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.

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

Recital 2017: JALSO (Celebrations, Absolute Fun-in Life)-Nritya(Dance) Ki Masti (Fun). Venue: MCL Grand Theater, Lewisville-Texas. April 9, 2017. Why Jalso, Nritya Ki Masti ? Our Story.

Grace And Grooves Annual Events Recital 2017


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

 The idea of the name JALSO = famous Gujarati Festival that’s happening in Mumbai(India) for a few years now. It got our attention in 2016. Our performances had festivals, marriage celebrations, life-events as per Indian life(Country-India) especially for those who have been settled here (-in Dallas Fortworth Areas aka NRIs-Non Resident Indians) for generations now.

<<<<<<<< Our Initial Flyer w/Ticket Information<<<<<<<

Recital 2016 – Adi-Shakti was a fundraiser for a targeted amount to CRY-America Inc and thus had a line of sponsors, good advertisements, tickets, donations, fashion show, sponsored costumes for our guest artists from premium clothing boutique as well as our own costume line. However, our initial plan for Recital-2017 was to do a full ticketed event of Bharatnatyam and Indian Folk Dance showcase name “Nrutya Ni Masti”. We have also taken re-publishing rights from Bharatnatyam dance schools from east-west coasts in United States. Using only Nritta or Natya was not an option and so Nritya/Nruthya/Nrutya it was! (however, you want to spell-check the name.)

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But as the year 2016 ended, we faced unpredicted challenges and eventually, Bollywood was added to this event. This is in spite of the fact that our Bollywood students had a full-length of the playlist to go on stage as a separate ticketed event (Jalso as we had planned it initially) with the quality you would expect to pay for! Same was w/Indian Folk and Bharatnatyam. Either way, Lemonade was tasty.

On a good note, we completed NAVARASA in one program itself and that too in different categories breaking our own record of 2016.<<<<<<>>>>

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Recital 2017, Jalso-Nritya Ki Masti

 

 

 

 

We had few sponsors on the list such as Sheetal’s Mehendi Arts, Jazz It Up Inc, and The Grace Effect to go with our Mehdi ceremony theme dances. Sheetal’s Mehendi Arts specializes in Mehendi/Henna services for all occasions such as Mehdi Nights, Bridal Mehendi/Henna, BabyShowers, Marriage Functions/Parties, or just Henna Tatoo for entertainment purposes. 

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

Jazz It Up Inc. is our own costume & dance prop services for our Competition Dancers-Elite and Pre-Competition Teams. At times, we rent our costumes to outside students depending on availability. Custom Stitched Costumes usually take a month of time if you want to order!Coming back to our Recital 2017 Event, dances were featured in Bharatnatyam, Bollywood, and Indian Folk Dances with students trained in their respective categories from ages 5 to 40.

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

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

Our Choreographer’s Retreat had Hetal Nagaraj, Mansi Chauhan and Deepthi Chandrasekaran showcasing dance forms and styles.Our intern-faculty Shruti was to perform as well but happen to missed it! We missed Buvaneshwari Murugan at the event when her very first male student performed a full-length of Jatiswaram in Bharatnatyam of minutes 5:26 under the guidance/assistance of Hetal Nagaraj at the age of 10. 

Our students from Irving-Texas, Plano/121-Texas, Lewisville-Texas, Frisco-Texas performed in their respective categories for Nritya Ki Masti-Jalso, Recital 2017. Students were rewarded with participation medals 2017 and our student of the year Ashna Pethe was acknowledged for her achievements w/trophy and the gift voucher. All our choreographers were acknowledged for their efforts and students were introduced with their individual achievements.

Recreation Students(Southlake), Summer Workshop Students(Grapevine), Private Class Students (Carrollton, Dallas, Irving, and Frisco) Community Folk-Workshop Students(Frisco East, West, Lewisville) or Our Couples Retreat Students(Irving, Dallas, Plano) DID NOT participate in the recital. We missed their showcases, big time!

