Priya’s early beginnings in dance and choreography were as a natural artiste and a Creative Pathfinder in Fusion Dance.
- Priya ranked in Bombay, India’s Top Five Finalists in Modern Duet Championships twice in consecutive years in the early ’90s. She placed in the ranks of some of today’s stalwart professionals in the competitive Bollywood and related film entertainment industry in India, topnotch directors, film-makers & TV producers of today, namely Farah Khan (international Bollywood choreographer), Naved Jaffery & Ravi Behl (producers of India’s premier and longest-running TV Dance Reality Show “Boogie Woogie”), Longines Fernandes, (choreographer of international runaway success “Slumdog Millionaire” ), Ken Ghosh ( Director of famous Bollywood films ‘Fiza” and others), Sajid Khan (Director/Actor/TV presenter), International DJ Akbar Sami, & other well-known names of India’s entertainment industry.
- While at University of Bombay she received several inter-college accolades, spear-heading her college performing arts team to compete and win at several high-profile festivals at archaic institutes such as St.Xavier’s College (“Malhar”), Sophia Bhabha Polytechnic (“Sofiesta”), VJTI Powai (Pratibimb) , IIT (Mood Indigo), and other distinguished institutions.
- She attained primary classical dance coaching of Indian classical Katthak and Folk dance styles from Natraj Gopikrishna’s Institute.
- An explorer she was among the first to experiment aligning 90s popular western dance styles with Indian, along with her trailblazing peers, in Bombay (the film capital city of India, now ‘Mumbai’ that coined the infamous word Bollywood = “Bombay’s Hollywood”).
- Rising from this fountain-head of creativity and talent, Priya founded her busy academy in Mumbai in 1990 , introducing fusion styles that became popular both at her center and numerous recreation centers that affiliated her courses to their syllabus. She is among the pioneer modern dancers of Bombay City who introduced Fusion Dance as PE activities in academic schools in Bombay. She was also among the first to recognize and put gifted children in the spotlight at public events in Bombay city.
- Her structured courses taught at her academy in India for over a decade became very popular with working professionals, families & recreational organizations alike.
- A post-graduate in Business Management from New Zealand, she was awarded a scholarship to the best business mentoring school from the University of Auckland, for her creative work in media, assisting in developing simulator prototypes for the global edutainment industry and felicitated by TV3 New Zealand as well as assisting the establishment of these for the public, in New Zealand’s premier Museum MOTAT, inaugurated by Hon.Helen Clark, the then Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Among other artistic endeavors, Priya & her academy have performed for the Royal Family of UAE at their social wedding ceremonies as well as at major celebrity events in Dubai & Bombay during her time in the Indian sub-continent, besides dancing in honor of the Prime Minister at the New Zealand Parliament, to promote the cause of Indo-NZ integration.
- Priya is also a talented theatre actor, having played lead challenging roles during her time in New Zealand, with Prayas NZ , a prolific theatre group that regularly stages productions to showcase stories from the rich, traditional and urban landscapes of India.
See Testimonials India.
- Certified in Aerobics Group Fitness Training , 2008, from the AAAI-ISMA, U.S.A
- CPR, First Aid and AED certified
- Certified in Katthak Classical and Folk Dance from noteworthy maestro of Katthak, Nateshwar Institute Guru Gopikrishna’s Bombay, India
- Certified teacher of Yoga to Young Adults from The Yoga Institute, Bombay India.
- Vetted by the New Zealand Ministry of Education; Certified in Early Child Care
- Multi-lingual, Native fluent speaker of Hindi, Urdu and regional Indian dialects, French
Famous ‘Firsts’ :
- Introduce musical theater into her showcases, writing and executing a variety of original Bollywood styled skits for schools & colleges in Bombay (India), Dubai and lately, Atlanta (USA).
- Represent Indian culture at mainstream parades in western shores
- First ever to bring a nationwide live dance contest for children to the public in the United Arab Emirates
- First to introduce Bollywood Dance & BollyRobics at mainstream community education learning centers and fitness centers such as YMCA in New Zealand & Atlanta (Year 2006 NZ/ Year 2009, Atlanta/ Year 2013 Raleigh-Durham)
- First to bring Bollywood Dance to Senior Citizens Golden Age group (Year 2013, Raleigh-Durham)
Priya has served on the judges’ panel at several imminent dance contests for children and youth locally at Universities in Bombay, Dubai and New Zealand. In Mumbai, she has often served as a volunteer judge at times alongside other famous academies such as Shiamak Davar Performing Arts.
