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 🙂
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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 🙂
  • 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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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 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂 

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Early Training-Raised with Standards

Cultural diversity becomes lifestyle when you are brought up in Gujarat where business, commerce, equal rights/safety to women, and acceptable knowledge of regional language attracted educated people from all walks of life, other states of India and across the borders too! It automatically becomes a blessing when you are born and raised in such environment and obviously, dance cannot be ignored for somebody who is a lifelong student of performing arts. With all this migration of quality people, t’was a norm to hear news of some cultural association (at times not even registered) celebrating their festival every month and dance being part of it. Gandhinagar(capital of Gujarat)is place where people migrated for government jobs (strictly via entrance exams or transfers) so obviously more than 90% of population is educated to some decent level of education or had thorough knowledge of performing arts as Govt. of Gujarat had opened its doors to several non-profit organizations and associations to promote art & culture of India along with just nurturing Gujarati culture. Some migrated to Ahmedabad (main business city) for business or professional careers (esp. educated women and young girls) due to equal opportunity and safe environment for working women/college girls.

Theme Based Performances

Recent Release Picture/article (2015-2016) of Annual Show by St.Xaviers School, Gandhinagar. For over 40 years, school has been celebrating focusing to various themes. Trainings are provided by local dance teachers or professional instructors whose students study @ the school.

From small pocket size dance schools, passionate dancers w/dance academies (such as Darpana) to educational schools (such as St.Xaviers & Mt.Carmel Convent Schools), had their own events planned through out the school year such as annual day, sports day, teachers day, their inter-school competitions/Odyssey, Eid, Diwali, or Christmas. At least twice a year, schools supported major city events such as Independence Day, Republic Day or any other extraordinary events happening in city! Whole city along with renowned artists from performing arts and govt. delegates were invited so training had to be given to students. Events would either happen at city hall or helipad so the costume requirement, dance props usage was compulsory pertaining to dance. The entire show was about glimpse of India where in at least 5-8 minutes of stage time was exclusively given for each performance with a detailed description of state/region or culture (at-least one type of) identification and choreographer/trainers name if they permitted to be announced. Participation levels were close to 99% as they were absolute FUN! Schools encouraged students to participate by giving extra marks as in cultural activities. The instructors were invited to offer these classes most of times at very nominal price for schools or was free if your group/classroom chose to do it strictly under school name. The program would then end with some stunts by Indian Air-Force pilots, parades and salute to Indian heroes.

All of that doesn’t happen in day or just 10-12 classes! Folk Dances of India are not like Bollywood dances where you can have somebody dance on song and you got it! None of the techniques of Folk Dances of India has any basic movement that matches in anyway if you were to focus on learning folk dance, even it is for fun! It is not possible. As we(Ms. Joshi) remembers after-school practices 2-3 times a week for at-least an hour or two in corridors of school. That is 6-8 hours per week of commitment, at times non-stop through out the year. It wasn’t about perfection; it was about fundamentals because you were to show that in front of knowledgeable audiences and LIVE telecast by various TV channels. Those were our school years!

The dances during those times for these events were never Bollywood dances as Gujarat had a very well established line-up of events by various organizations/association and government departments that would conduct folk dance competitions and had attractive prizes as in cash prizes plus hotel discounts, household appliances and memberships to family clubs such as YMCA, Rajpath, and Rotary Clubs. We are talking of lakhs of INR rupees and not just a couple thousand rupees or a trophy with a picture! Judges were from various tourism departments to PHD holders or Masters degree holders in performing arts or were dance professors/teachers in college/universities. These events were frequently organized so any group that called for avid dancers was a grab & go opportunity for pretty much any student in college who loved to dance. At times, we planned our choreographies right after we got the win if it was 2nd or 3rd place to not miss on our bigger share of pocket money-as we called it! Creativity was an absolute requirement in choreography, techniques, and costumes along with other factors in such a tight competition without forsaking fundamental basics of dance form.

