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 and forte. At an early age, Priya chose the path of education to children, youth and families. She has coached upcoming artists of the Bollywood industry during her time in Mumbai (home to Bollywood stars) and her school was affiliated to extra-curricular subjects at top-notch academic schools in Mumbai & Dubai from 1986-2000.
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 famous Bollywood stars), while in her formative years of her career, Priya also avidly pursued Indian folk, jazz, break-dance, fitness, aerobics, yoga, modeling, dance theater, and the scripting & direction of musicals for schools 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 pioneer industry leaders 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, along with co-judges from other famous schools of the area such as Shiamak Davar Institute of Arts.
Her teaching career was also backed by her team leadership skills at Bombay University’s Dance and Drama program, where she was co-choreographer of her college dance team, and helped it win several awards each year with representation at the University’s major inter-college annual competitions such as Malhar, Mood Indigo etc, highly popular events with college students and youth. 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 blockbuster Bollywood films), Longines Fernandes (choreographer of “SlumDog Millionaire” ), Ravi Behl -Naved Jaffry (producers of “Boogie Woogie” India’s longest running TV dance reality show) & Ken Ghosh (Bollywood director/producer of films)
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, for international brands such as Reebok, Splash, KFC, Giordano, Esprit, and presented live-wire events for government entities UAE Chambers of Commerce, Dubai Shopping Festival UAE, UAE Airports Authorities, and the esteemed Royal Family of UAE.
Later, 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, and developed her own Bollywood fitness workout style, initially coaching community groups in Atlanta, both members of Indian organisations and mainstream community.
Upon moving to North Carolina in Summer 2013, Priya started Indigo Dance Evolution in the Triangle area, offering regular coaching round the year 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). Since then, she has led over 100 showcases in the Triangle area alone for a wide client base: in hospitality, retail, public recreation, health & education.
Priya brings a rich knowledge base of 25 years in the Indian arts industry to North Carolina. Trained in a gamut of styles in a lifetime experience of 30,000 hours teaching, creating and performing, her versatile & vast 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 successfully coached students to a level of excellence, helping them achieve their goals, whether it be winning competitions, refining their performance skills, contributing their talent to charitable causes, or at social events, just surprising their friends and family. With her no-judgement outlook, learners from all levels and diverse nationalities feel comfortable with her, inspired with her teaching style and her devotion to dance as a way to holistic fitness, as well as her methodology which she constantly develops to satisfactorily meet the needs of her eclectic, diverse students.
Some “firsts” In Raleigh:
Priya’s efforts in popularizing the Bollywood genre to a diverse American society, actively imparting to local communities, academic institutes, corporate and public recreation centers, promoting her students, has seen a growing awareness of Bollywood Dance in the region.
- Introduced Bollywood Dance Fitness for the first time to employee-members of Fortune 500 corporates in the RTP such as Cisco and NetApp, 2015
- Introduce Bollywood Dance to Senior Citizens through City of Raleigh programs, 2013
- Introduces structured Bollywood workshops to Wake County schools.
- Within a year of starting up, winning Silver for group entry at the Triangle’s first International Dance Contest, at the Raleigh International Festival 2014, Adult group comprised of everyday local women.
- Indigo’s Teen Category dance students won Grand Prize- First Place at the Teen Triangle International Contest in Raleigh, 2015
- Bringing a highly entertaining & engaging Bollywood Interactive fare to the Triangle, 2013
- Starting her daily growing Youtube channel , testimony of Priya’s successful prolific work with students in the Triangle – With over 400 dance videos by local students, it is now the largest Bollywood dance & fitness database in the Carolinas – with an organically growing, international following!
As Chief Tutor she mentors & 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. Lauded by local & international press Priya has to her credit a number of testimonials from happy students and clients globally:
Click here for Press & Media articles on our Faculty.
- Certified in Aerobics Personal Fitness Training , from AAAI-ISMA, U.S.A, and Certified in Group Fitness, AFAA, U.S.A
- CPR, First Aid and AED certified
- HIPAA – trained in health industry principles.
- Certified in Katthak Classical and Folk Dance, Nateshwar Institute Guru Gopikrishna Bombay, India.
- Certified teacher of Yoga to Young Adults from The Yoga Institute, Bombay India.
- Multi-lingual, Native fluent speaker of Hindi and other Indian dialects, fluent in English
For her recent events in Raleigh-Durham, see Events in NC