Grace And Grooves, Recital 2017-Nritya Ki Masti had photography services from Bombay Photography, and Videos were taken by The Grace Effect – our own company photography/videography services.The Grace Effect is exclusive to the students, participants, and choreographers of Grace And Grooves ONLY. The Grace Effect is under the supervision of Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj or Mr. Nagaraj Setty and they have never worked for anybody in past when it comes to any photography or videography services for any volunteer or paid services or even on a friendly note. 

Needless to say, Recital 2018 name has been decided already 😉

Below are some more picture collages that we received from our parents and clips screen-shots from our recital dance videos taken by The Grace Effects. 

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

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

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

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

Musical Dance Drama-2017….

Inspiration was an Indian-Movie. You read it right!

Dil To Pagal Hai(1997) Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri-Dixit Nene, and Karishma Kapoor under the direction of Yash Chopra. Though not much into movies, Mrs. Hetal Nagaraj was very selective back then about feeding her eyes when it comes to the magic of Indian Cinema(Bollywood). To sit that long for a movie was a non-sense deal to her back then. But a musical drama as part of the movie itself had her all excited and she watched it finally in 2001 and it never left her mind. She thought maybe she could do likewise in Indian Folk Dances, Bharatnatyam..some day if she would get to do it!

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

The whole idea of musicals in Indian Folk Dances and Bharatnatyam(or any classical dances of India) existed back then too. These had very matured audiences and trained performers back then. There were several musical ballets happening in the city(Ahmedabad, India) with the elements of Nritya and intricate elements of Natya combined very beautifully! Mrs.Hetal Nagaraj had watched several notable works from some of the most well-known theater productions to recorded-live musicals by amateur artists/college students for fund-raising activities on women-upbringing, child-marriages, religion riots in Ahmedabad city areas and so on!

But all these years, as if it took its own time to get into the plan of action. 2017, she came back home with a big YAHOO after a chaotic day of a culture community event organized by Indian Association of North Texas, Dallas-Texas(USA). She finally did it in a public community event(India-Day 2017) in Dallas-Texas(U.S.A) under 5 minutes with props!

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

Not 1, but 2 of those musicals in Indian Folk Dances and Bollywood-Fusion Dances Categories. She took up this challenge when the songs that were ready to go on stage had her scratch the head! And she asked, why not? We had done a mini-version of it in Recital 2016 to test the waters. And so January 21, 2017 was a big day! It was challenging to get all the props all the way to the stage. Thanks to our choreographers Mansi Chauhan and Deepthi Chandrasekaran who made themselves available last moment and it worked out just well. The only challenge was that it was a public event and it was not in their control unlike Recital 2016! However, Choreography and set-up was already planned as most of the students knew their part well enough as it was work of our Recital 2016 : Dance of Gods featuring Adi-Shakti in their own categories. But the Yahoo part was that they managed to cover all the Navarasa (The 9 Moods) as per Natya-Shastra in both the category dances without breaking the rules of any category and yet keeping it creative enough for community fun-performances. Not about perfection but basic requirements were met.

We were able to keep intact the dance categories that our students were trained in(their joined programs). As per our research, it has never happened in Dallas-Fortworth Areas(until 2017 January) and that makes us very first people to do it(Yes!). We have seen dance lessons been taught in the name of Folk, Bharatnatyam and yet ended up showcasing just plain Bollywood Stuff.

Just how she had to believe one more time in all the training that she did in past and all that she had taught to her students. It went well and smoother than she had expected for what was in her control. Fundamentals never run out of fashion and formulas don’t change! It will teach you not only common sense but there is a reason why rules exist in pretty much in any performing arts. If you follow fundamental elements of Indian performing arts(Natya Shashtra in this case) then you will cover pretty much everything with little efforts. Creativity is just an added element to it. 