Obviously Bollywood did not stand a chance in this! Back then; Bollywood was referred as hindi movies with beautiful songs/lyrics and not really about dance due to dominance of above competitions in the field of performing arts. Nobody wanted their daughters to dance like Helen or Bobby as in Dimple Kapadia, or boys to dance like Mithun Chakravarti, Jitendra (no-way) but rather Hemamalini, Sridevi had set examples of Bollywood style of classical dances where Bharatnatyam had gained popularity and for budding artists, singing classes would go in full-thanks to our Kishor Da & Gulzar! Obviously, as we further embraced western cultures, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Sridevi, Meenakshi Sheshadri and such other dancers made their way to introducing modern dance moves successfully in-spite of being trained classical dancers and we can only imagine how much work they must have put in to achieve all of that in lime-light!

None from ALL of the above is a day of work or few classes’ work! It was more than that. You’ll know when you have gone through it just as we know it and so our students learn it, just as well. This is applicable to all recreational programs or private groups as well depending on program you join at Grace And Grooves.

While competition programs such as Grace And Grooves Elite Teams are for those who want to learn how to handle it with pressures and would like to make it as their way of life, like it is ours.

Our elite dancers are trained in least 2 dance forms (Not Bollywood) for at-least a year as a routine, or at professional & competitive level to bring them at our Elite level & ignite their creativity.

After all, dance is all about having fun and we like to keep it that way!

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

Our Story – How, when…. Grace And Grooves Started. And Why us ?

Any kind of Indian Dance, be it Bharatnatyam, Folk Dances of India or Bollywood was NEVER mainstream career in India and neither in Ms. Hetal Joshi’s family.  Right after 1999 when Hetal Joshi Nagaraj(Founding member) stepped in freelance private group choreography for Folk Dances of India (competitions), there was no looking back indeed. But these competitions demand creativity, dramatic appearances & intricate choreography thereby following the rules of your chosen dance form. This means that it involves hours of training even before the actual choreography work starts. You can only imagine the work required for competitions if you were to do it as a mainstream career with your own mainstream studies. So, it was once or max twice a year exclusive work for competitions only.

So, was this the reason that company was established? Nope.

Way of life made a way of life when her 3.5-year old-daughter started dancing (not moving) to Krishna Bhajans at Hare Krishna Temple of Dallas, Texas (ISKON of Dallas, Texas-USA). The crowd turned heads when she “danced” and people asked if she took lessons and when she started dancing. Her daughter happened to pick these folk dance steps while Ms. Joshi was teaching a competition group. She then started teaching her daughter just as any (trained teacher or)mother would do with proper training. But, she felt that her daughter needed more structured program of folk dances, if there was anybody doing it as mainstream. After trying a dance school/academy (for 2-3 years w/group & private in Plano & Irving) that claimed to teach authentic, creative or curriculum based Folk Dances of India, Ms. Joshi just couldn’t find ANY other in entire Dallas Fort-worth areas. You-Tube videos as Guru, copied resumes of other trained dancers & even copied choreography (Bollywood mostly)-of unpublished works of other artists seemed like a practice to this so called folk-proclaimed gifted artist. All of this @ the cost of parents and students’ who are ignorant to Folk Dances of India and would consider Bollywood or even community folk as actual folk dances! What ? The artist would then get their way out of all the blames by just doing govt. services-shocking and above all – shameful! Indeed an exhilarating & fraud experience from a senior artist it was! Not as expected when we joined folk program! A simple fact—you can’t call yourself a doctor coz you know dosage & medicine names or you saw a surgery on you-tube and thus open a clinic @ home! Can you? We wished ;).  For an untrained eye will identify community dances as pure or modern folk, the so-called—“Hey, I know Folk Dance-pride” just crashes before the trained eyes that look for basic folk-requirements. More than 99% of videos on You-tube are entertainment videos in the name of folk & don’t reflect the right elements of folk! Content 6 History

