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APRIL 2016


I have always believed in doing different things in life…things which are unconventional and rare but unique. Having danced to bollywood numbers since childhood I always knew I enjoyed dancing and was decently good at it. But what form of dance would best justify my personality or bring out the unique, unconventional side of my personality? I often asked myself.

Around 10 years back I thought of giving this a thought and felt that at a superficial level belly dancing was an extremely sensuous and unique dance form, but was a little skeptical about how I would be in a position to pursue this dance form, not really due to any social stigma attached but only because I was not sure that there could be any professional way of learning the art or the original dance form. Also back then I was not sure how my family would react to this since I was dependent on them financially to fulfill my hobbies etc.

As time passed I put this thought in the back burner and got busy in building a career till the year 2016 when I decided that the resolution for me this year would be to sign up for a professional belly dancing course. It was really an overnight decision since the last time I contemplated it was 10 years that passed by. So this time around I was sure I had to hit the iron while it was hot. I quickly did some research and learnt that Ritambara Sahni’s Belly Dancing Institute in Mumbai was the best in business. Everywhere that I looked up it was Ritambara Sahni all the way with so many press articles.

Over a brief conversation with her where she very transparently communicated the level 1 – 3 course details, I felt that I don’t need to look at options and knew this was it. However I was still a little apprehensive and decided to meet her and then sign up for the course. Ritambhara called me during one of her classes and it was an instant exchange of positivity that I got from her which made all my apprehensions disappear. In fact that very same day I completed my foundation course since I found her classes so interesting and enriching.

Unlike other courses where usually you will be crowded with trainers around you, Ritambara Sahni ensures she is a part of all the classes. This not only shows how true she is to what she does but her passion and dedication for the dance-form comes across extremely well. Apart from being good at her craft, Ritambara is a wonderful human being with a lot of strong principals and values which further makes me respect her immensely as a person.

I have completed level 1 –3 and there has been a distinct change in my mental well-being. Being in a demanding job, I usually seek some form of outlet which enables me to feel relaxed at all levels, mental, physical and emotional. One might feel how I would feel physically relaxed by joining a dance class, but I was myself shocked to realize that I would on each Saturday and Sunday come out a happier person post those 2 hours of belly dancing. In return I realized that the happiness I exuberated made a lot of people around me happy and thus unknowingly I spread a lot of love and made some amazing friends here. What is interesting to know is that this dance form is very similar to the traditional Indian dance forms but at the same time very different when it comes to the techniques and the attitude one needs to have to carry this dance form of gracefully without making it look vulgar. She pays individual attention to each student and makes sure that we master the technique. Needless to say I have become a lot more fitter, friendlier and free spirited, the three ‘F’s’ I can guarantee you will experience once you sign up for Ritambhara Sahni’s Belly Dancing Classes . I have already signed up for level 4,5 and 6 and continue to take this forward till the maximum level that I can. Also if Ritambara deems me suitable to be an instructor and help her with her classes in future, I would give an arm and a leg to work with her institute. I never thought that I would be able to complete the levels so fast but being in Ritambara’s able hands, I lost track of how soon these 3 months just passed by. At the end of the first three levels I think I have it in me to take it a notch higher and am sure that I will be given full support from her and hence will be looking forward to a long term engagement with Ritambara Sahni’s Belly Dancing Institute. Overall I can only sum up by saying that we girls often say that during these 4 hours in a week we feel like goddesses, empowered, sensuous and in control of our lives. There are women from all walks of life attending these classes, women ranging from the age group of 15 – 55 years. I believe it is just not the love for dance that binds us all together, it is something else, it is Ritambara Sahni and her sheer warmth and love for the dance form which is a strong binding factor. At the cost of sounding a little philosophical, I would like to say that Belly Dancing has actually heightened my sense of being alive by making me one with the rhythm, sensuality and freedom that I have been exposed to.

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