Veteran international dance tutor of over 21 years, choreographer, performer, show producer, theatre actor, presenter, & former dance finalist of India, Priya Chellani is the chief tutor of Indigo.
An award-winning teaching artist, she specializes in Bollywood and Indian dance performances. Priya hails from the birthplace of “Bollywood” cinema : Bombay, India. Priya conducted a thriving academy of pupils in Mumbai (India’s financial and entertainment capital) for a decade and half. She was Runner-up/ Dance Finalist, India, in a Fusion Duet Dance Championship in Mumbai, where she placed alongside the ranks of (now veteran) Bollywood choreographers such as Farah Khan, Longines Fernandes (now “SlumDog Millionaire” choreographer), DJ Akbar Sami (now India’s #1 DJ), Ken Ghosh (now Bollywood director/producer of films like “Fiza”), Ravi Behl & Naved (now producers of “Boogie Woogie” India’s longest running TV dance reality show) . Co-choreographer for a Bollywood movie, and prize-winning student entries at reality TV dance shows during 1986- 2000. Priya has been guru to children of a few famous actors and upcoming artists of the Bollywood industry during her teaching years in Mumbai’s western suburbs (home to Bollywood megastars)
Trained in classical Indian dance Katthak under Padmashri Guru Gopikrishna, India, (a maestro choreographer who coached Bollywood stars), while in her formative years of her career in Mumbai India, Priya pursued 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 & one of the earliest teachers to recognize and put gifted children in the spotlight at public events in the city, and TV, theatre and live events.
Before starting her teaching career, she was a resident choreographer at Bombay University’s Dance and Drama program, co-founder and co-choreographer of the college dance team, including Bollywood actors Ravi Behl, Naved Jaffrey and other dance celebrities of the Bollywood entertainment industry, India.
Migrating offshore in global destinations Dubai & New Zealand, from the millennium she coached a multitude of cultures, and worked with international event and educational organizations for TV & other media. She created shows in Dubai for brands Reebok, KFC chain, Giordano, Esprit, Splash Clothing, and presented Bollywood & related live events for UAE Chambers of Commerce UAE, UAE Airports Authorities and the Royal Family of UAE. Her students represented the academy at shows for New Zealand’s Town parks and recreations, retail, hospitality & fitness industries with the cultural Indian diaspora as well as mainstream establishments
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 became chief tutor at Indigo Dance Evolution, which offers regular coaching in both dance and dance fitness in the Triangle area, to Bollywood and Indian culture lovers, through teaching at the City of Raleigh, Town of Morrisville, as well as at corporate employee fitness programs, (Cisco, Lenovo, NetApp etc) in the area.
Priya brings a rich knowledge base of 25 years of teaching 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 at all levels feel comfortable with her teaching.
- 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, by Senior Citizens, 2013
- 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
- She was the 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 North Carolina – with an organically growing international following!
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 at public events, saw 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 not only gleans from her rich past experience, but avidly pursues futuristic trends in dance and fitness.
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.
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- 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)
- 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)