Grace And Grooves Group – Student Of The Year – Leadership Awards
This section of Blog is exclusively dedicated to all our students’ achievements with Grace And Grooves LLC. These are the students who take every opportunity to excel not only as part of team work but also as part of their individual growth and performances in their respective dance forms or types (if Bollywood-Movie Dances!). These students take regular classes just like all the other students but the only thing they do differently is identify the opportunities given to them by their teachers and make the best use of it. We also like to call them swans.
These students of Grace And Grooves are the examples of achieving balance in life, elegance, and beautiful results that you get with proper training at the right time from all the right people! There is no short-cuts to learning any dance forms/types. If you want to do it then you will do it, no matter what life throws at you! Times when they had lemons around, these students have made a lemonade and nailed it! All pictures below are subject to change if parents send us more pictures 🙂 But until then, enjoy what is posted.
It is not only the straight background that works with everything but also right time, right people, balance & right attitude that builds something that stays FOREVER…You do not have to come from generations of family to do it right.
2020 – 2021 : Aahana :
- Aahana is a student of Hetal Nagaraj Dance, Hetal Nagaraj from 2012 (she was almost 5 years old) for half dozen Indian Folk dances(100+ hours) & Bollywood(250+hr) & has taken several courses with Grace And Grooves Group of Dance Companies (350 +) hours with us in general. Aahana is a vivacious 11 year old from Frisco Texas. She’s a 6th grader in Frisco, Texas, USA. She is currently taking advance training of Kalaripayattu & Contemporary (surpassed 30+ hr NEW each) with Ms.Hetal(in-person) & Manoj Sir(online). She has won several city & state level non-voting competitions under Hetal Nagaraj nominating her for several state level participations and competitions. ALL of which were non-voting. Her other dance accomplishments include, city and state level bollywood, indian folk and semi-classical winning streaks with Hetal Nagaraj as part of company performances and submissions. Nominated several times for state level programs as well to come and perform but due to exam times, she could not go.
- Aahana’s other accomplishments include several sports, educational, arts/drawing awards by grade and she won a honorary mention for her reflections art work at Ani Hols elementary school. Current Student at School of rock training in Vocals ( rock music ) Age 6 to 10. Her Facebook page was established in 2020 under the leadership & training of Hetal Nagaraj with Reachh Mediaa Reachh Since 2013.
- Under Hetal Nagaraj, she also earned her first international award from Mumbai, India. See here.
- She receives 300$ worth of prizes from our friends and participating companies. Yet another example set here!
2019-2020 : Sindhu Jampala :
- Ms. Sindhu started her trainings in August 2014 for recreational Bollywood classes in Irving, Texas under Hetal Nagaraj when she was mother of 1. Later, she was trained with Ms. Deepthi & Hetal together.
- She started her journey with her full time IT job, at times on-call and all the other family commitments. Performing and then graduating after being “a mother of 2” NOW. She has participated in lot of our recitals, dance productions and has been part of our growing family! From Sarvaa 2019, she has been contributing towards company shows by being choreographer for her own kids team with full responsibility from start to finish under the leadership of Hetal Nagaraj.
- Lot of her dances were selected for form/Bharatanatyam/folk category even when submitted in open category only because we had used Bollywood song but organizers moved us!! While others were pure bollyhop and fun dances that she continues to do today with her teams. With their Irving & Carrollton teams, they made it to several local non-voting competitions for Bollywood categories & a few reality dance competitions across cities for bollywood traditional to bollyhop.
- Read about her trainings at Grace And Grooves.
- She receives gift hampers and services worth of 250$ from our friends and participating companies. Sindhu has set an example for lot of our full time working young mommies with extended families that there will be a year that’s going to be mine from start to finish :). She finally took it in 2019-2020 with family. #respect.
2018-2019 : Aanya Kocchar :
- Ms. Aanya Kocchar joined Grace And Grooves as an exclusive Bharatnatyam Student in 2015 when we started teaching structured Bharatnatyam Program at Lewisville, Texas under the guru-shishya parampara with Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj exclusively.
When it comes to balancing life with education, performing arts and all the other activities that kids have to take up today just to achieve normal expectancy as per school curriculum, it has never been easy!
As per our Student of the year criteria, she has been an excellent role model to all our younger Bharatanatyam dancers who will look upon her an example going forward. Never Give Up because learning an art-form is never easy and there are NO SHORT-CUTS.
Aanya has performed with Grace And Grooves in several in-house dance productions with her exclusive Bharatnatyam Dances without forsaking fundamentals of her own art-form Bharatanatyam for all our recitals, community events as well as exclusively Hetal Nagaraj’s dance productions.
Her notable dances are Bharatnatyam Nruthyam-Gujarati Sahitya Dance Duet (Literature) and Hetal Nagaraj’s Master Degree university level work of exclusive Bharatnatyam-Pushpanjali, and Allaripu(main margam items). She continues to learn her next level in Bharatnatyam at Lewisville, Texas with Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj and is now a 5th Grader. We are so proud of you!
- She receives $200 worth of services from our partners and friend-businesses to excel in her interest in the journey of Bharatanatyam. One Step At A Time, Nice And Easy. Updated : Jan 11, 2019.