So, with training, in-depth knowledge, and competition experiences in competition that we already had (Ms. Hetal Joshi), we opened our doors to teaching authentic, certified folk dances of India to outside students and public altogether. Grace and Grooves, name itself was a recommendation from the audience where prominent dance teachers participated and only Ms. Joshi’s advance dancers did not have name when asked. Grace and Grooves it was then in 2012 when the company was finally registered in Dallas-Fortworth (DFW) as LLC with the State of Texas, USA. Since then, Grace and Grooves is focused on providing structured programs for Folk Dances of India, Bharatnatyam and Bollywood. Certified programs are available if you want to make it a part of your life just as it is ours for generations! These programs receive continuous mentorship from lead dancers, junior & senior artists in India who do it as mainstream career either as gifted dancers (Bollywood) or as trained dancers (All genres). A consistent passion to compete in Pure and Modern Folk Dances of India to NOW a full-time certified business offering Bharatnatyam, Bollywood and Folk Dances of India. This is something like “the forgotten-once upon a time vision” in performing arts that actually came true! In 2016, Grace and Grooves was accredited by BBB(Better Business Bureau) so that you learn from the right people, just the way it is, in the right way & yet be just as creative enough, wherever required! After all, we want to introduce our kids-India’s beautiful culture, so that they don’t forget their roots and most importantly love to embrace it. The Right Folk Dances of India–Not the You-Tube videos!.

So Why Grace & Grooves ?

All of above….PLUS How you want your child’s talent to be judged. Based on govt. service that a dance teacher does, their partnered businesses, and copied unpublished works of other artists ?

OR 

You want your child’s dance talent to be judged based on their own ability/talent because of training & by right people ?

Choice is YOURS!

Make your $ worth of where you spend! Common sense, culture knowledge is taught FREE with all our trainings just like the way we learned from our institutes and yet look beyond possibilities, wherever/whenever required!

God’s grace, this definitely answers as to why your child should enroll with 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.

 

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching OR Dance Like Everybody’s Watching? 

“You’ve got to dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.” — William W. Purkey.

But it had me thinking. May BE dance like everyone is watching would perfectly suit us! Aha, we have loved when we turned your heads with respect to our elite choreography works by advance dances but this could go wrong too.Reminded me of a competition in 2015.

Round 1 : We danced and had more than 1000 video views in just couple days. Got their wows and had their eyebrows up for what a trained 9 year old can do when she competed with one of the Pure Folk Dance of India – Rajasthani Ghoomar(Ghumar/Ghummar).

This competition included some of the premier dance businesses in Dallas-Fortworth areas that claim to teach folk dances of India for years and several freelance choreographers in Dallas Fortworth(Texas).
Judges : Judges of this dance competition were local dance teachers who did not have a clue in Folk Dances of India while rubrics was made by one of their partnering folk-dance company.

The form was very much shown to them with the details announced as well. It was NOT FUSION or Bollywood that was announced! No mistakes were made not because of perfection was a factor but because that is how trained form is! Ouchy! These ego(s) were hurt when pure trained form was shown to people who were just shown until now all the you-tube inspired dances in name of folk dances and most of which do not have techniques or do not even represent culture at all. A fine-line was ruled then based on who teaches what! All went well and until Round 2.

Round 2: It was round 2, when the politics started and organizer entertained it.

Take-1 : Our student as if tripped & something was stuck in her feet. She cried and stopped. So we requested several times that please allow a re-take, as we didn’t quite notice as to what might have gone wrong when the same dance and costume was worn by student several times in several competitions prior to this competition. 2014 Wins Pictures. We didn’t understand what had happened until take-2 when the whole thing surfaced up!

During the performance, the organizer tells us that we are pushing our students to compete (What? is he dreaming in day-time ? He cannot see what happened? If that was the case why did you take our entries and wasted all this time!).

Take -2 : The whole bottom lace came off half way and student fell. The cameraman and organizer did not think of even assuring the child of being okay instead called on next performer and denied third-try arguing about us pushing child and what not in front of child. Ms. Joshi ran to Walgreens and got the safety pin boxes or stitching kit to see if something temporary can be done if in case things work out. We got the entire costume skirt fixed with 100s of safety pins there itself.

