Grace And Grooves – Student Of The Year
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.
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.
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.
- Updated-Feb 13, 2018.
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.
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.
- 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.
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 : Published First on this Blog in 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 | 2012-2020. This material cannot be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
A Note to Competition Organizers and Everybody Else :
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.
- Competitions in partnership with other dance schools/teachers are NOT INCLUDED in our list.
- 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 but we will not participate in voting.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 where –>
- 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.
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.
Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media for Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2019.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
About Darpana Academy of Performing Arts of (Ahmedabad-India) & Trainings :
1949 : Darpana was established as a dance academy by Mrinalini and Vikram Sarabhai. For nearly two decades it taught classical dance.(1949-1969). With Mrinalini as the lead dancer, and Chatunni Panicker as her partner, the Darpana dance company toured across the world. A few years later the great Kuchipudi guru, C R Acharyelu joined the faculty.
1960s : Darpana added departments of Gujarati theatre and puppetry under the inspired direction of Kailash Pandya, Damini Mehta and Meher Contractor. These departments taught and had performing groups that established names for themselves. Gujarati theatre was revived as was the folk form of Bhavai, and many other declining forms from across the country. The Andhra shadow puppets found a new lease of life.
1970s : Thousands of students were studying BharataNatyam, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam, Vocal and Instrumental Carnatic music, Puppetry, Bhavai and Modern Theatre. Many of the faculty members got involved in using the arts to tackle every day issues and prejudices. And Darpana grew.
1977s : Mallika Sarabhai took over as Honorary Directory.
1980s : Darpana for Development was established to focus attention on creating behavior change communication through the arts with Kailash Pandya and Mallika taking the lead. Government departments, Ministries and other non governmental agencies began partnering D for D to educate the public in issues of health, education and empowering women. Over the next two decades D for D became the fastest growing segment of Darpana, creating powerful communication that reached hearts and minds.
1994s : Darpana’s Amphitheatre Natarani, Gujarat’s only state-of-the-arts venue came into existence to give local audiences the opportunity to see world class performance, and to give artists a platform to build on. Each year Natarani presents close to 80 events, including dance performances, concerts, plays, cultural programs and films. Natarani’s café offers young writers, poets or music groups its space to hold informal performances, jam sessions and readings. The open gallery space allows Natarani to host thematic events encompassing live performances, craft demonstrations and sale, sculpture and painting exhibitions and specialty food at the café go with the theme.
1999s : When Darpana turned 50, all the Founder’s dreams had been fulfilled and over 20000 students had streamed through the institution. In a major reorganization, the teaching of the arts were put on a back burner and new collaborations, technological innovations and the use of the arts for social change took center stage.
2001s : Yadavan Chandran started Darpana Communications to explore the use of television and film for social change. Over the next decade the department produced and broadcast more than 2000 hours of programming, much of it path breaking in its innovative use of audience participation and in using popular genres to introduce taboo subjects. Recently Darpana for Development and Darpana Communications were merged to become Darpana for Change.
2014 & onwards : Revanta Sarabhai took charge of the teaching wing, the Conservatory, to revitalize it. This department now runs short and long term courses in classical dance and music, theatre, martial arts and a variety of other forms.
Natarani hosts seven major international festivals every year:
* Sunday to Sunday Theatre Festival – October 5 to 12
* Naada Music Festival – November 13-16
* Women at Work Festival – November 28-30
* InterArt, The Vikram Sarabhai International Arts Festival – Dec 28-30
* Cinema of Resistance – January 23-26 . .
* Festival of Nonviolence – Jan 30-Feb 2
* Celebrating the World of Dance – Apr 1-6
Over the last 20 years of it’s existence, Natarani has presented performers like Aditi Mangaldas, Amjad Ali Khan, Anahita Uberoi, Anupam and Kiron Kher, Anuradha Kapur, Astad Deboo, Atul Kumar, the Auroville Dance Company, the Cartoon Sardine Theatre, Fazal Qureishi, the Garlic Puppet Group, Javed Akhtar, Louis Banks, Shivamani, Niladrikumar, Mynta, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Rahul Bose, Ramdas Padhye, Raman Kutty Nair, Daksha Sheth, Rohini Hattangady, Ronnie Govender, Shabana Azmi, Shovana Narayan, Shubha Mudgal, Tom Alter, Usha Ganguli, Vibha Mishra, Zakir Hussain, Indian Ocean, Deepti Naval, Nandita Das, Zohra Sehgal and many others.