Dil To Pagal Hai-True, we mean it. Now, you call that a Phrase, Bollywood Movie Name, Indian Folk Dance or Classical Bharatnatyam-none of our business. Don’t come after us for this!

Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media for Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2017.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. 

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

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

Just as our artistic director Ms. Hetal Nagaraj had the opportunity to learn from her own schools and colleges during her entire academic life, she just follows same here. A little give back to her kids’ schools other than her active PTO involvements such as Vice President PTO, Cultural Committee Coordinator, and Staff-Event Coordinator.

Focusing on just one country(India) is an easy job in India where the diversity/culture in forms of Indian Folk or Cultural Dances makes sense as in regions or states of India when celebrating India’s Independence Day or Republic Day or school annual day. This is not really a possibility in Dallas-Texas charter schools(USA) where every other student studying in school is from the different country with absolutely no common culture grounds! With this global diversities, imposing an Indian Performing Arts or even using Indian music wasn’t a good fit.

But, efforts were paid off when the parents opened their doors to do some creative works as long as it was limited to school environment and shows. Most dancers who joined this program had never danced before or had never even moved themselves to the tunes of music. From selecting the music, costumes, moves and the makeup standards were as per school guidelines. The performance was to appeal not only most/all demographics depending on the school, and the environment but also must fit the guidelines of the school. Dance lessons happened throughout the academic year following the school guidelines and calendar.

Finally, we could get a decent 4-5 min of presentable creative works by the end of the year. Kids loved it and parents admired it.  Grace And Grooves had undertaken these fun creative projects with the following schools:

Below are the pictures of performances from both the schools. These pictures are released based on parent’s consent forms signed exclusively for Grace And Grooves releases Only.

Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media for Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2017.  All Pictures posted here are with an exclusive consent of participating students, parents or school staffs. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. 

Performances in 2015 and Before

Indian Folk Dances, Bollywood and Bharatnatyam

Our Founding Member Hetal Nagaraj performs regularly for Bharatnatyam, Folk Dances of India And Bollywood

Past Performances of Grace And Grooves. List of paid and unpaid public events – 2015 and before in no specific order of occurrences and numbered per event/not by number of performances):

  1. Grace And Grooves performs at Plano Library, at a Diwali Event (Organized by Independent Groups). Ms. Mansi Chauhan offered Bollywood Workshop-Age Group 4 to 8 Years.
  2. Grace And Grooves performs at an invited event organized by DFW-Hindu Temple, Irving-Texas featuring Semi-Classical Bharatnatyam-Bollywood Style , Bollywood-Folk, and Bollywood Performances.
  3. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(Shabdam/Shabhdam), Garba, and Bollywood Dances in a walkathon organized by CRY America Inc in Irving-Texas.

    Folk Dances of India, Bollywood and Bharatnatyam

    Bollywood, Bharatnatyam and Folk Dances of India at CRY America Inc walkathon in Irving-Texas.

  4. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam (Art-work), Bollywood and Fusion at Iskon-Dallas at a sponsored event.
  5. Grace And Grooves performs Lavani, Garba, Ghoomar/Ghummar, and Folk tale lyrical in Dallas-Texas for Dallas Catholic Charities in Dallas-Texas.
  6. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(as guest artist, Allaripu) in competition where Ms. Hetal Joshi was judge for Non-Classical Category-Dallas, Texas. (2011)
  7. Grace And Grooves performs Garba, Bollywood Dances, and Lavani in May Festival -Fortworth.
  8. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(Pushpanjali-Guru Vandana), Tollywood Dances, Bollywood Dances, Folk Lyrical in Dallas International Festival, Dallas-Texas.
  9. Grace And Grooves performs Kalbelia, Kshatriya, Tippani and Bollywood Dances in Plano, Texas at an International Festival representing India.
  10. Grace And Grooves showcased art-works (Garba of Smt. Indu Mangrola) and Semi-Classical Kathak in Tarrant County-College, Arlington-Texas.
  11. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(Thillana), Bollywood Dances, Rajasthani Folk Tale(with Chirmi) event organized by DFW International in Addison, Texas.
  12. Grace And Grooves performs Gidda, Bhangra(Beginners) and Bollywood performances at Ram Mandir-Plano Texas.
  13. Grace And Grooves performs Bollywood Folk, Semi-Classical Kathak, Bollywood Hip Hop, and Bhangra at an event organized by Indian Association of North Texas, Dallas-Texas.
  14. Grace And Grooves performs Teratalli, Garba, Ghoomar/Ghummar, and Chirmi in Fortworth Festival-Forworth.