Several requests were made and just one of the team members/organizers allowed re-take 3 provided we get it done before all participants videos are over. We were able to get it done. so take-3 happened.

Take-3 : Went 100% successful and just the way it should be, and the way performer was trained. No mistakes were made, and it was actual work that had won several awards/prizes in competitions in past.

Issues : It was shocking for us that they allowed re-takes for other dancers for simple-costume changes without being protocol of competition (as conveyed to us) and yet did not make a fuss about it but he had problems with us doing re-take..based on what ? valid reasons ? The organizer was under the influence of other dance school as whole thing was a set-up.

If they couldn’t stop us there, read yourself what happened :

  • Public voting –
    • our parent’s email accounts on competition website were frozen.
    • our videos were not allowed to be voted. In spite of repeated requests to the organizers and phone calls where we were told the system will be up shortly. Some parents even gave their email account passwords to Ms. Joshi to see if she could login to their account but that didn’t work either.
    • If system was a problem, how come others were allowed to vote on their videos and write comments too?
    • Includes our own users who were able to vote for other friends’ videos and informed us that they couldn’t vote to our videos until last 2 hours…how do you explain that?
    • When told about an issue and information that our parents know that it is happening, the organizer told us as to what happened to Kruti Dance Academy in America’s Got Talent. We will get you a wild card, what is the big deal. My friend, you are not even there where you can issue wild card to us, not after all this dirty politics.
  • It didn’t end there. Later when we checked about selection process for third round, we were told expressions were a problem and blaming it on accident that happened.
    • The organizers were informed on stage itself that she is doing Advance Rajasthani Ghoomar(Ghumar/Ghummar)and so expressions are NOT a factor as for this folk, the face is covered half way to nose and in some variations all the way to neck!
    • Obviously stage being too small even for a solo-artist (-unsafe), covering a child’s face isn’t practical thing to do. But does that change the way, a dance is taught? NO. Common Sense.
    • She did what she was taught and what we learned.(Bio of Ms. Hetal Joshi-Blog, In Making). 
  • We then checked expression of those who got in for non-classical categories as that is what ours was–none of participants had it on their face and were just blank open eyes, then how is it they got in? Interesting-right? 

It was a public competition. These students are budding artist and they are very precious to us because they work hard all year round to learn something authentic, take certified trainings in it.

  • Even when we walked out, the competition organizers couldn’t stop another 1000 views in second round with beautiful comments from other dance company owners, how could they;later they had to shut down the comments/likes-too bad you couldn’t stop that.
  • Egos were hurt again when they realized that our performer delivered what she was trained in, just the way it was supposed to be done, all of that after accidents and with nearly a hundred safety pins in her skirt.Can your child do that without training? 
  • Point added August 5, 2017 : From all the conversations that were downloaded from our records from various friends and family, it has come to our notice that we were not allowed to vote for our videos, or comment on our videos while votes and comments on other videos were allowed and open until the last day. While for us, it was shutdown periodically as soon as the username was created. Watch out for such competitions. They are reported to Cqunce Inc. A non profit that keeps a close watch on authenticity of these dance competitions.

That is power of commitment and training, NOT FORCE !

If you don’t know what dance form it is and how it is to be judged then don’t allow!

However, we would like to extend our thanks to Manohar Nim during this competition for keeping things light for our performers when accidents happened and allowed us to do retakes.

  • The whole idea of the competition was as well taken from Grace And Grooves December 2014 face-book post when one of our student’s relative got prizes in pure folk dances of Gujarat after doing one of our choreographer’s lessons. If you don’t know how to implement other’s ideas, don’t do it!

Obviously, with this kind of attitude towards the students and parents from the organizers for our dance team and online politics that was never answeredwe then exited the competition because it was not worth spending time or wasting our precious students’ energy over a competitions where it was all pre-decided! It is a stupidity to argue with a fool.