She has also given of her time & energies towards non-profits & volunteer organizations such as Rotary Club, Lions’s Club, the Red Cross Society, Joggers Park Cultural & Recreation Center and other local community & charitable organizations in India.
Famous Students of Indigo :
Priya is the proud guru of quite a few young and upcoming students making waves in the edutainment circuit in India, with some of her former students who took core dance training under her, now having become actors, directors, choreographers & teachers. Among others are young & upcoming actresses Adah Sharma -(Films “Hassee To Phassee‘, ‘Phhir”,”1920″ “Hum Hai Rahi Car ke 2012″ & “Raaz ” ), Shehnaz Treasury- (films “Delhi Belly”, “Ishq Vishq” “Love Ka the End”), actress Heeba Shah (Stage actress- daughter of Hollywood/Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah), Dance choreographer-performer Shampa Sonthalia (daughter of legendary Guru Gopikrishna, who studied her first modern styles from Priya), actress Perizaad Zorabian, Bollywood director Meghna Gulzar (daughter of actor Raakhee & film-maker– Gulzar) among others. Priya has also taught dance to other eminent political & media families in Mumbai and choreographed family skits for celebrity Bollywood weddings such as producer of blockbuster films Ritesh Sidhwani (films “Dil Chahta Hai”, “Don”, “Zindagi Ma Milegi Dobara”, “Lakshya” , “Honeymoon Travels” etc ) and others.
Highlights as a Performer-Tutor within India:
- Peer and student team have been led to winning presentations at prominent musical theaters such as Prithvi, Bhaidas, Rangsharda, NCPA, Sophia Bhabha, Homi Bhabha , the Indian Navy Nagar, the Taj Intercon Ballroom, and other famous arenas of art presentations, in Bombay, India
- Self and Students performed at top dance concerts in Adult category consecutively for 3 years 1990-1993, in Bombay & other cities, India.
- Students’ Team won Inter-collegiate Dance Contests, Bombay- 1st place winners awarded by Farah Khan & others, Bombay, India.
- Best Junior Team Dance for creative choreography at the original “Boogie Woogie Dance Reality Show”, Sony TV India , awarded by actors Javed & Naved Jaffrey & Ravi Behl, Bombay, India.
- Team 1st Place winners at High School Dance Contests – Bombay, India.
- Some of Academy’s Graduates now have their own dance & exercise schools in Bombay, India.
- Some graduates toured India & overseas routinely performing with Indi-pop/Bollywood singers like Alisha Chinoy , Suneeta Rao, Sharon Prabhakar & others, Bombay, India.
Highlights as a Performer-Tutor outside India:
Family and a passion for travel took her to foreign shores in the millennium, where aside from pursuing a full time career in business administration, and raising her daughter, she implemented Bollywood & Indian Dance into mainstream local schools, colleges & gyms as a performing art, introducing Indian dance to people of diverse racial origins.
Her artistic bio ranges from dancing for /with celebrities to/for the general public. Priya’s greatest joys & inspiration come from her students shining at platforms of imminence:
- In the United Arab Emirates, her students gave cultural presentations at eminent venues such as Creek Park Amphitheater, numerous Dubai Festivals over the years, Dubai World Trade center, Chamber of Commerce Sharjah, various upmarket malls and resorts. Team students finalists in MTV Junior Dance contest, Dubai Creek Park & Dubai Malls, Dubai UAE
- In New Zealand, her student teams performed at major cultural representations at Indian and mainstream events, Diwali Festivals and at the Civic Square Wellington, attended by scores of people from all over the country, and at TAPAC ( New Zealand’s premier Performing Arts Center in Auckland) besides other theatrical expositions. Team High School Lynfield- 1st Place Winners in High School Dance Contest, Auckland New Zealand.
- Self & student team presented a cultural dance at the Parliament in New Zealand in presence of Prime Minister Honorable Helen Clark to foster deeper Indo-NZ relations.
- Self & students presented a cultural dance on the grand occasion of one of the wedding ceremonies of Princess Al Nahyan, of the royal ruling family, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
- During a sojourn in Atlanta, and since July 2013, Priya has conducted several dance /musical presentations for community and local organizations in GA & NC, that helped bring her students’ abilities to the fore, U.S.A
Priya shares her lifelong passion, and wealth of the cultural evolution of Indian Dance with her students. An experienced tutor, she is capable of bringing both the creative and the fitness quotient into their dance & workout regime. With a global background and deep-rooted hands-on training in India, from motivating at a macro level, to capturing the imagination of little ones whilst teaching in class, she brings out the hidden dancer in even the most novice student. As a tutor and choreographer, she not only gleans from her rich past experience, but avidly pursues futuristic trends in dance and fitness. Mother to a collegiate daughter, she actively promotes a healthy lifestyle through dance, balanced nutrition, and a spiritual outlook.
