Training Vs Non-Training Approach To Indian Performing Arts by Hetal Nagaraj.

BHARATANATYAM, INDIAN FOLK DANCES OR BOLLYWOOD…..Trained, Not Trained : How does it matter ?

Story is all the same….So what’s the difference ? Just read and understand. It is for your child – not for me ūüôā
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Inspired works from one of my past trainings but this performance is in Bollywood!

Over the past several years we have come across plenty of untrained dancers/teachers. We needed help too for private groups as our assistants and thus we had an opportunity to get this straight! My¬†job was to not allow them to do those mistakes if they worked under me so they were strictly supervised. Some made it to choreographer’s list while others’ couldn’t because they choose to do it wrong. Thought it will be wonderful way to educate our community to understand what is right and what is wrong—and most importantly-why…..!

How does it matter ?¬†¬†Why not ? Dancethat’s why ? Why don’t you care about HOW your child spends 1 hour/a week for learning to move his body? That’s 4 hours a month we are talking about, a minimum!

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One of past works refined further with Classical, Indian Folk Dances and Bollywood.

Dance is subtle type of sport because all the body movements are cleverly put together to give a good work-out adding nothing but grace and beautiful tone to your body. Ever wondered how some dancers may not have a perfectly toned body but still are able to dance so beautifully and freely? Dance teaches their body likewise. But otherwise, an average person can burn about 100-400 calories in an hour depending on age, dance level, style or form or just be free dances; this without injuring yourself if you do it right. So, why would you NOT consider being taught safely ?

What has safety to do with Indian dances, go ahead…get the read!¬†Here’s major differences I saw amongst 2 different types of teachers around us, irrespective of their work with us.

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Our youngest student of the year : Indian Folk Dancer.

Trained Dancers/Teachers :

  • Trained teachers will teach your child safety-FIRST so that they can dance all their life.
  • Trained teachers know practice routine protocols.
  • Trained teachers will know in and out of forms, styles and variations or will make efforts to educate themselves even for creative dances.
    • Bollywood, Tollywood, Movie Dances, Creative Folk etc. are all creative dances and do not rule out a style or form.
    • Do not mistake these as Indian Folk Dances or any means of representation for specific culture or community.
  • Trained teachers will never allow their students to go out of form or style in designated dance category.
  • Trained teachers will spark your creativity, challenge you and still NOT allow you to get lost in the name of creativity. A fine-line on when you should stop being creative or well–just change the category and name it something else.
  • Trained teachers will never allow your child to take a leap when they are not ready.

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    Our choreography works from past trainings. When the trained dancers in Bollywood, Bharatnatyam and Indian Folk Dances Met !

  • Trained teachers will stick to techniques, rules of the art-forms, styles and thus will follow the protocol of teaching right stuff at right time and this will automatically increase the quality of dance with least work. No dance was ever-made to ruin the fun of it or harm anybody.
  • Do not mistake curriculum or concepts with fundamentals!
  • Trained teachers are often taught performance techniques, stage presence, personality and many such performance attributes as most Indian Performing Arts follow vedas and shastras as their rule book or for inspirations. Amazed to know that our vedas and shastras have these ? YES-they do!
    • For the forms and styles that do not follow these scriptures, books or such guidelines-these have NOW matured to a decent level of basic rules to be met to be recognized as that form/style with or without variation and thus given that name!
  • Trained teacher’s imagination, motivation, inspirations and decisions are self-driven and will not depend on any factors (irrespective of dirty politics in the name of serving any organization).¬†This includes from opening dance school to providing different services and all the choreography works. All of this is geared automatically from knowledge, years of training and self-made set-goals.

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    Some other works that are inspired from past trainings but in pure bharatnatyam dances.

  • Other than putting their own practice hours to their respective art-form/style or creative dance, you will not find trained dancers/teachers struggling to do a choreography. They know exactly what they are doing as it is their way of life.
  • Trained teachers will not experiment on your child without knowing the setbacks of the choreography for any complex movements.
  • Nobody ever likes it when training begins but when trained-they are in love with it & will probably never completely leave it and will be proud of those achievements.

It is not everybody’s cup of tea to stay committed in Indian Performing Arts.

Untrained Dancers/Teachers :

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Our works from our past trainings but in BOLLYWOOD

Untrained teachers are often those who love doing it and have no idea most of the times what they do in the name of forms or styles that they claim to do.