- Aanya was student from March 2015 to November 1, 2019. During Jatiswaram Level from Mid-August 2019 onwards, she started coming once a month only which was slowing down entire batch. Student was unable to attend minimum 4 classes a month/do any other make-up classes/take any other private classes to catch up to her class-mates or atleast take other parallel classes;all of which was given well-ahead of time as per convinience of all parents. Parents were contacted regularly every month about the absences via emails/phones-sms and calls. Parents were regularly requested to move to slower pace class or lower level class (just to keep it going until she is ready for her batch) which did not happen either. Later, in November 1, 2019 when their payment plan ended and it was time to renew, parents were requested to renew their payment plan only when student can attend classes regularly or choose any of options above or do private classes for good. This schedule expectation of regularly attending the class for this accelerated-level is excluding holiday schedules or extra practice schedules or makeup class schedules. All of these instructions are given well-ahead of time at the beginning of year itself. It is our policy from past 15 years! Updated : December 26, 2020. Aanya was in accelerated class of year-round lessons with full time – working – parents – holiday schedule. We are year round dance school.
2017-2018 : Samarth Setty
- His first dance was a valentine dance with girl at the age of 3.5 where he showed his ability to act, dance & make people laugh/smile by showing his natural dance skills, dance etiquettes that were taught to him by his Montessori teachers.
- Stage presence was natural to him just like his sister.
- Our little macho man had his struggles of taking breaks in learning dance because of his birth weight, body type but he never gave up.
- From a husky body type to making his body a lean-mean fat-burning machine, he has amazed us of what he could do with proper training, discipline and diet plans that his mom prepares for him.
- His official journey of dance training in Indian Folk Dances started at the age of 6, Bharatnatyam at the age of 7, Bollywood at the age of 7 and then he never looked back! Prior to these years, he would appear on stage as side/back stage-dancer.
- Amongst all our girls, at times he is the only Krishna, Shiva, captain, our Rahul who comes to save the day for lot of our group dances even when he is not dancing for full song. At times he is not instructed of what he needs to do except for dance steps if they were to match with group..it comes out naturally to him, without training and knowledge of dance forms/styles.(Environment)
- From group dance dramas to Solo(s) in Bharatnatyam, Indian Folk Dances and Bollywood/Movie Dances, he has done it all. He has successfully performed, competed and won competitions as solo artist from 2nd place to 3rd place with only 1 hour a week of dance lessons.
- His training teachers are : Buvaneshwari Murugan(Jatiswaram, Ganesh Kavtuvam) & Hetal Nagaraj (Pushpanjali, Allaripu, Jatiswaram, Thillana, Shabhdam, Bho-Shamboo and several dance dramas from Gujarati Literature to Telugu Literature) for Bharatanatyam, Indian Folk Dances-Hetal Nagaraj, Bollywood-Hetal Nagaraj and Mansi Chauhan.
- His workshops include : Intermediate-Advance Workshop with Shakti Mohan-2015.
- He is a perfect example of perseverance, inherited natural talent, stage presence and a best example for kids who feel like giving up, only because of body-type.
- He receives photo-shoots worth $250, competition discounts and several other perks from our participating businesses.
- His Facebook page was established in 2019 under the leadership & training of Hetal Nagaraj with Reachh Mediaa Reachh Since 2013. Read More About Samarth Setty.
- Updated-Feb 13-2018, Sept 1-2021.
Ashna Pethe – 2016-2017
- From recreational dancer(Age-10) to now our elite team dancer and this years’ 1st
prize winner in Non-Classical-Category(Bollywood). Lewisville-Texas. Now 13.
- Locations of Workshops, Performances & Competitions : Southlake-Texas, Irving-Texas, Dallas-Texas, Lewisville-Texas, Frisco-Texas, Plano-Texas, Carrollton-Texas.
- Ashna won A $200 gift hamper that includes a photo-shoot and a FREE professional profiling and several free perks from Grace And Grooves LLC.
- A perfect example of no short-cuts to success and yet balancing it beautifully with unbeatable graceful performances.
- She has bagged 1st place in non-classical category and has cleared several competitions in state of Texas. (Update-September 29, 2017).
- Ashna dances 1-2 hours a week Bollywood at Elite Level w/Elite Team for Grace And Grooves, paid and unpaid performances.
- She has taken advance workshops with Hetal Nagaraj, Mansi Chauhan And Shakti Mohan for Indian Folk Dances, Professional Bharatnatyam, Professional Kathak and Contemporary.
- Her Facebook page was established in 2019 under the leadership & training of Hetal Nagaraj with Reachh Mediaa Reachh Since 2013. Coming Soon About Ashna Pethe.
- Updated Sept 1-2021.
Diya Kadiyala, 2015-2016.
- First Indian Folk Dance Solo Artist under the age of 5 (under official company name Grace And Grooves other than Nirja Setty) successfully performed 3.2 minute of Indian Folk Dance. Twice!!
- Audience : 100 People. Selected/Cleared Auditions for 2 different competitions in 2015. Irving-Texas. Age 4.5. Now 6.
- Locations of Performances : Irving-Texas, Dallas-Texas, Frisco-Texas.
- You are a perfect example of following directions just as taught at such a young age that too in Indian Folk Dances.
- Diya took Free private classes(2) worth $50 during the regular classes. A Free costume rental on our elite line of costumes and a waive off on registration fees for second year. ($30).
Nirja Setty, 2014-2015.
- Winner of 6 (now 6) technique focused Indian Dance Competitions in Indian Folk Dances, Fusion and Bharatnatyam(2016).
- Nirja won Free Costumes and Jewelry from one of our friend-sponsors worth $100. Free Tickets to concert-$30.
- A girl known to challenge judges’ knowledge in competitions as compared to her age group. Irving, Lewisville-Texas. Age 9. NOW 11.
- You are a perfect example of perfect expressions/looks in Indian Performing arts-anytime a picture is taken and yet it just as graceful and beautiful. All of this with a beautiful balance in life!
