Fast forward to 2021, I was assistant to Nathaniel Parchment from London, founder of Goa Dance Residency.
I performed with Daniell Alnuma, a dance theatre company based out of Goa.
I performed in a commercial with Dominique Baker, a dance professional from UK. The commercial was for Livu, a dating app service.
I starred in several dance productions and performed on stage. Artists seek to work with me now.
Finally, I was offered a place at Eurasia partner Balance 1, a contemporary dance school in Berlin(Germany). The placement happened due to efforts by Stefano Fardelli, artistic director of Eurasia Dance Project International Network. Stefano is an accomplished dancer and teacher, but more than anything, he is a kind man with a vision- to identify talent in developing and underdeveloped countries, place them in dance schools and companies across Europe and Asia, help them get scholarships.
Why? So they, we, can return to our countries with the necessary training and network to help others. In 2022, Stefano identified me as one of those talents.
I come from a low income household. In 2012, I had to enrol secretly in a dance school because my family wasn’t happy about it. More importantly, they did not have the money for it. So, I studied dance secretly at Buskers Dance Academy, on a scholarship of sorts. Then, I worked with them for years. For the first several years, I worked for free. After 8 years I was working 14 hour days, 6-7 days a week for Rs. 9,000 or USD 120 per month. Not much has changed since then in terms of income opportunities.
Yes, I have trained. Kind teachers have helped me with trainings and scholarships. On my part, I learnt to trim expenses. Cooking as much as possible or going without food if I had to; walking instead of spending money on fuel, and doing whatever it takes to do what I promised myself I would do- dance.
The Eurasia opportunity in Berlin is a one-time opportunity. The company offered to relax their under-25 only rule. I am 31 years old. That is considerable relaxation. It has been offered to me because of my commitment and skill; because I am good, because my teachers- Nathaniel Parchment and Akshay Kundu are excellent teachers, and because Stefano Fardelli believes in me.
When I go to Berlin. I take my history, my nationality, my dreams for young Indian dancers with me.
My only hope now is crowdfunding; you, my fellow citizen. I am asking for your help, whatever that can look like. In return, I promise to give back to you, to the dreams of the children of my country, and to your dreams of a more beautiful, culturally richer India. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please share, and if you can, contribute.