  • They often get lost in the name of creativity!
  • Some experiments are good (not beautiful);some are god knows what!
  • Some are pure acrobats, poses or formations and in that—dance is forgotten ūüôā
  • Untrained teachers will challenge your kids without safety measures.
    • RESULT : By the time child reaches their teens or are in 20s-broken necks, bad hips, fundamental mistakes for not doing it in right form/style while practicing the form/styles and that will injure them in later life, wrong body movements leading to serious sprains n leg-pains/ankle pains in later life (mostly for women after marriage or kids), injured interests and certain negativity towards certain dances–all of this resulting into total chaos in their brain about the dances they learned. I come across these fresh college graduates often in various dance competitions where I judge and upon hearing,¬†I feel horrible for them that they have¬†so many physical injuries at such young age and all of them because of dance! Some learned it hard way-how sad.
    • And coming back to these untrained teachers, you have one more generation of students who were trained and god knows in what and how ? And they have no idea of what they are doing –¬†Do you want to¬†stop encouraging it, NOW?

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      When Indian Folk Dancers, Classical Dancers and Bollywood Meets. One of my past training works.

  • Untrained teachers often rely on online resources as shared knowledge & whatever they can grasp from wherever possible and thus their own knowledge is often shallow. They do not exhibit techniques in their dances.
  • I had once a discussion. I was left amazed. Everybody is attracted to beauty-it comes with sacrifices(training). Dance—-Beauty is not by looks-it is by skills. If you are stressing hard on rule 1 of dance to have a beautiful face——-Go, walk the ramp!
    • Most of dance make-up is inspired from looks described in relevant dance-characters, obviously being beautiful counts to some level but don’t rule that as first rule of being dancer!
    • If you don’t have daughter who is not very beautiful–you would just put her off the dance? really ?
    • Even the most beautiful skin color has to put the bharatnatyam makeup onn to respect it. And if you have small or big beautiful eyes–you still have to put those additional eye-liners to give dramatic effects on ur face. They all look the same when dressed up !
    • Go visit Kalakshetra Institute of Performing Arts of Rukmani Devi where Bharatnatyam was re-born (Chennai-Tamilnadu, India) and you will see how the basic level of talent will kick your pretty skin color out of your body.
    • You will not even blink once looking at the discipline in simple sets of dance sequences.

      Theme Based Performances

      Recent Release Picture (2-15-2016) of Annual Show by St.Xaviers, Gandhinagar and article of how long its been happening!

  • Everything is just okay to these untrained teachers in the name of dance even when dance form/style will not give “okay” for it to be in same name. Wait, what ? Role models to kids ? Right!!¬†
  • This point had me nuts. I came across an untrained teacher who has this really inappropriate dressing sense on stage for students with respect to their skin color and then the lady mocks them before parents for looking hideous in those dresses. Is this a role model to kids and you are a dance teacher mocking your own kids ? right!
  • Untrained teacher don’t do human errors but they do repeated blunders in almost every performances as in fundamentals. At times, these are often not related to any means to form or style. Role model to kids ?
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    Some other works from past trainings and elite dancers are all fully trained in Indian Folk Dances.

    Must include-these are not beautiful blunders but their disastrous mistakes do not represent the dance forms or styles that claim to be so. Our students do those beautiful blunders too but in their own form or styles(LOL).

  • Ever wondered-why we NEVER end up making a mistake of stepping out of our form or style? Training….!!¬†Nobody is perfect but come-on, you can’t get an equation right if the formula used is ALL wrong! Role Model to kids ??
  • Untrained teachers request to seek private lessons from the child for the sake of putting up their work irrespective of what they are doing. At times, it doesn’t even fall into any category. Where is learning part ?
  • These untrained teachers are confused about what they are doing esp. in Indian Folk Dances, and Indian Classical Dances(Bharatnatyam). They often relate to dance as mode of entertainment when today Indian Performing Arts has come to whole different level with enough set of rules to seperate each form, style with or without variation. Audiences were much mature back then as well and so they are now!
  • Untrained teachers don’t get things done with techniques and appropriate ways and thus result of class – lame/lousy performances that don’t even show form/style of dance(forget about everything else), Yelling and getting mad at child, shouting, bitching about child, spreading dirty talks of child, asking ur child to shut their mouth when child is expressing pain or something related to dance steps being taught. Role model to kids?? Right…!

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    Our choreography works from past trainings

  • Over-competitive for everything and then loose it. Oh yeah-blame it on kids, their moods, their personal life issues, blaming on parents forcing dance(activities) on kids and we can go on and on!
    • Our 2 cents to these kind of untrained teachersif your life is disturbing you so much then why teach dance and deal with kids & later blame their parents and kids?
    • Lack of knowledge or training will put you in such awkward situations that you just can’t handle the pressures of your own field…! Role Model To kids ?? Right.
  • These untrained teachers want to do everything that others’ do if by any chance they come across them doing them….Blind cow ?
  • Our question to these untrained teachers : Don’t do it if you can’t handle it. Just don’t do it wrong. You are hurting innocents.

Whom do you want to trust your child ? Whom do you want your child to follow as role-model ? Choice is ALL yours. 

YOU HAVE ONE UNIQUE CHILD THAT IS YOURS & your child has one body, one life.