- Her average competition prize money amounted to $200-$300 by 2015 in various school competitions for Bharatnatyam and Indian Folk Dances. Her audience is not less than 1000 people for the dances she has performed.
- Nirja regularly dances 1-hour a week in : Bharatnatyam(in 2 styles), Bollywood and Indian Folk Dances with Hetal Nagaraj and Alpana Jacob (outside Grace And Grooves LLC).
- Locations of Workshops, Performances & Competitions : Southlake-Texas, Irving-Texas, Dallas-Texas, Lewisville-Texas, Frisco-Texas, Plano-Texas, Carrollton-Texas, Allen-Texas, Coppell-Texas, Grapevine-Texas, Flowermound-Texas, Arlington-Texas.
- She has taken advance workshops with Mansi Chauhan, Hetal Nagaraj and Shakti Mohan for Professional Kathak and Contemporary. She has also danced National Level Competition Fogana 2013 w/Indu Mangrola-Sursangam Dance Company.
- Her Facebook page was established in 2019 under the leadership & training of Hetal Nagaraj with Reachh Mediaa Reachh Since 2013. Read More About Nirja Setty.
- Updated-Sept 1-2021.
Srinija Burra, 2013-2014 :
- Outstanding Recreational Indian Folk Dance Artist – (Solo) Recreational Folk Program.
- Audiences from 100 to 500 People. Irving-Texas. Age 6. NOW 11.
- Srinija won Free Customized Costumes from our elite line of costumes and Free Tickets to performances worth $75.
- Won competitions with Grace And Grooves LLC as in group for Indian Folk Dances held Dallas-Texas at Coppell-Texas, Plano-Texas, Allen-Texas.
- Locations of Performances & Competitions : Southlake-Texas, Irving-Texas, Dallas-Texas, Lewisville-Texas, Frisco-Texas, Plano-Texas, Carrollton-Texas, Allen-Texas, Coppell-Texas, Grapevine-Texas, Flowermound-Texas, Arlington-Texas.
- Selected in several auditions and competitions for Solos. Selected by several media and top-notch family/event/corporate-dance and professional photographers for individual profiling/close-ups during our community performances without our telling them or informing them. She was also part of Fusion team being an avid gymnasts student. Click here :
- You are a perfect example of perfect expressions/looks anytime a picture is taken and yet it just as graceful and beautiful.
Congratulations to ALL our students of the year!
Thank you for working hard with us…
This post will be updated once a year. Our academic year goes from August To May.
Post Updated History : This Post was First Published on this Blog on September 25, 2017.
Pictures posted above are either past or present students of Grace and Grooves & their pictures are shared based on their exclusive photo sharing rights and approved by parents when shared/transferred to Grace And Grooves for the purpose of Grace and Grooves ONLY.
Copyright Reach Media for Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations | 2012-2021. This material cannot be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Competitions We Do :
As such we have won several competitions but we have only accounted in our bags that we have done it independently ourselves and have judges who are qualified in field of Indian Performing Arts-who know what to look for in dance forms or styles, if mentioned likewise.
- Non-Voting, Strict by Genre, Category, Dance Forms, Rules of Dance Form, Rubrics, Guidelines, Marks and Feedbacks by Judges with straight background, Local or International Depending on all of above.
- Competitions in partnership with other dance schools/teachers are NOT INCLUDED in our list.
- We do not sponsor the awards or competitions that we take part in. Please contact hetal at email@example.com for sponsorships.
- We do not do reality competitions YET. These are not institutionalized or educational competitions.
- Competitions where voting criteria is 10/100 or more at any levels are not included in our list. You are welcome to take freelance lessons from us to participate but we will not participate in voting. We will not take those on our list.
- Judges who do not have any knowledge of dance or cannot outline the difference between simple things such as bollywood vs folk, fusion vs bollywood, and so on! If you do not know the rules of dance form then there is no point in judging. And so, we do not take part in those competitions.
- Participant Awards are NOT listed or considered for us-obviously and that includes students who get participant awards during competitions just for participating and not winning competitions for any runner ups awards either. Culture awards are not competition awards 🙂
- Wins at the Competitions that misrepresented categories/competitions/malrepresentation by the organizers are NOT listed.
- Eg-Represented as Indian FOLK Competition but it was actually a Bollywood Competition and so they are NOT LISTED HERE. We have won such competitions as well.
- Only legitimate competitions are listed.
- We DO NOT teach Tap/Jazz/Ballet. Students who took part in fusion dances that included tap/jazz or ballet were trained from Ballet Academy of Texas(Coppell) and Prestige Dance Company(Lewisville-former Coppell Dance Center)for 2months+ or were already avid trained dancers or good gymnasts.
- We taught them only Indian Classical Dance(Bharatnatyam)or Indian Folk Dance and the Fusion work to go together based on what they knew.
- Some competitions are listed together as only 1 award was given for consecutive years win or in same year as prizes had material gifts/or gift cards for participants or same work received awards in 2 different places by different participants or same participants. There was only 1 ceremony for awards that happened.
- Competitions that are not worth our attention –>
- Students are neglected, mis-treated, insulted by organizers are NOT worth of our time. We will pass their info-you are welcome to compete but keep us out of it.
- Organizers are in favor of other dance schools and allowed several re-takes to them but not to us-for no good reason are NOT worth our time. We DO NOT want children to go through that traumatic experiences.
- Students are questioned about their well-being priorities only because organizer couldn’t see the child winning in-spite of stopping the vote entries are NOT worth of your child’s time.
