Voltaire once said, “Let us read and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.” Friedrich Nietzsche has also said about dancing, “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” Many people from ages ago have been placing a lot of importance on dancing.
Thus, just another girl, Kimaaya took to dancing at the early age of 7. Born and brought up in Delhi, and being an only child, she did M.B.A. in finance and worked for famous BPOs for 6 years while taking training in dance and later proved her potential in her chosen field. She is trained extensively in body language and behavioral analytics. She is from a Punjabi family and dance runs through her veins. She took formal training in Kathak, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Latin dances, Belly dancing and folk dances of India from Shiamak, Dance Worxs and other gurus across the world.
She is a certified trainer for Zumba, power yoga and aerobics. She choreographed fashion shows and corporate events on a high scale. She assisted many known choreographers and gave quality work with full enthusiasm. Kimaaya is famous for providing triumph, gratification and enjoyable class sessions and leaves a remarkable impression on everyone.
How would you describe your childhood?
Being the only female child from my family I was the most pampered one. I was always a sincere and hard-working student during my school time. I participated in all the functions and activities in school, which made me my teacher’s favorite. Since my childhood, I had the passion towards dance and creative stuff. I never wasted my summer vacations. During every vacation, I tended to learn something new. I took formal training in flower making, cooking, beautician course from Shehnaz Hussain, painting, Calligraphy, stitching and weaving. I started learning dance at the age of 7. I completed my computer diploma before I passed out of school.
You did MBA finance and took up a different career altogether. How did that happen?
Well, this decision was really hard to take because when I completed my MBA after few months my Dad expired and all the responsibilities came on to my shoulders. As my Mom is not well educated, I had to do something where my Mom could be part of. So I decided to pursue the dance passion that we both shared. Thus, I would do my job Monday to Friday and on weekends I would teach dance. My Mom handled the management part of the class.
What did your parents say when you decided to take up a career different from the academic studies you have done?
My Dad was a brilliant student and a very humble man. He had a cloth fabrication business. He was always supportive when it came to me. He appreciated all my decisions and showed me the right path to pursue my dreams. My Mom was a housewife before entering into our business. But, she is my backbone. Without her, I would have never achieved success in my life. She is the one who took all the pains to pick up and drop me in all my classes. I am lucky that my parents supported me in all decisions and allowed me to take my passion to a different level.
What made you take to dance, Kathak and others?
I was passionate towards dance since my childhood and it helped me build my stamina and get into proper shape. As a kid, I enjoyed all kinds of dances. Initially Bollywood, then western, so I had enough time to realize which was my favorite as I had started dancing at the age of 7. Moreover, when it comes to dancing, our Indian dance is most sophisticated and graceful dance. So I decided to complete my dance training while doing my studies. I took formal training in Kathak, contemporary, ballet, salsa, belly dancing, jazz, hip-hop and tap dance and with time I started loving all of it.
Tell us more about your training in Kathak.
Kathak has always been my favorite. The pose and elegance took my heart. The training time was superb as I was blessed to have amazing teachers. I learned it from Kathak Kendra, New Delhi of the Jaipur Gharana.
It has been said that currently there is widespread commercialization as far as dance, not just classical dance, is concerned. People learn dance only to get prizes from different competitions and TV shows. Your take.
Well yes, these days people are quite attracted towards reality shows and with the coming up of such platforms, people are also getting opportunities to fulfill their dreams. But still, the TV shows really helped a lot of dancers to get respect in our society. Nowadays, the whole mentality about dance is changing. People take up dance as their career, unlike previously when people used to look down at such out of the box professions.
Then dancing was learnt as a hobby but now it has become a passion. Dancers are today earning their livelihood out of this profession. Kids are taking dance as their future professions. Choreographers and dancers are getting fame and name. Schools have made dance a part of their curriculum. Reality shows are taking the performances seriously by the contestants. This shows that the power of dance is working.
Also, there is a loss of commitment among teachers as far as classical dances are concerned. What would you say about it?
Yes, because the new generation is very much attracted towards the western styles of dances and thus, we are losing the essence of our own dance. We don’t take our dance training religiously as other countries do. If we also put our kids in Kathak or Bharatnatyam classes at an early age, we will definitely be the best and will represent our country and the essence of dancing our country shares.
Recently one teacher lamented that there is not much space to teach dance and the students’ dedication is split up due to the increase in emphasis on academics. Your comments.
Yes, that’s true because people don’t take formal training now for a long period of time. Kids today are so tied up academically and on top of that, there is peer pressure. So, due to their interest, they join classes for a few months but managing gets tough. They have half their knowledge and take it forward as it is. Every street nowadays has a dance academy which makes the student confused to select one for them.
What do you think is the future of the classical dance in the digital age?
Well, I think, the elegance and grace we have in Indian dances can never be overtaken by any other dance. In this digital age we might find fewer people interested in classical dance but soon they will realize the essence of our own country’s culture and value the emotions involved in our dances.