Bio of events – prominent work in the past :
- Diwali 2009- Atlanta- Musical Dance show created for Indian Friends’ Meetup Group – Atlanta’s largest South East Asian group of young professionals with over 1000 members, featuring original script & enacting through dance & drama.
- Florida 2010, Indian Beach Holiday Inn : Performance for exclusive private gatherings
- 2009 & 2010 – Greater Vedic Temple, Atlanta , Holi & Diwali Festivals celebratory performances with academy members.
- 2008- performances /training for members of Pujari INC Event Group, Atlanta
- 2009 – Asiaana Banquet Hall, Global Mall, Atlanta in aid of the Atlanta Diabetes Hypertension Center
- 2010: Holiday Inn : Dinner theater for a SE Asian Networking Group in South Georgia.
- 2008: Leading fitness sessions at 5K Walk – Vibha.org at Georgia Tech campus
- 2008-2010 : Regular coaching Classes: held at – Gwinnett County & Duluth Town Recreational Centres, Indian American Cultural Association, Smyrna, and Vedic Temple of Atlanta.
For events in Raleigh-Durham, see Past Events in NC
- Professionally coached in Auckland and Wellington cities at Community Centers 2003-07, the YMCA, gyms and academic schools , community colleges from 2004-2007
- Workshops for the Auckland Regional Migrant Services and International Women’s Voices Radio station etc. 2006
- Acting in theatre lead roles with Prayas – www.prayas.co.nz – a leading Indo-New Zealand Theater Production Co. at prominent theaters, Auckland 2007
- Presided as judge on panels for high school dance extravaganzas which were New Zealand’s Bollywood “events of the year”
- Students performances at City of Wellington and Auckland’s prominent nationally attended multi-cultural festivals as well as city-center Christmas parades
- Multicultural Performances for a series of Dubai Shopping Festivals and Dubai Summer Surprises public festivals held each year in the emirate from 1996- 2000
- Reebok U.A E – organized youth fashion & dance shows, 1996-97
- Shows for KFC- U.A.E., Americana at the Global Village, Dubai, 1998
- Staged student shows at The Oasis Center, and other Dubai- mega-malls showcasing children’s fashion & dance extravaganzas, 2000.
- Performances for high profile malls Al Ghurair, Bur Juman, Hamarain, Wafi.
- The Baby Shop clothing chain -series of Fashion Shows 1997 and 2000
- Fashion & Dance shows at Dubai World Trade Center for high profile outfitters : Splash, Giordano and Esprit collections for Planet Youth – a multicultural teenage Fashion Exhibition
- Performances for The Chamber of Commerce Sharjah & Sharjah Airport, 1999-2000
- Coaching at various recreational centers at malls, colleges, academic schools , universities for regular lessons & events 1996-2000
- Performances by students of various high schools in adaptations of famous musicals.
- Judge Panel member for Inter-Collegiate dance festivals at University of Wollongong, Dubai 2000
India: (Mumbai, 1986-1996):
- Performances for The Indian Navy at the prestigious annual Navy Ball, ’86-90
- Performances for the Taj Group of Hotels, Hotel Taj Mahal Intercontinental, The President and the Oberoi Suites 1986-90, for Hotel SeaRock Sheraton 1986-90, Hotel Holiday Inn and The Ambassador 1986-90, at New Year’s Eve and other special public events.
- “Boogie Woogie” – India’s Premiere and longest running TV Show Dance Competition on Sony TV : Academy won 1st Place Junior category 1997.
- Bombay’s prestigious and select film industry members’ wedding celebrations; scripted wedding mini-musical for Ritesh Sidhwani- producer of famous film “Dil Chahta Hai” (2001) and for general public.
- Academy won a number of local awards for community service in dance and endorsed by the media and press.
- Children’s theatre productions held at popular auditoria in Mumbai -National TV, Zee TV and Doordarshan, adaptations of famous works/musicals choreography/ performance for Hosi Vasunia Productions, ’90-’93
- Presided as guest speaker at several local community events, schools & colleges, along with celebrities from the film & fashion world.
- Organized several local and community dance extravaganzas, coached at numerous high schools and recreation centers alongside own studios in western Mumbai 1986-1996
- Aided fund-raisers for non-profits like Red Cross, Rotary and Lion’s Club, Joggers’ Park Cultural Recreational centers.
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