No other private arts institution in India had the facilities available at Natarani. The campus, the theatre, the artists, the technical equipment, the rehearsal rooms, the library of books, music and videos, the workshop, and perhaps most significantly the mind set. This made it unique for opening it out to the artists and creators of the world who wanted to break out of technique bound institutional or performance set ups and have the possibility of working with artists of different trainings, nationalities, sensibilities and goals.
Grace And Grooves thanks Darpana Academy of Performing Arts for sharing their beautiful journey of performing arts under the leadership of Guru Smt.Mrinalini Sarabhai and Guru Smt.Mallika Sarabhai. This as well reflects in quality, technique focused environment pertaining to style or form and above all-commitment and discipline to form/style.
The above article is being submitted by Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, Ahmedabad-India to Grace And Grooves to provide knowledge about institute’s premier setup in Ahmedabad-India. Ms. Hetal Nagaraj has taken several trainings (1999, 2000, 2015) in various Indian Folk Dances, Puppetry and Gujarati Theatre at Darpana Academy of Performing Arts from some of the most renowned artist that visit the institute for teaching their speciality. Some of these choreography and conceptual works were also performed before and after Grace And Grooves was registered with state of Texas as a LLC and were reproduced as direct replica of her trainings at Darpana Academy of Performing Arts(Ahmedabad). While a few of the choreography work-ideas from Darpana students’ showcases (of 1999, 2000, and 2001) have inspired Mrs.Nagaraj to use the very same in Bollywood, Bharatnatyam and other Classical Fusion works (Kalakshetra Style or with multiple styles of Bharatnatyam, and Kathak). All with required trainings without forsaking fundamentals, practical approach and creativity.
Be it for fun or competition–it is all about what you take home once the training is done.
We, at Grace And Grooves choose to provide the very same quality, commitment and creativity without forsaking the fundamentals of dance forms or styles. Students are taught to practically apply choreography work in their specified dance forms or styles and Indian dance categories(if-competitions). Knowledge of various vedas, shastras, epics versions, access to culture books, translations and history books are open to students who would like to study in-depth. Fusion works, musical theatre are taught in their own category of dance forms or styles. It is due to hard work and in-depth interest, that Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj has gained some of the finest knowledge and books from various parts of India during her extensive travels all over India for her education in various fields(including dance) and for the love of travel! While some books and mentorship were gifts from her dance guru(s), instructor(s) and Sanskrit professors at various institutes/universities/department of tourism(state & India) or performing arts related associations.
When you take Indian Folk Dance Classes from Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj in Dallas-Texas, the history of culture with related Indian Folk Dance variations, styles, costume & prop- guidelines, with required rules associated with dance form or style is very much part of program as per region and state wise – Both! Props making(if not available in market) & puppetry(-includes making them-) is also taught wherever applicable; knowledge of which she has inherited from her own mother who was volunteer teacher in local drama plays and schools in which folk dances were prominently showcased as part of entertainment on regular basis.
Her drama-plays included a full routine of dance performances in Indian Folk Dances on Indian festivals and subjects such Ram Leela, Krishnasthami(Janmashtami), Shivratri, Onam, Sankrant(Makar Sankranti), Dussehra(with 9 days decors), Women’s Empowerment, Diwali Decors, Christmas Plays, Lezim, Lavani and many others to include which are taught today also at Grace And Grooves Indian Folk Dance Classes or Musical Theatre (wherever applicable, as per need) as part of various programs.
Possibilities are endless with trainings as they come with practical safety guidelines for each form or style. This allows you to showcase endless creativity and still stay within the form or style.
For No Dance Was Ever Made To Harm And Dance Is Beautiful With Creativity!
Just don’t forget what you were dancing out there in the name of creativity.
This above timeline was submitted by Darpana Academy about Darpana Academy to Grace And Grooves. September 2015.
Copyright Reach Media for Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations | Nruthyakala Dance Academy | Mirchi Dance Academy. 2012-2017. 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.
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.