Veteran international dance tutor of over 21 years, choreographer, performer, show producer, theatre actor, presenter, & former dance finalist of India, Priya Chellani is the driving force behind Indigo.
An award-winning teaching artist, Priya hails from the birthplace city of Bollywood cinema : Bombay, India. Priya conducted a thriving academy of pupils in India’s financial and entertainment capital, Mumbai, for a decade. Co-choreographer for a Bollywood movie, and creating prize-winning student entries at reality TV dance shows, building dance champions has long since been her passion. Priya has been guru to children of a few famous actors & upcoming artists of the Bollywood industry during her teaching years in Mumbai’s western suburbs (home to Bollywood megastars). Her classes were affiliated to extra-curricular studies at some top-notch academic schools in Mumbai western suburbs from 1990-2000.
Additionally trained in classical Indian dance Katthak under Padmashri Guru Gopikrishna, India, (a maestro choreographer whose school coaches some of the best of India including Bollywood stars), while in her formative years of her career in Mumbai India, Priya avidly pursued Indian folk, jazz, ballet, hiphop, fitness, aerobics, yoga, modeling, dance theater, scripting & direction of musicals for school and children’s theatre. She was among very first pioneer teachers to introduce Fusion Dance as a PE activity in western Bombay’s academic schools, and one of the earliest teachers to recognize and put gifted children in the spotlight at public events in the city, on TV, theatre and competitions. She was often invited to preside over local dance competitions as a judge, alongwith co-judges from famous other schools of the area such as Shiamak Davar Institute of Arts.
Before starting her teaching career, she was a resident choreographer at Bombay University’s Dance and Drama program, co-founder of the college dance team, and won several awards each year for representing her college at Bombay University’s major inter-college annual competitions such as Malhar, Mood Indigo, Sofiesta & more. She was also a Dance Finalist twice in a row at all-India Fusion Dance Championships in Mumbai, where she placed alongside (now veteran) famous Bollywood choreographers such as Farah Khan (Director of megastar Shahrukh Khan’s films) Longines Fernandes (“SlumDog Millionaire” choreographer), DJ Akbar Sami (India’s #1 DJ), Ken Ghosh (Bollywood director/producer of films like “Fiza”), Ravi Behl & Naved (producers of “Boogie Woogie” India’s longest running TV dance reality show).
Migrating offshore in global destinations Dubai & New Zealand, during the next decade, she coached a multitude of cultures, working with international event and educational organizations, creating shows for brands such as Reebok, KFC, Giordano, Esprit, Splash Clothing, and presented live events for UAE Chambers of Commerce, Dubai Shopping Festival UAE, UAE Airports Authorities, and the Royal Family of UAE. Her students represented the academy at shows for New Zealand’s retail, hospitality & fitness industries, cultural establishments within the Indian diaspora as well as educational sector of mainstream colleges and schools.
Since making her home in the United States in 2010, she certified as a U.S Group Fitness professional with nationally accredited institutions AAAI-ISMA and AFAA USA, developed a fitness workout called “BollyRobics” and initially coached community groups in Atlanta.
Year 2013, she started Indigo Dance Evolution in the Triangle area, offering regular coaching in both dance and dance fitness to Bollywood and Indian culture lovers, with outreaches at the City of Raleigh, Town of Morrisville, Town of Cary as well as weekly training at corporate employee fitness programs, (Cisco, Lenovo, NetApp etc)
Priya brings a rich knowledge base of 25 years in the Indian arts industry to North Carolina, USA. Trained in a gamut of styles and with more than 500 shows, training over 5000 students in a lifetime experience of over 30,000 hours of international teaching, her versatile experience is unique to the realm of Bollywood Dance in the Triangle. She specializes in providing core dance training to everyday people from all walks of life. Over the years, she has coached students to a level of excellence, helping them achieve their goals, whether it be winning competitions, refining their stage skills, standing out at social events, contributing their talent to charitable causes, or just surprising their friends and family. With a no-judgement outlook, learners from all levels feel comfortable with her teaching style and methodology, passionately developed over many years of artistic endeavors.
- Within just 3 years, she has led over 70 showcases in the Triangle area alone for a wide client base in hospitality, retail, public recreation, health & education.
- Priya introduced Bollywood Dance Fitness for the first time to employee-members of Fortune 500 corporates in the RTP such as Cisco and NetApp, 2015
- First to introduce Bollywood Dance in Raleigh, to Senior Citizens through City of Raleigh programs, 2013
- First to introduce structured Bollywood workshops to Wake County schools.
- Within a year, a winning Adult group that won silver in the Triangle’s first International Dance Contest, at the Raleigh International Festival 2014.
- Indigo’s Teen Category dance students won Grand Prize- First Place at the Teen Triangle International Contest in Raleigh, 2015
- First to bring a highly entertaining Bollywood Interactive fare to the Triangle, 2013
- Our Youtube channel is proof of Priya’s prolific work in the Triangle- With over 400 dance videos with her local students, it is now the largest Bollywood dance & fitness database in the Carolinas – with a daily, organically growing, international following!
A gifted actor, Priya also dabbles in theatre and on-screen during her spare time from dance. She has appeared in powerful protagonist theatre roles overseas as well as in comic cameos. With her lifelong devotion to the performing arts, she is an inspiration to many.
Priya’s efforts in popularizing the Bollywood genre to a diverse American society, actively imparting to local communities, academic institutions, corporate and public recreation centers, and promoting her students & junior teachers at public events, has seen a growing awareness of Bollywood Dance in the region. As Chief Tutor she mentors junior teachers & personally coaches or supervises every class round the year, sharing of her lifelong passion, and wealth of the cultural evolution of Indian Dance. With her experience, she is capable of bringing both the creative and the fitness quotient into their dance & workout regime. From motivating at a macro level, to helping the beginner student, she brings out the hidden dancer in even the most novice starter. As a tutor and choreographer, she gleans from her rich past but also avidly pursues futuristic trends in dance and fitness.
Click here for Press & Media articles on our Faculty.
- Bollywood Fusion, and Freestyle Rock n’ Roll Champion, Mumbai India, (1986-1990)
- Certified in Aerobics Personal Fitness Training , from AAAI-ISMA, U.S.A, and Certified in Group Fitness, AFAA, U.S.A (2009, 2016)
- CPR, First Aid and AED certified (2009)
- HIPAA – trained in health industry principles.
- Certified in Katthak Classical and Folk Dance, Nateshwar Institute Guru Gopikrishna Bombay, India (2000)
- Certified teacher of Yoga to Young Adults from The Yoga Institute, Bombay India (2010)
- Vetted by the New Zealand Ministry of Education & Certified in Early Child Care (2007)
- Multi-lingual, Native fluent speaker of Hindi and other Indian dialects, fluent in English
For our recent events in Raleigh-Durham, see Events in NC (2013 to date)