- Organizers that offer inappropriate stage areas, dressing room areas or unsafe dance conditions are eliminated from our list for any future participations due to SAFETY GUIDELINES concerning child’s safety. We don’t come there to dance in 5-8 steps of stage area.
- A stage or organizer who cannot respect a child’s presence while talking just about anything that they have in mind insulting kids and their parents whatsoever, esp. talking in extremely loud voice and misbehaving in front of children because you couldn’t handle pressures (while others were allowed to do same-all drama in front of child)-is not worth our attention.
Please learn your manners FIRST when you treat a child.
Stop treating them like trash — this tells us about your parenting! Not our parents’.
- An organizer who is bias to us in all the privileges given to other participants will not need our attention at any given point of time. If you have made up your mind in not allowing us to avail the privileges then why should we make kids suffer through your misconduct and inappropriate behavior just for a trophy ?
Constructive feedbacks are very welcomed. We have come this far only because of constructive feedbacks. Please tell us your background before you judge!
All of above are NOT sarcastic humor incidents and are ruled out by experiences in recent competitions and we do not want any child to face such a traumatic experience just for a competition! Our kids/students are very precious to us.
Other Blog Posts where such a traumatic incident happened : Read Here.
Stop blaming parents and kids for your own issues. Open Stats @Cqunce Inc.
This post was updated in May 15, 2019 | May 22, 2021.
Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media for Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2021. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Past Staff (Volunteer & Paid)
Mrs. Swathi Burra, Irving-Texas :
She was volunteering with us for about 2 full years in lieu of her daughter’s dance fees from 2011-2013 and some months post 2013. Rest, we would gift her. A fabulous lady who knows how to treat people, understands queries and at times their concerns regarding costumes, jewelry, to just about anything. She has travelled around world and knew pretty much everything that anybody had queries regarding.
Those 2-3 years when we started off doing regular lessons and filed for company name, we had people from outside US such as newly moved to US due to Green-Card Lottery, some moved to US on business visa or H1 visa from other countries while some like us who were pretty much settled where we were(Irving-Coppell). Times, we needed hand in backstage for costumes, makeup, ticketing, coordinating with organizers, collecting fees, checking the venues-this girl would get it all done. Some of these people had never spoken english or barely knew hindi and were an exclusive Telugu influenced. Swati was our big time help for all our south asian/indian programs for coordinating.
Till date, it is 2019 when we are editing this blog entry and we have received calls from organizers asking if its Swati they are talking to and they would start their talk in Telugu.
Journey with us :
We had just registered our company and formation was still going on with lot of other paper-work during that time and our Indian Folk Dances Program was pretty well established with private groups in Irving, Coppell, Valley Ranch Areas of Dallas and Denton County with over 30 students on an average. Some recreational while some only competitions in Indian Folk Dances and a few work-out groups for moms.
Recreational Folk Dances were only names as such because they would not bother to perform in US or anywhere at all or would perform only in Indian audiences in India which made us even more proud when we received compliments and in some cases, some certificates or awards as they would participate in India for various competitions during their visits to their homeland.
Even after we were registered fully and almost all paper work was done, we were NOT committed to doing any regular community performances as Indian Folk Dances at competition level or even basic performance took us about fairly 10-12 classes for a good choreography to establish for an age group of 6 to 10 years.
It was Ms. Swati’s decision however to prompt us to start Bollywood / Tollywood (Telugu Cinema Dances)/Indian Movie Dances.
And our very first Bollywood Group had its very first official performance in IANT 2013 under the name of Grace Creations-our non-competitive performing fusion company. And we started taking Bollywood students in groups targeting specific performances for community events.
Grace Creation, however, was formed with an inspiration from Indian dance companies in east-coast which Mrs. Nagaraj had been following in various social-media channels or as her idols or via her network of dancers in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Rajasthan and Delhi. Our Students were already trained in Non-Indian Dances from Ballet Academy of Texas, and Coppell Dance Center(Now Prestige Dance Center) and we already had required Indian Dance knowledge of Indian Folk and Bharatnatyam that we needed to create fusion category of dances.
But that was it, the group then dissolved as nobody was interested in regular community performances on monthly basis for Bollywood but instead wanted to move to Bharatnatyam when they saw Ms. Hetal Nagaraj teaching some classical work to college students who had come for competition related classes.
Some students moved outside city itself while for others who stayed with us, shaped with us with our newly established structured program for Bollywood Dances. These students were also taking Indian Folk Dance Lessons from us as seperate programs and Bharatanatyam. In total, they would dance 1 hour per week for each program i.e. 3 hours total.
Looking back, if it wasn’t for the push of Ms. Burra, we would NOT have initiated the Bollywood-Tollywood or Indian Movie Dances Program and Grace Creations wouldn’t have existed so early. Initial plan was to launch Grace Creations in 2016, otherwise. Grace Creations is still our non-competing group for Bollywood students where now, most of our Musical Theatre Dances and acts happen in their respective categories and programs based on type/timeline of performance date. However, off-late in 2016 onwards, some of our fusion dances won 1st place non-stop in various competition from local, regional to state and national level.
Ms. Swati’s daughter, Srinija Burra was a fabulous recreational Indian Folk Dancer who was accepted in several competitions as Solo dance artist(Age 6) and was important part of our team. She has also won group Indian Folk Dance Competitions (Pure Folk and with respected judges/organizers with double degrees in fine arts-very proud of this young lady!) with our other 10 Indian Folk Dance Students. Srinija Burra has also been the student of the year and received discounts on our elite line of costumes rentals and several other perks that we offered from our sponsorships of our dances that time.
