Nine reasons to learn Indian classical dance !

Here are NINE compelling reasons for learning Indian classical dance immediately:

1. You wish you were more patient. We all seek instant gratification because we live in the age of technology and speed. But that hasn’t changed the way life is – you still need to wait for your job, for a partner perhaps, for the right time, for things to fall into place. Practicing an Indian classical dance form will teach you patience instantly 🙂 – and that will help you to deal with life. It’s just that everything takes time, and you learn that while dancing!

2. You wish you could focus on the present. Indian classical dances are about understanding the mind-body-soul connection. While staying in specific dance postures, the ‘monkey-mind’ – which wants to keep moving to the ‘next’ thing, is forced to stay with one posture. When you practice these dance forms, you are basically training your mind to focus on one thing for extended periods of time.  This shall always keep you in the present and aware of the present moment.

3. You wish you could be healthier. Yes, there are a lot of dances and exercises out there that help you lose weight instantly. But when you practice Indian classical dance forms, you not only build muscle strength and endurance, but also learn to breathe better. It’s all about breath – are you out of breath as soon as you take a few steps? That should change once you join dance class.

4. You wish you were more disciplined. Yes, it requires you to go home and practice beyond the classes with your teacher, because the idea is for you to understand your own body, different rhythms and your self. Most importantly, it is all about timing because that’s what you learn when you coordinate with rhythms. That’s how it inculcates discipline, which then spreads to other aspects of your life.

5. You wish you could exercise more of your left/right brain. Indian classical dances teach head, neck and limb coordination, slowly and steadily, such that you exercise your left and right brain to do different things. E.g. Try asking your left hand and right hand to do different things at the same time. It’s tough. Now imagine, training all your limbs that way, and then look at your brain connections!

6. You wish you could stop reacting. In your daily life, you feel anger, sadness, happiness, love, excitement and so on; Indian classical dances give you a cathartic release of these emotions. While performing several emotional roles, you will start understanding the connection between emotions – mind and body. This will help you in observing your emotions better, and then of course, you will stop reacting and start acting productively.

7. You wish you could be more flexible.  Indian classical dances – tone your thighs, your pelvis, arms, torso and so on, of course, each dance form stresses on different combination of muscles, so choose the one you feel comfortable with. When you keep training your body and muscles regularly, it is bound to improve your flexibility.

Megha dance usc

8. You wish you could tap and sway easily. Once you learn the science of rhythm and your limbs learn to coordinate naturally – of course, you can pick up any form easily! There are very few dance styles that involve so many parts of the body at once. Indian classical dances do that, so you can be prepared to grasp any style, once you have dedicated yourself to some form of Indian classical dance.

9. You wish to grow spiritually. The amazing part about Indian classical dances is that they give you an understanding of the body to release you from the body! Sounds complicated? Well, you understand the limitations of the body only to overcome them. And finally all these dances are about communicating experiences or ‘rasa’ and the first person you would communicate that with, is yourself. So once you are thorough with the basics, you are already beyond the body!

So, find a teacher who can help you on this path and do remember to dedicate at least six months without any expectations and see the transformation in yourself! Welcome to the world of Indian classical dances, this new world awaits you!

I have been fascinated by the art of story-telling since childhood and covered three art forms since then that enable me to tell my stories well; Bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance), English Literature and Film. For me all these three have come together and helped me understand various aspects of acting, production, direction, sound, lighting, along with storytelling. All these art forms have not only helped me communicate with people, but have helped me create a communion with myself. There is so much more I feel each day, and that gives me the energy to live and and enjoy each discovery!