    Folk Dances of India

    One of our Elite, Trained Gymnasts

  15. Grace And Grooves performs at inaugural function with Bollywood Fusion, Koli, Lavani, KummiAdi, Bihu at a sponsored event in Colleyville, Texas featuring Cultures of India. PAID Performance.
  16. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam(Jatiswaram)in Grapevine-Texas for Diwali event organized by Denton Association.
  17. Grace And Grooves performs Raas/Dandiya, Bollywood-Retro, and Fusion Tap w/Bollywood in association with Dance Workshop at Lewisville Grand Theatre(Lewisville). Students were avid Tap/Jazz dancers trained for more than 2 years at Coppell Dance Center(Coppell) and later at Prestige Dance Center (Lewisville), Texas.
  18. Grace And Grooves performed Bollywood-Lyrical, Lezim, Bollywood Bhangra, and Bollywood HipHop at Chinese Festival in Arlington, Texas.
  19. Grace And Grooves performed KumiAdi, Garbi, and Bollywood Dances, organized by DFW International in Addison-Texas.
  20. Grace And Grooves performed Lavani, Bollywood Dances, Semi-Classical (Bharatnatyam), and Tollywood in International Travel Show-Global Beatz Stage-Dallas, Texas.
  21. Grace And Grooves performed Chirmi, Bollywood, Rumaal Dance, Bharatnatyam(Lyrical Artwork) at World Fest, Addison-Texas.
  22. Grace And Grooves performed Fusion of Tap, Bollywood Hip Hop, Nepali Folk and Rajasthani Folk Tale in Grapevine Texas by Denton Association.
  23. Grace And Grooves performed Folk-Fusion, Bollywood Dances, in Plano-Texas. Students were avid Tap/Jazz dancers trained for more than 2 years at Coppell Dance Center-Coppell and later at Prestige Dance and Performing Arts Centre(Lewisville), Texas.
  24. Grace And Grooves performed Bharatnatyam-Ballet Fusion in DFW Hindu Temple, Irving-Texas. Students were trained in Ballet from Ballet Academy of Texas-Coppell, Texas.
  25. Grace And Grooves performed Fusion at Indian Association of North Texas, – Dallas Texas: Tap, Jazz, Gymnastics, Salsa, Bollywood and Folk. Students were trained or were avid dancers/gymnasts in Tap, Jazz, and Gymnastics, from Ballet Academy of Texas-Coppell, Coppell Dance Center/ Prestige Dance and Performing Arts Centre (Lewisville), and gymnastics studios respectively. Ms. Joshi took required Salsa Personal Training from a Master Choreographer at Arthur Murray Dance Studio (Plano). Please do not copy our artwork without training. It may harm your child.
  26. Grace And Grooves performs Bharatnatyam/Tap Fusion, Bollywood Dances, Kumari (Indian) Semi-Classical in Addison, Texas event organized by DFW International. . Students were avid Tap/Jazz dancers trained for more than 2 years at Coppell Dance Center-Coppell and later at Prestige Dance and Performing Arts Centre(Lewisville), Texas.

    Classical Dances of India-Bharatnatyam, Bollywood, Folk Dances of India

    Detailed workshops and performances at American Mensa by our founding member, Hetal Joshi.

