Step Up

Published in Time Out Mumbai, June 18, 2014. Cover photo courtesy Tangerine Arts Studio.

A new clutch of studios are changing the way we relate to dance, says Time Out

Only a few years ago, learning dance meant that you had to do a considerable amount of spadework to find the right teacher and style. It’s now an easier decision to make, because you can walk into your friendly neighbourhood dance studio, take trial classes and start dancing without further ado. Dance studios are quietly and steadily popping up across Mumbai, adding a new dimension to the cultural scene.

It helps that an overwhelming majority of studio owners are trained dancers. Tanvi Mehra, the founder of Tangerine Arts Studio in Bandra, studied Bharatanatyam and ballet, among other forms, before turning to yoga. “Dance was the only constant factor in my life. I always knew I’d like to continue exploring body-mind disciplines. After completing a training course, I started teaching yoga in my house and in a rented studio. I thought of starting a place where one can learn all sorts of things under one roof. We’re not designed to be a training academy; we’re asking everyone to come participate and feel that there is something they can relate to,” she said.

For the sake of variety, and to pay the bills, many studios resort to offering classes in a wide range of movement styles. When there is a bouquet of styles to choose from, does quantity over quality present an issue? Not really, said Aanchal Gupta, speaking from her ten years of experience as founder-director of the Sion-based studio Arts in Motion. “You never know what kind of style works for you. Learning a new form helps you break movement patterns that you have become habituated to. Experimenting with different styles makes dancers more versatile, and they find that they enjoy being able to do more than one thing.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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