Passion never fails- They said and I proved it.
I won’t, my work will speak for me– the life of a dancer is never easy. When people doubted me and my capabilities, just because of my age, I knew talking back to them wouldn’t help any of us. I have always shown why they shouldn’t have. They say ‘actions speak louder than words’. I stick to it.
The jaunty kid, who would never shut up was me. All my life I have been fearless, that’s what my dad taught me. My parents always taught both their children to follow their dreams and never suffocate themselves just to please someone else.
Isn’t dancing just an extra-curricular activity?
Ever since I was a child, I have been tapping my foot and flowing my fingers to the rhythm. I think it was something that was meant to be. But as a child, whatever you do is just considered to be an extra-curricular activity rather than something someone can create their Ikigai moment out of.
After graduating from high school, I was very clear in my mind that I wanted to take dancing as my career. I was still holding onto it till the time I completed my graduation. There are very few people who envision their future at such a young age, I was blessed to be one of them. What was there to wait for? I picked my shoes and started taking lessons in one of the dance studios. For 6 to 8 months, I was there as a student and gave my all in.
It was time I did something of my own:
After learning in that institute, I was hired as an assistant choreographer in the same. I gave all my time and effort. There was a point when I was handling the entire studio on my own, in the absence of my superiors. All my clients were extremely gratified with my work. The feedback my superiors got for me was increasing day by day.
While working there, I realized how much I loved teaching dance, rather than just dancing. My fascination with the entire process, from taking bookings to their final day rehearsal, is why I wanted to open my own dance studio. That exact moment was when the existence and layout of HDS (Himani Dance Studio) came to life. I knew this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and that I would never give up on it.
The creation of HDS (Himani Dance Studio):
Twenty and timorous, I told my dad about my plan. The only thing he asked me was ‘will you be able to do it?’ hearing this I doubted myself even more. I was aware of the fact that working in a studio and running one, were two very different responsibilities. So I pushed myself, I knew I could do this, all I needed was a little support, efforts, and adherence to my plan. I told my dad that his little girl was ready for this big commitment.
My parents have been the most supportive kind, so my dad promised me to help set up the studio, but once done, he wouldn’t lend me a single penny. It was all on me now. I was about to enter the real world. I still remember the day I saw my studio ready, the feeling of owning something is inexplicable.
It was time for my share of hardships:
The studio was ready, my savings helped me pay the first month’s rent. But now what? Will people want to learn from me? How will I get students? The life of a dancer has never been easy. Fortunately, I got a batch of kids in the first month. But that was just one, right? I had days with no clients, no students but I still had bills to pay. I was too proud to ask my dad for help. But with the help of my friends, I managed to overcome that phase of my life as well.
It was the wedding season, I hired interns, trained them, and we were all ready to sweat. We were fully swamped with bookings for the next 3 months. One day prior to the start, all 5 of them bailed on me. Agonized by this event, I decided to never rely on anyone else ever.
I love every day of my life:
I love my work, I can’t get enough of it. The best part about my day is when my clients are sweating with smiles on their faces. I don’t mind taking back to back 4 sessions, this exasperation helps me sleep better at nights knowing I was productive.
With every new client, I get to meet a new family. Knowing their culture, their customs, and rituals, the laughs, the fun whilst the rehearsals, everything excites me. The healthy relationship I maintain with my clients is the reason why I have reached this position in my life. With each blessing, a thorn is taken out of my path to success. Even the smallest compliment from them works as a mood uplifter for me.
What advice would I give on ‘how to become a dancer?’
The life of a dancer, as you may think, is not as smooth as our performances. Fingers will raise on your choices, your talent will be doubted. But don’t you dare give up, don’t you dare anyone get to your head. Outline your process, make correct planning, build your own values because I know for a fact, passion never fails.
People say ‘anybody can do it’. I beg to differ, only those who are ready to devote themselves to their passion can do it.
The Instagram handle of Himani shah.