  27. Grace And Grooves (Ms. Hetal Joshi) performs for consecutive 3 days in Culture Cowtown Event (National Gathering) organized by American-Mensa at Fort Worth-Texas, for Classical Dances of India, Folk Dances of India and Nepal, and Bollywood Dances. The performances featured Bharatnatyam (Kalashetra/Pandanallur), Fusion, Semi-Classical, Bollywood and various Folk Dances of India with variations in styles and techniques with time-line. Folk Dances of India discussed were – Garba, Raas-Dandiya, Gidda, Garbi, Bhangra, Lavani, Kshtariya, Lezim, Koli, Dumhal, Tribal Dances of India, Chhau, Sambalpuri Folk, Rumali Dance, Tippani, Matki, Bhavaai, and many more were showcased with variations/types, techniques and costumes. An educational workshop was also given after the performance with LIVE participation from audiences to American-Mensa Members on the all of above with and without costumes/jewelry. Over 30 Mensa members participated in the event of which a few were performing arts major.
  28. Grace And Grooves performs and gives workshop at Uplift Education – Summit International Preparatory, Arlington-Texas featuring Bollywood Dances, Choppai-Bollywood Style.
  29. Grace And Grooves performs at Independence Elementary, Lewisville featuring Tollywood Performances-Semi-Classical Style , Bollywood Dance.
  30. Grace And Grooves performs at Harmony School of Innovation, Carrollton featuring creative fusion styles.

    Bollywood Dances

    Uplift Education-Summit International Preparatory, Arlington-Texas. Workshop and Performances

  31. Grace And Grooves performs at Isaacs Early Childhood School featuring a neo-classical fusion and bollywood dances.
  32. Grace And Grooves performs at Universal Academy, Coppell featuring Bollywood Dances.
  33. Grace And Grooves performs at Castle Hills Elementary, Lewisville featuring various Bollywood Dances such as Medley of creative Modern and Traditional Bollywood Dances and fusion of Ethnic Rajasthani Folk dance styles.

Grace And Grooves holds exclusive rights for all the pictures being posted with permission of organizers for exclusive Grace And Groove use only.

More as we dig in our files…We enjoy performing and doing workshops so that you can enjoy reading/seeing pictures. 

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-requirementsMore 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.

 

Bollywood Fever…. since 2015!

Bollywood Dances…. first impressions: Fun, Jazzy, Funky, Crazy, hip hop, Peppy and yes by all means entertainment, entertainment and entertainment. What else can you learn from movie dance routines? Movie, Masti(fun) and Magic(Celebrations) of Indian Cinema is addictive, yes it got us too. Grace And Grooves is in love with Bollywood Program. HELP! So what do we learn in entertainment dances (Bollywood)? Let’s try & do some math — Circus skills (optional), fashionable clothing looks good but not required, lot of expressions and just expressions ONLY because limelight of widescreen requires that you just can’t have a blank face in Bollywood—aka face-value—well most of times. While some songs do have a total blank “watssup” face 😉 totally goes by script and not even by dance steps or words—Aha! UNLIKE FOLK OR BHARATNATYAM! No Rules to follow in Bollywood (Yahoooo!) & it has rating based on clothing, language, or script used & other factors. Good thing is when you learn Bollywood Dances, there is no rating for clothes or language (Ahem!) but with Grace And Grooves, there is an assurance to learn from a BBB Certified Business! Now that’s fun to learn—isn’t it? Our program will help you learn the following:

  • Traditional (decent) movie songs that you/your child can perform at your own community events, marriages, and Mehdi nights, meet-up get together, temples, churches and such other cultural events. Bollywood folk dances (Beware don’t mix w/Pure folk dances of India or even Community/Creative Folks-no where close.).
    • Eg – Some of our graceful choreography includes songs such as Rang De by Tabu(Tabassum Fatima Hashmi), MAYE NI MAYE by Madhuri Dixit(Madhuri Dixit Nene of movie Hum Aapke Hain Kaun), or Nagada Sang of Ram Leela by Deepika Padukone or her famous Pinga or Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan of Jacqueline Fernandez and several other amateur artists or just competitions or community performances.
  • Some Bollywood modern stuff & hip-hop like works to do in social family parties or friends parties.
    • Eg – We have done: Songs of our all time favorite Shahrukh Khan in Chammak Chalo(Ra One), or Kajol’s Mere “Khwabon Maen” of Dilwale Dulahniya Le Jayenge(DDLJ as we know it), or our heart throb Hritik Roshan in Ae Mere Dil Tu Gayeja of Kaho na Pyar Hai, & several other amateur artists or just for competitions or performances.BollywoodProgramContent4

 

Our Competitive and Recreational Program will do the job of making you dance with all that is required. How gracefully & upto what level is something that you have to decide. It goes by level from Beginners to Elite Program.

We DO IT ALL.  Videos & Pictures are getting ready…will be posted soon!

Let’s not forget the song-hits by the Kapoors, Bachchans, Karan Johars, Chopras and Bhansalis movies and all the fun-pop album songs by amateur artists. Depending on program you have joined, sometimes our choreography works will match directly to that of song, and our other program where our creativity is limitless often called as Fusion. We offer Fusion programs for Bharatnatyam, Bollywood & Folk. Training will take you to the heights of creativity without bluffing around of what you just did! Easy Right ?

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.

 

Recital 2016 : Dance of Gods featuring Adi-Shakti

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Just as the dance routines at Grace And Grooves classes begin with salutations to Guru(teachers), our showcase too had to obviously begin with Gods and Guru(s).

Adi-Shakti it was, when the grace met gods in performing arts and a unified power was born.

While we were planning our recital in late 2015 , we came across WE DFW-A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. A perfect timing! WE DFW is an entrepreneurship group “for” the women, “by” the women and “of” the women. We really liked the idea to promote local businesses by women. And, it was by contract in 2015 itself that we were donate the proceeds to CRY America Inc. with a specified amount as target given to us(unlike any other org. in past), so we decided to do a theme Adi-Shakti and have WE-DFW as our main non.profit sponsor along with Eknazar.com and Usha’s Unique Boutique. The rest of the proceeds of this event will be used to Cqunce Inc. for well-being of our society and Grace and Grooves Talent Fund that is being used for our existing students.

The event of Adi-Shakthi(Dance of Gods) was organized by Grace And Grooves and was held at Mustang Park Recreation Center, Irving-Texas, with around 40 artists in total that included students of Grace And Grooves, guest artists, professional and special appearance artists from Dallas-Fortworth Areas in the State of Texas, that featured glimpse of India as in Bharatnatyam, Bollywood and Folk Dances!

The Dance of Gods(Adi-Shakthi) was made possible by :

  • Exclusive Media Sponsors – Ek Nazar
  •  Featured Sponsorships – Usha’s Unique Boutique
  • Main Non.Profit Sponsor – WE DFW

Other Sponsors : 

  • An ERP International LLC
  • Jewel Blooms
  • Make Up By Sushmita
  • The Grace Effects
  • JazzIt Up Inc
  • Ritu’s Handmade Arts(Rituhandmadearts)

Special Thanks – Event Professionals :

  • Nagaraja Setty(The Grace Effects-Video/Event Setup)
  • Phani Pydimarri(Photo Courtesy),
  • Megha Vyas(M.C.)

Guest Solo Artists : 

  • Megna Murali (Bharatnatyam Dancer/Tanjore),
  • Mala Pydimarri (Carnatic Singer)
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Megna Murali & Mala Pydimari, Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

Professional Artists & Special Appearances: 

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Abhishek Maharaja & Aruna Kavatur, Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri , Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Rashmi Chetan, Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri, Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects, Jewelry Sponsored by Jazz-It Up Inc.