Srinija & Nirja were often mistaken and switched in their solo performances by the organizers due to similarity in names and back then they would look very same! Best part was, both these girls would steal the show anywhere they would go, be it solo, duet or in group. All photographers, videographers and other parents who did not know us or these girls would take only their pictures and dance-videos with close-ups in-spite of being 10-15 dancers on stage without our informing them.
They were/are known to be the face and honor of Grace And Grooves LLC and often mistaken as Mrs. Hetal’s daughters or Mrs. Swati’s daughters as well. Nobody knew. Fun!
Today as well, till date in 2019, they are asked by various organizers who see our promo videos and pictures going out or in google search for modeling to dance assignments. A childhood friendship that shares some of the most beautiful memories that both the girls will cherish throughout their life! We are very blessed to have these young ladies as part of our family.
Srinija was also the reason why we have student of the year today and was amongst our very first Student Of The Year :).
Thank you Swati for being our best one. We Miss You 🙂 This Blog post is exclusively for you!
Copyright Reach Media for Hetal Nagaraj | Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations | 2012-2019. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Recital 2017: JALSO (Celebrations, Absolute Fun-in Life)-Nritya(Dance) Ki Masti (Fun). Venue: MCL Grand Theater, Lewisville-Texas. April 9, 2017. Why Jalso, Nritya Ki Masti ? Our Story.
The idea of the name JALSO = famous Gujarati Festival that’s happening in Mumbai(India) for a few years now. It got our attention in 2016. Our performances had festivals, marriage celebrations, life-events as per Indian life(Country-India) especially for those who have been settled here (-in Dallas Fortworth Areas aka NRIs-Non Resident Indians) for generations now.
<<<<<<<< Our Initial Flyer w/Ticket Information<<<<<<<
Recital 2016 – Adi-Shakti was a fundraiser for a targeted amount to CRY-America Inc and thus had a line of sponsors, good advertisements, tickets, donations, fashion show, sponsored costumes for our guest artists from premium clothing boutique as well as our own costume line. However, our initial plan for Recital-2017 was to do a full ticketed event of Bharatnatyam and Indian Folk Dance showcase name “Nrutya Ni Masti”. We have also taken re-publishing rights from Bharatnatyam dance schools from east-west coasts in United States. Using only Nritta or Natya was not an option and so Nritya/Nruthya/Nrutya it was! (however, you want to spell-check the name.)
But as the year 2016 ended, we faced unpredicted challenges and eventually, Bollywood was added to this event. This is in spite of the fact that our Bollywood students had a full-length of the playlist to go on stage as a separate ticketed event (Jalso as we had planned it initially) with the quality you would expect to pay for! Same was w/Indian Folk and Bharatnatyam. Either way, Lemonade was tasty.
On a good note, we completed NAVARASA in one program itself and that too in different categories breaking our own record of 2016.<<<<<<>>>>
We had few sponsors on the list such as Sheetal’s Mehendi Arts, Jazz It Up Inc, and The Grace Effect to go with our Mehdi ceremony theme dances. Sheetal’s Mehendi Arts specializes in Mehendi/Henna services for all occasions such as Mehdi Nights, Bridal Mehendi/Henna, BabyShowers, Marriage Functions/Parties, or just Henna Tatoo for entertainment purposes.
Jazz It Up Inc. is our own costume & dance prop services for our Competition Dancers-Elite and Pre-Competition Teams. At times, we rent our costumes to outside students depending on availability. Custom Stitched Costumes usually take a month of time if you want to order!Coming back to our Recital 2017 Event, dances were featured in Bharatnatyam, Bollywood, and Indian Folk Dances with students trained in their respective categories from ages 5 to 40.
Our Choreographer’s Retreat had Hetal Nagaraj, Mansi Chauhan and Deepthi Chandrasekaran showcasing dance forms and styles.Our intern-faculty Shruti was to perform as well but happen to missed it! We missed Buvaneshwari Murugan at the event when her very first male student performed a full-length of Jatiswaram in Bharatnatyam of minutes 5:26 under the guidance/assistance of Hetal Nagaraj at the age of 10.
Our students from Irving-Texas, Plano/121-Texas, Lewisville-Texas, Frisco-Texas performed in their respective categories for Nritya Ki Masti-Jalso, Recital 2017. Students were rewarded with participation medals 2017 and our student of the year Ashna Pethe was acknowledged for her achievements w/trophy and the gift voucher. All our choreographers were acknowledged for their efforts and students were introduced with their individual achievements.
Recreation Students(Southlake), Summer Workshop Students(Grapevine), Private Class Students (Carrollton, Dallas, Irving, and Frisco) Community Folk-Workshop Students(Frisco East, West, Lewisville) or Our Couples Retreat Students(Irving, Dallas, Plano) DID NOT participate in the recital. We missed their showcases, big time!
Grace And Grooves, Recital 2017-Nritya Ki Masti had photography services from Bombay Photography, and Videos were taken by The Grace Effect – our own company photography/videography services.The Grace Effect is exclusive to the students, participants, and choreographers of Grace And Grooves ONLY. The Grace Effect is under the supervision of Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj or Mr. Nagaraj Setty and they have never worked for anybody in past when it comes to any photography or videography services for any volunteer or paid services or even on a friendly note.
Needless to say, Recital 2018 name has been decided already 😉
Below are some more picture collages that we received from our parents and clips screen-shots from our recital dance videos taken by The Grace Effects.
Copyright Reach Media for Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations | 2012-2017. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Inspiration was an Indian-Movie. You read it right!