It’s a fact; a quality product is always compromised for a trashy piece in the name of giftedness or best alternative is – just do service as you’ll have your kind standing up for all the wrong things you’ve do/done or continue to do at the cost of innocent kids and real people with authentic straight backgrounds.

As matter of fact, we take it as our honor that we got all our competition wins without serving anybody or doing any partnerships. We are not at your mercy to seek your competition awards with all this politics and dirty humiliation that you had put our students through/non-stop while they were doing competition screening. All of that in an open media and when other dance school parents were present. 

But, altogether this is a perfect example of Wrong Audiences with partnered businesses influenced by other businesses for their own personal benefits/politics.

So, did it matter here on whether dance like nobody is watching or dance like everyone’s watching?

N……….O……….P……….E ! 

Sometimes it’s just NOT WORTH wasting your time at some competitions.

SO, how we ruled out to exit from this competition: All of the above PLUS:

  • The very same Folk Dance of India (by Grace and Grooves) and Bollywood Fusion of Hip Hop and other styles (by Grace Creations) that competed in this local competition in Dallas-Fortworth had already won several awards in Indian Dance Competitions (with costume guidelines) in Dallas Fortworth, Texas as well as in India where judges had Masters Degree from some of the finest universities in Kathak & Bharatnatyam as their main dance forms and folk dance of India as their secondary subjects.
  • The wins were not just against Folk Dances of India that compelled us to make that decision at right time but it was our wins were against pure classical choreography by some of finest artists in Dallas-Fortworth Areas that they chose to categorize in non-classical categories. Pictures! Click Here;considering the latest! 
  • We take these artists as our inspiration and today also we follow their media pages because we love what they do. We know the originality in their work because we know the work involved for competitions.
  • Grace and Grooves with Grace Creations touches the heights of creativity where and when it is required depending on dance form, style, fusion or call it our favorite Bollywood that you may choose to join. It is ALL about what goes where and at what time.

When your child competes with Grace and Grooves | Grace Creations, we take responsibility of your child from start to finish so that it is worth turning heads of right people at right place.

Your child is not a showpiece for entertainment and is very precious to us. After all this competition experiences, we are at a point where we are able to judge the competition judges and marks given by them! 

None of the awards listed on our website are won by doing any kind of partnerships/sponsorships in competitions, or in lieu of issuing tickets or any services to any kind of agencies. For fundraising competitions as well, the sale of tickets was kept totally anonymous to organizer to get a clean win.

Please feel free to comment, we are absolutely glad that we made this decision in second round itself…It saved us further humiliation and dirty politics! We saved millions in those minutes-our time is precious just as our students. We hugged them twice after this competition for NOT participating in this competition.

This was our very first competition in our entire history that went like this. Let’s face it, when you see the coin-it has head and tail. This did not have any! Not all that glitters is gold, thus worth a buy! 

1999…. Entering Freelance Private Group Choreography. How we got into it…

1999 marked the year when our founding member Ms. Hetal Nagaraj first stepped into professional competition choreography as freelancer. It was the very first time when she taught students similar to her age, or they did not belong to her affiliated groups/school or college or let’s just say, were complete strangers. For a 20 year old, it was tough call when she was not a performer but a choreographer (Sigh). Through a friend’s friend, this all got started and today we are thankful to both of them.

Biggest challenge was that these students were avid dancers (who could move the way you want them to) but they had no idea of what they were doing. This is in-spite of being natives or participating in various community or school events as they claimed to. But, ready to work hard & first whole week just passed by getting their moves FIXED to folk requirements, which we did daily for 4 hours totaling to up-to 28 hours of training!

Content5

After spending all that sponsored funds for the costumes and travel, you cannot afford to do mistakes. The whole week, with pure folk training & listening to audio/video of 30+ folk artist, finally we ended up in a song that was approved by competition board to use and was best fitting our decided folk & theme!

Then the real drill work of choreography had begun!

