CAN STEREOTYPES STOP YOU? Not Me!
- IWB Post
- January 17, 2014
My story starts when I was 6 months old. An age when a child starts responding, I moved my muscles listening to music. That was the time when my mother realized that there is something different in me…something different from what a normal child of 6 months does. I started dancing when I was 2 & ½ years old & won this competition which was actually for children 5 year and above!
Initially people who knew I dance took it as my hobby. But as I grew up, the same people started commenting to my parents – ‘Is this what your girl is going to do rest of her life?’ Though my parents supported my passion, they never agreed on one decision of mine – to drop school for my further dance education. They wanted me to complete education for a secure future (like every other parent) but I was adamant to rather become an expert in Dancing. I knew that was the biggest risk I was about to take.
Today I am capable of choreographing big Dance events like in IIT-Delhi, Delhi University, IIPM, etc while also tapping feet in prominent shows outside India as well. BUT sadly it’s true that image of a woman-dancer is ugly in the eyes of stereotypes. Men find it easy to exploit women in such professions as they consider it a time-pass or a choice of forced circumstances. I faced similar situation during one of the shows. A drunken man tried to enter my room late at night but I took charge instead of sweating. I shouted for help and came out of my room. I made him clear that his intentions are a fail with me. It’s important that women need to stand for themselves, no matter what profession they are into. If I would have kept mum or got scared that night, then my career choice would definitely be under questions.
But its true actions speak louder than words; I left no stone unturned to prove myself in this one chance I was given. I started learning various dance forms from renowned gurus all over India. By the age of 15 I mastered Folk Dance, Bollywood-style under the guidance of famous Choreographer Ganesh Acharya, Jazz, Belly Dance and Salsa from Delhi. This wasn’t all; I also took training in acting at Shri. Kishore Namit’s Acting-lab where actors like Hrithik & Kareena had come to get trained. Apart from performing in Rajasthan government’s event – ‘Haldighati Mahotsav’, I managed to make into various National and State level Competition like ‘Nach ke Dikha’ & TV reality show Dance India Dance season-2.
I keep myself happy with my achievements – both materialistic and emotional. Recently after one of my shows in the US, an old lady came to me and said ‘You look like a messenger of God. Your performance is like a messenger dear.’ And if you are getting worried about what a Dancer really earns – well, I don’t really care! When you’re earning the hearts of people & see them clapping at your performance what else do you actually need? Anybody can be an engineer, doctor, businessman but only few lucky people can be artists…creative. I am HAPPY I am one of those handfuls.
I know this is just a beginning and I have a long way to go. I feel Jaipur has real talent & all they need is a proper platform, hence I am planning to start my own Institute. I don’t want them to stay away from their parents at tender age & visit other cities to learn dance, like me.
Oh, also my parents? Well, they are now Proud Parents of Charvi!
By: CHARVI BHARADWAJ,
Performer & Choreographer
Honors degree from Kathak Kendra, Delhi, M.A from Bhatkhande University, Lucknow