IF YOU ARE GIVING YOUR CHILD A GLASS OF MILK AND CALLING IT AS GLASS OF MILK 
MAKE SURE YOU PROVIDE YOUR CHILD Right DANCE EDUCATION; 
IF YOU WANT TO CALL IT that DANCE !
Oh yeah, don’t get me started on adding chocolate to the milk…I can easily eat that with hot jalebi and Mirchi as a side! I love my life. I can have Dussehra-everyday if that’s when you would prefer to eat this and my family is going to be perfectly fine with it…It is called freedom but I like to keep myself healthy. And it is called responsibility.
Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media. Written by Hetal Joshi for Community Knowledge and Welfare| Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2017 | Mirchi Dance Academy | Nruthyakala Dance Academy.  This material cannot be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

CALL NOW to schedule your class . 972 979 2559. Info@graceandgrooves.com

 

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Student of The Year….Updated Yearly!

Ashna Pethe Student of the Year

Congratulations! Student of The Year 2016!!

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.
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Congratulations! Student of the year 2015!!

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).
Student of the Year 2015

Congratulations!! Student of the year 2014

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.¬†
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Congratulations!! Student of the year 2013!!

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 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 | 2012-2017. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

 

Competitions Counted On Our Lists :

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.
  • Participant Awards are NOT listed-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.
    • 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.

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.  

Grace And Grooves LLC, Names, Logo(s):

Everybody in this world has their inspiration from somewhere or something. So do we and all our names. Just out of sky it did not come in our mind to get these names on our paper to register them as our own. With so many theories out there about names, we had to clear our own lists of all the DBA(s), Logo(s)….

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Our Logo in 2012. It had variations such as Grace And Grooves, Grace n Grooves, Grace Grooves, Grace & Grooves, etc.

Grace And Grooves LLC (2012) : This is sort of like additional information on how we got our name. As shared in link above on Grace And Grooves LLC(2012), we got our name from audiences. Topic 2 From Here.

Here’s little more to nail-biting situation we were put through for name!

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One of other variation that was used…2012 onwards.

 

 

We had unexpected challenges during this walk-in competition. When asked what dance company it was–we did not have a name back then. We did not know what to answer. We wondered, why was it required to put a name when organizer did not disclose such a thing before the event as a basic requirement and just took us in to compete.

Grace, poise, artistic choreography never fails to sell itself. This was compared to a youtube copied choreography that had over a million views ūüôā¬†It had us worried for a while until we heard that we received 1st place award. We were told to give some name by the end of event and when the results are announced(if we win!) so that they can address it as we were the ONLY people there who did not have name there. They seemed to be against participants that were not registered.

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Our New Logo in 2015 September that we got made for Indian Folk Dances, Bharatnatyam and Fusion Dances. Bollywood was not really program back then. We started Bollywood off-late after September and logo was already done by then!!

An American Indian (well, married to Indian ūüôā complimented our parents and students that she did not understand language or meaning of song but choreography was so beautiful that it touched her heart.

She mentioned specifically which sequence of dance it was upon asking. The song was about relation between Meera(a devotee of lord krishna) and Lord Krishna that was well-read to audience before the song. But, the ending dance sequence when Meera looses her presence in materialistic world in Hare Krishna Dhun (chants with complete submission to the lord Krishna). This dance was performed by Nirja Setty and her school friend (name disclosed on request) in our own designed¬†Kerala Style¬†Tissue¬†Pattu¬†Pavadai. Cloth for this costume was specifically shipped from India (on request of-course) and re-stitched, re-designed for these girls in the City of Irving-Coppell,Texas USA. She said, the dance brought tears in her eyes. Our Success! After hearing compliments from this young lady, we named ourselves–Grace And Grooves when they called us on stage to receive our award-1st place. It was instant. We loved the name that we accidentally spoke out!¬†Comments by the judges : Beautiful Choreography, Dramatic Appearances, Nicely done, Beautiful costumes/props and compliments such as how did you do such a beautiful dance choreography on this song! We always get that & happy to hear one more time ūüôā Choreographer : Hetal Nagaraj. Inspirations from her trainings.

Both students were learning Bharatnatyam with us and Indian Folk Dance(Pure) towards common goal of having them compete in a competition as duet, if the audition process goes well. And, we were waiting to hear the results. Meanwhile, we came to know of this competition and we walked right-in when we heard walk-ins are welcomed. This choreography work has won several awards in competitions, at times-back to back. Nobody gets tired of it :). We hear the same thing–how did you do it!

CALL NOW 972 979 2559 or Email : info@graceandgrooves.com

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Grace Creations Logo that was created much later. Before that, several works were done in fusion dances.