Thank you to all our students/parents and friends for being supportive during our very first event with last minute changes. Special thanks to Nidhisha Varshney, Anju Mehta during the event to help with costume and makeup preps for Bharatnatyam & Bollywood Students.

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Bharatnatyam Students Year 1(Age 7+), Adults Elite Team – Pure Bharatnatyam on Fusion Music

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Bollywood Intermediate, Ages 7+

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Bollywood Intermediate, Ages 7+

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Bollywood Competition Elite Team – Ages 9+

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Bollywood Beginners in Bollywood Folk & Bollywood Performances, Ages 4-7

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Bollywood Beginners in Bollywood Folk and Bollywood Performances

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Adults Elite Team :  Pure Bharatnatyam on Fusion Music

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Folk, Bharatnatyam, Bollywood

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

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Bollywood Elite and Intermediate Team, Ages 7+

Photo Courtesy : Phani Pydimarri ,  Photo Edits for Blog : The Grace Effects

Adults Elite Team Jewelry & Adults-Folk Costumes Sponsored by Jazz-It Up Inc. Special Appearance Costumes Sponsored by Usha’s Unique Boutique.

Exclusive Copyrights by Reach Media for Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2016.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. 

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

 

Creativity In Performing Arts (Folk): Embrace Or Not?

Depends. To evolve and survive is human’s natural tendency. We, as human beings are bound to think of endless possibilities.

So, where to stop NOW is a question.

 Talk about a folk dances of India? You will have to follow basic rules to it just to call it that form.

You don’t want to follow rules? Then, it is not that dance form.

To start with an example of Garba, a folk dance of Gujarat that gained popularity in 80s-Bollywood Dance to show off the cultural dances happening in Navratri (Festival of 9 Nights).

Bollywood, known for its creativity in all Dances of India-most of the times just ruins the dance forms itself, in the name of entertainment. So what happens? First timers (& ignorant) people will take that folk dance as they see it and wrong basics are set. It may/may not inspire them to do Indian Dance–but when they do it in community dances, they become a joke. Is it worth it? Decision is yours. Folk Dances of India have techniques/rules. Variations are added to facilitate comfort & fun for all age groups or audiences but basics remain.

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You got to clap not once but several times in the performance if it’s Garba. Basic dressing is required to give that folk dance what its culture reflects (if it is presented likewise) and thus NOT all elements of dance are taught where it is NOT required. Ever heard of women covering their heads up-to nose/chin and do Raas? (Yet another folk dance of India often goes together with Garba).

 

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Folk Dances have common sense (if trained-you’ll learn) as it ensures safety of performer with practical dressing basics to show glimpse of culture. In today’s world, we love creativity. But the fact that the whole idea of dance form itself is LOST when rules are NOT followed because you are misrepresenting an entire sect of culture or community that exists even today! But, let’s keep things simple. You can’t possibly roam around with laptop that accepts phone calls via some app. to replace phone for good–would you? Or use your phone to do the developer’s work? Once you cross the rules on how/what is required, the category then will NOT be same and the form is not the same! No dance teacher or a guru of ANY Folk Dances or ANY Classical Dances of India will EVER teach you to be creative at the cost of dance form itself and still call it the very same dance form. It is NOT about what is not possible, it is about what goes where and when it is required, if you are calling it with that name. Neither does Grace And Grooves; even when they have achieved heights of creativity in Bharatnatyam, Folk Dances of India, Fusion, Bollywood Dance and Neo-Classical Dances through their performing elite team-Grace Creations.

Founding member Hetal Nagaraj ensures that you’ll learn what you’ve signed up for & all that is required.

Copyright-Hetal Joshi | Grace & Grooves | Grace Creations | Grace And Grooves 2012-2017.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission
http://www.graceandgrooves.com         Phone : 972 979 2559                info@graceandgrooves.com