Folk Dance Competitions in India were/are technique focused (The ones we participated in) considering the important and major elements of folk dances to promote the authenticity and importance of Folk Dances. Other folk dances participated as well due to diverse cultural demographics in Gujarat. Judges either had dual degrees in performing arts, followed by PHDs or double masters in their areas. Ms. Joshi (we were) was worried as it was her very first freelance private group choreography with just some amateur free-move dancers who took training for short period of time! Getting them to NOT do mistake was biggest challenge.

If that was not enough, innovation & creativity was an essential element and to further make it look dramatic, we added the props that required balance.

Pressures…pressures & crazy pressures of around 16 dancers (14+2 setting) and it was all worth taking the pain! Cash prize of 1 Lakh Rupees & gift certificates to various malls & resorts. We did bag 20K INR (from award money as our % other than choreography fees), free tickets to cultural concerts, and gift cards to restaurants and hotels. It was a big amount back then in 1999 for a 20 year old to earn that money for just 3.5 months of work!

The satisfaction, Ms. Joshi (we) got was PRICELESS. Ms. Joshi also received additional perks from group as a thank you note for arranging costumes, jewelry & Props in last moment when board did not approve costumes and jewelry (due to folk costume guidelines) that group had initially decided. This was a kick-starter for us…Our best of all until now!

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

Elite : Expensive Or Quality ?

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2014 Winners. Copyright Images Exclusive to Grace And Grooves | Grace Creations, 25$ Costume on the left of this picture & 100$ Costume(handmade-on the right).          Choreographer : Hetal Joshi Nagaraj. Picture Courtesy : The Grace Effects.

ELITE: Expensive or Quality?

 What makes a DANCE company enjoy “An Elite” status?

Looking at pictures of Grace And Grooves, one might assume the OMG factor is of an expensive costume or is it, that rich families being part of event that company gets impression with the word – Elite?

W…R…O… N…G…! It wasn’t that. Don’t get deceived by the pictures or words!

In 2014, students of Grace And Grooves (Ages 7 & 9years old) won awards against pure Indian Classical Dance by some of the finest teachers in Dallas-Fortworth areas (Indian Dance Competition). The awards were won with pure folk dances of India and participating dance teams were from all over Texas. It wasn’t the first win that Grace And Grooves got it with pure folk in the same competition. 2013 competition wins were still fresh to all who participated again in 2014. They admired pure folk dances of india done by Grace And Grooves amongst the others–one more time because it was something that reminded them of their home. Just the way it is supposed to be! Choreographers addressed the performers of Grace And Grooves as an Elite with respect to choreography. That day, it was an honor for Ms. Joshi when those choreographers gave pat on her back for her 9 year old (with $100-custom handmade costume) stealing the award with a simple pure folk dance of India-Rajasthan-Ghoomar(or Ghummar/Ghumar) & a Lavani (or Laavani)- folk dance of India-Maharashtra by her 7 year old (with a $25 costume) against pure Bharatnatyam & Kuchipudi & other folk dances of india in non-classical dance category. Can’t get that wrong with all that years of knowledge/sweat & yes, constant mentoring. There it was, the company changed their tag line from a Premier Award Winning Folk Dance Company to an Elite Award Winning Folk Dance Company. In 2015, company started offering Bollywood Dance and Fusion Dance in name of Grace Creations for non-classical category of dances and to welcome Indian Movie Dances loved and admired for its peppy beats.

For most Bollywood/Tollywood Dances, Grace Creations costumes range is anywhere from a simple Jeans/legging with a t-shirt of $5-$10 and goes up-to $100 while the Folk Dances of India has costumes with price tag that starts from $25 to $120. Bharatnatyam costumes starts from $30 with shipping & goes up-to $110.

It all depends on how far you want to go with your pocket when it comes to dance. We welcome students to get their own costumes as well.

After all, dance is all about teaching your child look & feel beautiful which often goes with other performing arts factors & BIG yes–plus the COSTUME; if it comes with an affordable price tag.

And that’s how it is supposed to be – Simply Elite or Call it graceful. It’s the same thing. To be straight, no one wants to look beautiful with a hole in pocket or buy a $60 costume that makes your precious child look like a junk!

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.