Dil To Pagal Hai(1997) Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri-Dixit Nene, and Karishma Kapoor under the direction of Yash Chopra. Though not much into movies, Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj was very selective back then about feeding her eyes when it comes to the magic of Indian Cinema(Bollywood). To sit that long for a movie was a non-sense deal to her back then. But a musical drama as part of the movie itself had her all excited and she watched it finally in 2001 and it never left her mind. She thought maybe she could do likewise in Indian Folk Dances, Bharatnatyam..some day if she would get to do it!
The whole idea of musicals in Indian Folk Dances and Bharatnatyam(or any classical dances of India) existed back then too. These had very matured audiences and trained performers back then. There were several musical ballets happening in the city(Ahmedabad, India) with the elements of Nritya and intricate elements of Natya combined very beautifully! Mrs.Hetal Nagaraj had watched several notable works from some of the most well-known theater productions to recorded-live musicals by amateur artists/college students for fund-raising activities on women-upbringing, child-marriages, religion riots in Ahmedabad city areas and so on!
But all these years, as if it took its own time to get into the plan of action. 2017, she came back home with a big YAHOO after a chaotic day of a culture community event organized by Indian Association of North Texas, Dallas-Texas(USA). She finally did it in a public community event(India-Day 2017) in Dallas-Texas(U.S.A) under 5 minutes with props!
Not 1, but 2 of those musicals in Indian Folk Dances and Bollywood-Fusion Dances Categories. She took up this challenge when the songs that were ready to go on stage had her scratch the head! And she asked, why not? We had done a mini-version of it in Recital 2016 to test the waters. And so January 21, 2017 was a big day! It was challenging to get all the props all the way to the stage. Thanks to our choreographers Mansi Chauhan and Deepthi Chandrasekaran who made themselves available last moment and it worked out just well. The only challenge was that it was a public event and it was not in their control unlike Recital 2016! However, Choreography and set-up was already planned as most of the students knew their part well enough as it was work of our Recital 2016 : Dance of Gods featuring Adi-Shakti in their own categories. But the Yahoo part was that they managed to cover all the Navarasa (The 9 Moods) as per Natya-Shastra in both the category dances without breaking the rules of any category and yet keeping it creative enough for community fun-performances. Not about perfection but basic requirements were met.
We were able to keep intact the dance categories that our students were trained in(their joined programs). As per our research, it has never happened in Dallas-Fortworth Areas(until 2017 January) and that makes us very first people to do it(Yes!). We have seen dance lessons been taught in the name of Folk, Bharatnatyam and yet ended up showcasing just plain Bollywood Stuff.
Just how she had to believe one more time in all the training that she did in past and all that she had taught to her students. It went well and smoother than she had expected for what was in her control. Fundamentals never run out of fashion and formulas don’t change! It will teach you not only common sense but there is a reason why rules exist in pretty much in any performing arts. If you follow fundamental elements of Indian performing arts(Natya Shashtra in this case) then you will cover pretty much everything with little efforts. Creativity is just an added element to it.
Dil To Pagal Hai-True, we mean it. Now, you call that a Phrase, Bollywood Movie Name, Indian Folk Dance or Classical Bharatnatyam-none of our business. Don’t come after us for this!
Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media for Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2017. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Just as our artistic director Ms. Hetal Nagaraj had the opportunity to learn from her own schools and colleges during her entire academic life, she just follows same here. A little give back to her kids’ schools other than her active PTO involvements such as Vice President PTO, Cultural Committee Coordinator, and Staff-Event Coordinator.
Focusing on just one country(India) is an easy job in India where the diversity/culture in forms of Indian Folk or Cultural Dances makes sense as in regions or states of India when celebrating India’s Independence Day or Republic Day or school annual day. This is not really a possibility in Dallas-Texas charter schools(USA) where every other student studying in school is from the different country with absolutely no common culture grounds! With this global diversities, imposing an Indian Performing Arts or even using Indian music wasn’t a good fit.
But, efforts were paid off when the parents opened their doors to do some creative works as long as it was limited to school environment and shows. Most dancers who joined this program had never danced before or had never even moved themselves to the tunes of music. From selecting the music, costumes, moves and the makeup standards were as per school guidelines. The performance was to appeal not only most/all demographics depending on the school, and the environment but also must fit the guidelines of the school. Dance lessons happened throughout the academic year following the school guidelines and calendar.
Finally, we could get a decent 4-5 min of presentable creative works by the end of the year. Kids loved it and parents admired it. Grace And Grooves had undertaken these fun creative projects with the following schools:
Below are the pictures of performances from both the schools. These pictures are released based on parent’s consent forms signed exclusively for Grace And Grooves releases Only.
Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media for Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2017. All Pictures posted here are with an exclusive consent of participating students, parents or school staffs. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Past Performances of Grace And Grooves. List of paid and unpaid public events – 2015 and before in no specific order of occurrences and numbered per event/not by number of performances):
- Grace And Grooves performs at Plano Library, at a Diwali Event (Organized by Independent Groups). Ms. Mansi Chauhan offered Bollywood Workshop-Age Group 4 to 8 Years.
- Grace And Grooves performs at an invited event organized by DFW-Hindu Temple, Irving-Texas featuring Semi-Classical Bharatnatyam-Bollywood Style , Bollywood-Folk, and Bollywood Performances.
- Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(Shabdam/Shabhdam), Garba, and Bollywood Dances in a walkathon organized by CRY America Inc in Irving-Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam (Art-work), Bollywood and Fusion at Iskon-Dallas at a sponsored event.
