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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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.

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.