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.
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.
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). Time we needed hand in backstage for costumes, makeup, ticketing, coordinating with organizers-the girl would get it all done.
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. Some recreational while some only competitions but all just 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.
Even after we were registered fully and almost all paper work was done, we were NOT committed to doing any community performances as Indian Folk Dances at competition level or even basic performance took us about fairly 10-12 classes for a good 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 which was in 2013 under the name of Grace Creations-our non-competitive performing fusion company. Grace Creation was formed with an inspiration from Indian dance companies in east-coast which Ms. Nagaraj had been following in various social-media channels. 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 for creative purposes only.
But that was it, the group then dissolved as nobody was interested in 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. These students were also taking Indian Folk Dance Lessons from us as seperate programs and few were our own existing Bharatnatyam students.
Looking back, if it wasn’t for push of Ms. Burra, we would NOT have initiated the Bollywood-Tollywood or Indian Movie Dances Program and Grace Creations wouldn’t have existed. It is still our non-competing group for Bollywood students where now, most of our Musical Theatre Dances and acts happen.
Thank you Swathi. Her 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 Competition (Pure Folk and with respected judges/organizers with double degrees in fine arts-very proud of this young lady!). This was with our own other 10 Indian Folk Dance Students who were part of this group. 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.
Thank you Swati for being one of our best people. We Miss You 🙂
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