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 and a half. 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.
Since making her home in the United States, Priya certified as a Group Fitness Professional with nationally accredited institutions AAAI-ISMA and AFAA USA and developed her own Bollywood fitness workout style. 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 guest workshops at schools/colleges in the area. Since then, she has led over 100 showcases in the Triangle area alone for a wide client base: in hospitality, retail, public recreation, corporate, health & education.
Priya brings a rich knowledge base of 25 years as international artist in the Indian performing art 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, helping them achieve their goals, whether it be winning competitions, refining their performance skills, contributing their talent to charitable /multicultural community causes, or just surprising their friends and family at social events. With her no-judgment outlook, learners from all levels and diverse nationalities feel comfortable with her, inspired by her teaching style and her devotion to dance as a way to holistic fitness. Her methodology which she constantly develops, helps her to satisfactorily meet the needs of eclectic, diverse students. Follow her prolific Youtube Student Dance Channel with more than 1,000 global subscribers & more than 500 dance videos – from just North Carolina!
Recent Awards: Priya has twice won the “Top 20 Dance Teachers Award”, once in 2016 and then 2018.
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.
Some “firsts” in Raleigh-Durham:
- 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 students in a 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 work in the Triangle today – With nearly 500 dance videos by local students, it is now the largest followed Bollywood dance & fitness student database in the Carolinas.
As Chief Tutor she mentors & personally coaches or supervises every class round the year, sharing her knowledge 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 choreographer, she not only gleans from her rich past but also avidly pursues future trends in dance and fitness.
Priya has to her credit a number of testimonials from happy students and clients globally. Read more above.
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Lauded by the local & international press, Priya has been written about in local media, wherever she professed.
- 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
- 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
- HIPAA – trained in health/fitness industry principles.
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Priya 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. Priya’s students often featured in prominent media, including children’s & youth theatre, they featured on satellite TV reality dance shows and also represented their school or college at highly popular festivals of culture and art competitions, with Indian, classical, folk, and a variety of fusion forms.
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, aerobics, Patanjali yoga, dance theater, scripting & direction of musicals for youth and children’s theatre and fitness modeling. Priya was also often invited to preside over local dance competitions as a judge on celebrity panels including co-judges from other famous schools such as Shiamak Davar Institute of Arts.
Leading the college’s Dance and Drama program at the University of Mumbai. , she won several awards each year representing at major inter-college annual competitions such as Malhar, Mood Indigo etc. Dance Finalist twice in a row at all-India Fusion Dance Championships where she placed alongside peers such as (now veteran/famous) Bollywood choreographers 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) & DJ Akbar Sami (world-class Bollywood DJ) Priya has performed at several hi-profile events in Mumbai, and provided core foundational training to some of Bollywood’s rising stars today.
Migrating offshore to global destination Dubai, 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 events for government entities such as UAE Chambers of Commerce, Dubai Shopping Festival, UAE Airports Authorities, and the esteemed Royal Family of UAE, along with fashion stores such as Americana, Splash Iconic & fast food chains like KFC.
In New Zealand, Priya’s local students represented her at shows, workshops, at competitions & cultural demo’s in the theatre, retail, hospitality, fitness & education industries, at cultural establishments within the Indian diaspora as well as in the mainstream.