Grace Creations(2013) : A name that was a direct inspiration from an Indian artistic dance company in east-coast of United States. We were in love with it the day we came across them through a friend. We were shown their you-tube videos when our friend saw Mrs.Nagaraj’s semi-classical work performed by her own self. Our other inspiration was Indian Dance School(In Georgia, USA) for their beautiful unique fusion works. Very artistically done and both of these are Bharatnatyam based Indian Dance Companies. And we started following them but with our own artistic, innovative ways and we infused lot of other styles, forms of dances as well–at times within the limits of form or style while the other times-totally off-limits. All students however were trained in their forms and styles to maintain their commitments. All our fusion choreography work often performs under the label of Grace Creations. Grace Creations will perform in later years next and is currently on vacation :).

CALL NOW 972 979 2559 or Email : info@graceandgrooves.com

Nruthyakala Dance Academy(2017) : The word comes from words Nruthya (or Nritya meaning dance) and Kala meaning Art. We had in mind several other names but we needed a name that goes for both the dance forms – Bharatanatyam and Indian Folk Dances(India). Main idea was to have Nruthya(Nritya meaning Dance) that is combination of Nritta and Natya – both;thus separating these two beautiful forms from all the other programs that we offer. Eventually, it may happen that Bharatnatyam and Indian Folk Dances may operate separately but until then this is it-we loved this as it best-fits our need!

CALL NOW 972 979 2559 or Email : info@graceandgrooves.com

Mirchi Dance Academy(2017): This word was decided last year! Very well, it came from Red Chillies Entertainment (An Entertainment Company in Mumbai, India). Mirchi(meaning hot pepper/chillies) is always a must have in plate if you have roots from Kathyavaad. Coming from hybrid-gujarati family, we were born eating tasty peppers/chillies with our all-time favorite theplas, stuffed paranthas or bajri-rotlas with all the other goodies. Some habits don’t go, they say! From our food plate to our DBA name. And you thought we don’t love Bollywood :)…Yes, bring it onn. It is tasty!

Date: August 15, 2017.

Exclusively written by Hetal Nagaraj. 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.

Salutations To Darpana Academy of Performing Arts (Ahmedabad-India) & Trainings :

1007614-medium190apAbout 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.

Indian Folk Dances, Bollywood and Bharatnatyam

Bollywood, Bharatnatyam and Folk Dances of India, Hetal Joshi Nagaraj

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 . .

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Our choreography works from past trainings

* 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.

Our Founding Member

Solo-Irving, Duets-Plano, Solo-Fortworth. Choreography Work from past trainings. 1999, 2000. Gujarati Theatre Dance Skit.

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.

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Bharatnatyam Solo 2008-2009 in Irving Texas. Repeated again in 2012-2013 in Grapevine Texas.

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.

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Performances 2015-2017. Works of other renowned bharatnatyam guru(s) and Indian Folk Dancers from straight trainings. Elite Students and Hetal Nagaraj.

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.¬†

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 ūüôā¬†

Copyright Reach Media for Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations | 2012-2017. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Recital 2017: JALSO (Celebrations in Life) Nritya(Dance) Ki Masti (Fun). April 9.

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.

Grace And Grooves Annual Events Recital 2017


April 9, 2017 Jalso : Nritya Ki Masti Initial Flyer with Ticket Information.

¬†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.)

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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.<<<<<<>>>>

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Recital 2017, Jalso-Nritya Ki Masti

 

 

 

 

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.¬†

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Nruthya Ki Masti, Recital 2017, Jalso Indian Folk Dances, Bharatnatyam, Bollywood

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.

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Allaripu and Jastiswaram Bharatnatyam Recital 2017, Jalso Nritya Ki Masti. Pictures provided by Parents or our audiences

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Recital 2017, Jalso-Nritya Ki Masti. Celebrations in Life

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 Рour 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 ūüėČ

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. 

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Allaripu, Jatiswaram, Varnam-Level Jalso-Nritya Ki Masti Recital 2017, Choreographer’s Retreat

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Congratulations to Deepthi on her very first adult batch/class for Recital 2017, Nritya Ki Masti for Grace And Grooves.

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Congratulations Deepthi on her very first adult batch/class for Recital 2017, Nritya Ki Masti for Grace And Grooves.

Copyright Reach Media for Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations | 2012-2017. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Musical Dance Drama-2017….

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!

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Testing Waters of Musical Drama in Recital 2017 with Role Play of Guest Artist with Bollywood Beginners. May 2017. Picture Courtesy: Phani Pydimaari, Picture Captions and Edits : The Grace Effects.

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!

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                                                                                                                                        Indian Folk Dance Category and Fusion Category Р2017 Public Performance. Picture Courtesy-The Grace Effects(Added here-Feb 5, 2017)

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. 

http://www.graceandgrooves.com        Phone : 972 979 2559                  info@graceandgrooves.com

Dance Projects By Grace And Grooves (Exclusively To Schools Only).

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.