- Grace And Grooves performs Lavani, Garba, Ghoomar/Ghummar, and Folk tale lyrical in Dallas-Texas for Dallas Catholic Charities in Dallas-Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(as guest artist, Allaripu) in competition where Ms. Hetal Joshi was judge for Non-Classical Category-Dallas, Texas. (2011)
- Grace And Grooves performs Garba, Bollywood Dances, and Lavani in May Festival -Fortworth.
- Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(Pushpanjali-Guru Vandana), Tollywood Dances, Bollywood Dances, Folk Lyrical in Dallas International Festival, Dallas-Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performs Kalbelia, Kshatriya, Tippani and Bollywood Dances in Plano, Texas at an International Festival representing India.
- Grace And Grooves showcased art-works (Garba of Smt. Indu Mangrola) and Semi-Classical Kathak in Tarrant County-College, Arlington-Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(Thillana), Bollywood Dances, Rajasthani Folk Tale(with Chirmi) event organized by DFW International in Addison, Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performs Gidda, Bhangra(Beginners) and Bollywood performances at Ram Mandir-Plano Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performs Bollywood Folk, Semi-Classical Kathak, Bollywood Hip Hop, and Bhangra at an event organized by Indian Association of North Texas, Dallas-Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performs Teratalli, Garba, Ghoomar/Ghummar, and Chirmi in Fortworth Festival-Forworth.
- Grace And Grooves performs at inaugural function with Bollywood Fusion, Koli, Lavani, KummiAdi, Bihu at a sponsored event in Colleyville, Texas featuring Cultures of India. PAID Performance.
- Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(Jatiswaram)in Grapevine-Texas for Diwali event organized by Denton Association.
- Grace And Grooves performs Raas/Dandiya, Bollywood-Retro, and Fusion Tap w/Bollywood in association with Dance Workshop at Lewisville Grand Theatre(Lewisville). Students were avid Tap/Jazz dancers trained for more than 2 years at Coppell Dance Center(Coppell) and later at Prestige Dance Center (Lewisville), Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performed Bollywood-Lyrical, Lezim, Bollywood Bhangra, and Bollywood HipHop at Chinese Festival in Arlington, Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performed KumiAdi, Garbi, and Bollywood Dances, organized by DFW International in Addison-Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performed Lavani, Bollywood Dances, Semi-Classical (Bharatnatyam), and Tollywood in International Travel Show-Global Beatz Stage-Dallas, Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performed Chirmi, Bollywood, Rumaal Dance, Bharatnatyam(Lyrical Artwork) at World Fest, Addison-Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performed Fusion of Tap, Bollywood Hip Hop, Nepali Folk and Rajasthani Folk Tale in Grapevine Texas by Denton Association.
- Grace And Grooves performed Folk-Fusion, Bollywood Dances, in Plano-Texas. Students were avid Tap/Jazz dancers trained for more than 2 years at Coppell Dance Center-Coppell and later at Prestige Dance and Performing Arts Centre(Lewisville), Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performed Bharatnatyam-Ballet Fusion in DFW Hindu Temple, Irving-Texas. Students were trained in Ballet from Ballet Academy of Texas-Coppell, Texas.
- Grace And Grooves performed Fusion at Indian Association of North Texas, – Dallas Texas: Tap, Jazz, Gymnastics, Salsa, Bollywood and Folk. Students were trained or were avid dancers/gymnasts in Tap, Jazz, and Gymnastics, from Ballet Academy of Texas-Coppell, Coppell Dance Center/ Prestige Dance and Performing Arts Centre (Lewisville), and gymnastics studios respectively. Ms. Joshi took required Salsa Personal Training from a Master Choreographer at Arthur Murray Dance Studio (Plano). Please do not copy our artwork without training. It may harm your child.
- Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam/Tap Fusion, Bollywood Dances, Kumari (Indian) Semi-Classical in Addison, Texas event organized by DFW International. . Students were avid Tap/Jazz dancers trained for more than 2 years at Coppell Dance Center-Coppell and later at Prestige Dance and Performing Arts Centre(Lewisville), Texas.
- Grace And Grooves (Ms. Hetal Joshi) performs for consecutive 3 days in Culture Cowtown Event (National Gathering) organized by American-Mensa at Fort Worth-Texas, for Classical Dances of India, Folk Dances of India and Nepal, and Bollywood Dances. The performances featured Bharatnatyam (Kalashetra/Pandanallur), Fusion, Semi-Classical, Bollywood and various Folk Dances of India with variations in styles and techniques with time-line. Folk Dances of India discussed were – Garba, Raas-Dandiya, Gidda, Garbi, Bhangra, Lavani, Kshtariya, Lezim, Koli, Dumhal, Tribal Dances of India, Chhau, Sambalpuri Folk, Rumali Dance, Tippani, Matki, Bhavaai, and many more were showcased with variations/types, techniques and costumes. An educational workshop was also given after the performance with LIVE participation from audiences to American-Mensa Members on the all of above with and without costumes/jewelry. Over 30 Mensa members participated in the event of which a few were performing arts major.
- Grace And Grooves performs and gives workshop at Uplift Education – Summit International Preparatory, Arlington-Texas featuring Bollywood Dances, Choppai-Bollywood Style.
- Grace And Grooves performs at Independence Elementary, Lewisville featuring Tollywood Performances-Semi-Classical Style , Bollywood Dance.
- Grace And Grooves performs at Harmony School of Innovation, Carrollton featuring creative fusion styles.
- Grace And Grooves performs at Isaacs Early Childhood School featuring a neo-classical fusion and bollywood dances.
