a part of it!
Coming back to our performances – all the batched performed two styles out of the five they learnt in class. We did Salsa to the song ‘Party Time’ by Gloria Estefan and Bollywood Jazz to the remixed version of the song ‘Chiggi Wiggi’ from the movie Blue.
For me, it was almost four years since my last performance on stage (the previous one was during our college festival in December 2005) and I was more than looking forward to this one. I have performed on stage tons of times before but still I had butterflies in my stomach like I always do before I’m about to go on stage.
And once I was in my position to start and the lights came on, I was a totally different person. I put in all my energy and danced with such enthusiasm and force that by the end of the performance I was breathless (so much that it hurt every time I breathed in!)
A part of our choreography was that at the end of the dance we had to go into the audience and dance with them/get them to dance. Shiamak was standing in the wings watching our performances (he wasn’t there for the first few and the left sometime after ours!) So while everyone else went downstage to get the audience to dance, I rushed towards the wings to get him to dance.
He politely declined. When I asked for the second time, he said people would freak out if he came on stage. But I was persistent. I asked him a third time (I think I went pleeeeeeaaaasssseeee) and that’s when our instructor (Bhuvan) who was standing right next to Shiamak said he’d come instead and I went back on to the stage to continue dancing.
Turns out, when I had got down stage and was dancing with the audience, Shiamak did come on stage and dance with a few people.
Eh! So I didn’t get to dance with him!! I still got to ask him!!! :)