Veteran international dance tutor of 25 years, choreographer, performer, show producer, theatre actor, presenter, & former dance finalist of India, Priya Chellani is the driving force at 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. Leaving aside the call of the glamour world of films, at an early age, Priya chose instead, the path of education for children, youth and families. Her dance school was affiliated to extra-curricular clubs at top-notch academic schools in Mumbai & Dubai from 1986-2000, where she also had opportunities to coach upcoming artists of the Bollywood industry. See famous artists who received core training from Priya.
Additionally trained in classical Indian dance Katthak under Padmashri Guru Gopikrishna, India, (a maestro choreographer whose school coaches some of the best talent in India) while in the formative years of her career, Priya also avidly pursued Indian folk, jazz, break-dance, fitness, aerobics, yoga, modeling, dance theater, and scripting & direction of musicals for youth 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 fore-running industry leaders to recognize and put gifted children in the spotlight at public events in the city, on TV, in 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. Priya’s students often featured in prominent children’s & youth theatre, they featured and won at satellite TV contest and also represented their school or college at highly popular festivals of culture and arts.
Her teaching career was sparked off by her capable leadership skills while studying for her Bachelor’s in Financial Accounting & Economics at Bombay University. Leading the college’s Dance and Drama program, she helped win it several awards each year representing the University at major inter-college annual competitions such as Malhar, Mood Indigo etc, highly popular youth festivals. She was also a Dance Finalist twice in a row at all-India Fusion Dance Championships 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 movie director/producer)
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 famous brands such as Reebok, Splash, Giordano, Esprit, and presented live-wire events for government entities such as UAE Chambers of Commerce, Dubai Shopping Festival UAE, UAE Airports Authorities, and the esteemed Royal Family of UAE, along with fashion & food chains such as Americana, KFC and others.
At her next international destination, New Zealand, students represented her with shows, workshops & cultural demo’s in the retail, hospitality, fitness & education industries, at cultural establishments within the Indian diaspora as well as in the mainstream.
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 organizations and from mainstream communities.
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 and 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 just surprising their friends and family at social events. 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, Lenovo and NetApp, 2015
- Introduced Bollywood Dance to Senior Citizens through City of Raleigh programs, 2013
- Introduced structured Bollywood workshops at Wake County schools.
- Within just a year of starting up, helped won Silver for Group Entry at the International Dance Contest, Raleigh International Festival 2014, her Adult group comprised of just everyday local women.
- Indigo’s Teen Category dance students won Grand Prize- First Place at the Teen Triangle International Contest in Raleigh, 2015
- Brought a live-wire, entertaining & engaging Bollywood Interactive fare to the Triangle, 2013
- Starting her daily growing Youtube channel – a live testimony of Priya’s successful prolific work with students in the Triangle today – With nearly 500 dance videos by local students, it is now the largest followed Bollywood dance & fitness database in the Carolinas – and it is organically growing daily with an international following!
As Chief Tutor she mentors & personally coaches or supervises every class round the year, sharing the wealth of the cultural evolution of Indian Dance. With her experience, she is capable of bringing both the creative and the fitness quotient into students’ dance & workout regime. From motivating at a macro level, to helping each newbie student, she brings out the hidden dancer in you.
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
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Priya & her academy have been talked and written about in the media of every country she has professed in. Read more above.
- 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
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