- Grace And Grooves performs at Universal Academy, Coppell featuring Bollywood Dances.
- Grace And Grooves performs at Castle Hills Elementary, Lewisville featuring various Bollywood Dances such as Medley of creative Modern and Traditional Bollywood Dances and fusion of Ethnic Rajasthani Folk dance styles.
Grace And Grooves holds exclusive rights for all the pictures being posted with permission of organizers for exclusive Grace And Groove use only.
More as we dig in our files…We enjoy performing and doing workshops so that you can enjoy reading/seeing pictures.
Cultural diversity becomes lifestyle when you are brought up in Gujarat where business, commerce, equal rights/safety to women, and acceptable knowledge of regional language attracted educated people from all walks of life, other states of India and across the borders too! It automatically becomes a blessing when you are born and raised in such environment and obviously, dance cannot be ignored for somebody who is a lifelong student of performing arts. With all this migration of quality people, t’was a norm to hear news of some cultural association (at times not even registered) celebrating their festival every month and dance being part of it. Gandhinagar(capital of Gujarat)is place where people migrated for government jobs (strictly via entrance exams or transfers) so obviously more than 90% of population is educated to some decent level of education or had thorough knowledge of performing arts as Govt. of Gujarat had opened its doors to several non-profit organizations and associations to promote art & culture of India along with just nurturing Gujarati culture. Some migrated to Ahmedabad (main business city) for business or professional careers (esp. educated women and young girls) due to equal opportunity and safe environment for working women/college girls.
From small pocket size dance schools, passionate dancers w/dance academies (such as Darpana) to educational schools (such as St.Xaviers & Mt.Carmel Convent Schools), had their own events planned through out the school year such as annual day, sports day, teachers day, their inter-school competitions/Odyssey, Eid, Diwali, or Christmas. At least twice a year, schools supported major city events such as Independence Day, Republic Day or any other extraordinary events happening in city! Whole city along with renowned artists from performing arts and govt. delegates were invited so training had to be given to students. Events would either happen at city hall or helipad so the costume requirement, dance props usage was compulsory pertaining to dance. The entire show was about glimpse of India where in at least 5-8 minutes of stage time was exclusively given for each performance with a detailed description of state/region or culture (at-least one type of) identification and choreographer/trainers name if they permitted to be announced. Participation levels were close to 99% as they were absolute FUN! Schools encouraged students to participate by giving extra marks as in cultural activities. The instructors were invited to offer these classes most of times at very nominal price for schools or was free if your group/classroom chose to do it strictly under school name. The program would then end with some stunts by Indian Air-Force pilots, parades and salute to Indian heroes.
All of that doesn’t happen in day or just 10-12 classes! Folk Dances of India are not like Bollywood dances where you can have somebody dance on song and you got it! None of the techniques of Folk Dances of India has any basic movement that matches in anyway if you were to focus on learning folk dance, even it is for fun! It is not possible. As we(Ms. Joshi) remembers after-school practices 2-3 times a week for at-least an hour or two in corridors of school. That is 6-8 hours per week of commitment, at times non-stop through out the year. It wasn’t about perfection; it was about fundamentals because you were to show that in front of knowledgeable audiences and LIVE telecast by various TV channels. Those were our school years!
The dances during those times for these events were never Bollywood dances as Gujarat had a very well established line-up of events by various organizations/association and government departments that would conduct folk dance competitions and had attractive prizes as in cash prizes plus hotel discounts, household appliances and memberships to family clubs such as YMCA, Rajpath, and Rotary Clubs. We are talking of lakhs of INR rupees and not just a couple thousand rupees or a trophy with a picture! Judges were from various tourism departments to PHD holders or Masters degree holders in performing arts or were dance professors/teachers in college/universities. These events were frequently organized so any group that called for avid dancers was a grab & go opportunity for pretty much any student in college who loved to dance. At times, we planned our choreographies right after we got the win if it was 2nd or 3rd place to not miss on our bigger share of pocket money-as we called it! Creativity was an absolute requirement in choreography, techniques, and costumes along with other factors in such a tight competition without forsaking fundamental basics of dance form.
Obviously Bollywood did not stand a chance in this! Back then; Bollywood was referred as hindi movies with beautiful songs/lyrics and not really about dance due to dominance of above competitions in the field of performing arts. Nobody wanted their daughters to dance like Helen or Bobby as in Dimple Kapadia, or boys to dance like Mithun Chakravarti, Jitendra (no-way) but rather Hemamalini, Sridevi had set examples of Bollywood style of classical dances where Bharatnatyam had gained popularity and for budding artists, singing classes would go in full-thanks to our Kishor Da & Gulzar! Obviously, as we further embraced western cultures, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Sridevi, Meenakshi Sheshadri and such other dancers made their way to introducing modern dance moves successfully in-spite of being trained classical dancers and we can only imagine how much work they must have put in to achieve all of that in lime-light!
None from ALL of the above is a day of work or few classes’ work! It was more than that. You’ll know when you have gone through it just as we know it and so our students learn it, just as well. This is applicable to all recreational programs or private groups as well depending on program you join at Grace And Grooves.
While competition programs such as Grace And Grooves Elite Teams are for those who want to learn how to handle it with pressures and would like to make it as their way of life, like it is ours.
Our elite dancers are trained in least 2 dance forms (Not Bollywood) for at-least a year as a routine, or at professional & competitive level to bring them at our Elite level & ignite their creativity.
After all, dance is all about having fun and we like to keep it that way!
Copyright Reach Media for Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations | 2012-2017. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.