Savvy Raj

Live Life Lovingly!


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A Connected Life

This year I celebrate my five years of being and serving as a Member of International Dance Council UNESCO

Sharing a note I wrote 5 years ago…

Honoured to be nominated as an official Member of the International Council of Dance UNESCO. It’s the official umbrella organization for all forms of dance in all countries of the world. Its members are the most prominent federations, associations, schools, companies and individuals in over170 countries.

Have to certainly add that back in the 1960’s it was a visiting delegation from UN that had come to India who had got my dear father interested in learning these International Dances and later on teaching these dances as a hobby and now after all these years as his daughter, to have been certified by CID UNESCO I am touched indeed to say the least.

Thank you Dad for sharing with me this Magic of Dance. I am truly grateful that our simple dream of sharing the joy of Dancing by not only training people to dance but also specialising in applications of dance in holistic wellbeing through Dance Concepts, has been nominated to join UNESCO CID.

It surely connects the dots into a beautiful circle.

The prospect of working under the guidance of this phenomenal institution gives one unbelievable new strengths.

Learning to dance is indeed a ‘labour of love’ and I cherish every moment. How privileged we are to share this indescribable ‘magic of dance.’

Hoping to take the art of Dance to empower more and more people to sense and love the beauty of every movement in the moments called Life.

Savvy Raj


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Our vibrance

Our universe is full of waves of energy. And all life is energy in varied forms .

In the subatomic level all is vibrational and moving .We are all pulsating oceans of energy fields. This very waves of energy is what makes us unique as we are in ourselves and in the way we interact with one another.

Sometimes these waves of energy are seemingly stagnant and at times moving in momentous speed.

Life is full of vibrations. Sometimes you sense its brilliance and at other times it is so subtle and subjective to our level of understanding at that point in life. Yet there are reasons for why you emit the vibrations that you do. And it’s all interconnected.

From the food, you eat your choices have a way of influencing your body and your body affects the way you feel and think.

Our thoughts have much to do with our emotions and thus the behaviour of every cell is affected in a relational way to another.

Some simple ways to raise your positive vibrations…

Walk outdoors

Smile and laugh more

Spend time in nature

Have a hobby

Support a cause

Exercise, dance & play

Listen to soothing music

Eat vegetables and fruits

Drink adequate water

Think well for one and all!

And most of all

Love life and live it lovingly!

Savvy


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You lead I follow : I lead you follow… Life is a dance!

Do you love to dance?

Do you enjoy leading a dance?

What makes a dance enjoyable?

Dance is a lot like life . Here I bring forth a few simple pointers on Partner Dancing.

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Important lessons in leadership are easily learned, on the dance floor…as you lead and as you follow.

They are very simple lessons and yet very powerful and contribute in making one a better dancer immediately. But more importantly it helps to know how to be a better leader in life too.

About two decades or more, Social dancing workshops and lessons in India were rarely common. We decided to do something about it and the Dance Concepts Latin &ballroom dance workshops began . We started with the basics :a Foxtrot , a Waltz , Jive , Rock n Roll and of course a Cha Cha Cha.

The idea was to teach as naturally and as simply as possible, so that the students made quick progress in learning the concepts of dancing rather than just a routine. Having had the privilege of sharing our social dancing skills with so many eager learners over the years we made a few observations … when the learners were learning the footwork side by side they would find it a breeze. But when we instructed them to join hands and dance together in an open hold some of them felt as if they were wrestling more than dancing with the lady pulling one way, while the man was pushing her another way Each had their ideas about how they should move and how it would look.

Social Dancing is a partnership, a partnership where there is a leader and a follower. Even if you don’t like to follow, to dance well together it is wise to respect the partnership rules. Learning to follow is a skill that one needs to develop and is not necessarily easy. It’s difficult as you have to do the same thing your partner is doing, except backward.

Just as important, you have to follow his lead even if it seems as if he’s going the wrong way. And thus if one learns to lead well, the partner may actually enjoy the feeling of being led than feeling yanked and shoved around.

Traditionally the man takes the lead on the dance floor. Yes, in ballroom dancing – even in these days -mostly the man leads. But roles can be and are reversed as well. After all it takes two to tango… if one leads the other follows.

Being a leader is more about sensitivity and definitely not about pushing your partner around, but to lead well, it is necessary to develop spatial awareness so you know exactly where your partner is at every moment, which foot their weight is balanced on without looking. You have to be aware of their pacing, and be mindful of the strengths, and weaknesses. And you have to take all that into consideration every time you move with a partner in your arms.

A good leader connects than controls.

Savvy

Sense what you are going to do before you do it. Just be aware of what your next step is going to be, and give your partner the signal at the right time so they can follow you gracefully. Like so in life: Having some foresight of what your life should become is like knowing what type of dance you want to do. But being a good leader requires more of you than that. It demands that you also have good ideas about the medium- and short-term tasks that are required to achieve that vision. And it means you have to communicate those ideas to your partners – those who are working closely with you to achieve your vision.

When dancing together it is very important to …

Signal your intentions with clarity. To lead well, and the way to avoid using force is to give strong, clear signals. The clearer your signals are, the easier it is to follow you. And the easier it is for your partner to follow you, the better you will look and feel together and the better they will like dancing with you.

In life: knowing what you want from your partners, colleagues etc is not enough. You have to let them know what you want them to do by communicating it to them with clarity. And most of all you have to develop the art of patience.

Lead to demonstrate your partner’s strengths.In dancing, the purpose of the leader is to lead – but the purpose of the dance itself is to enjoy the moment with your partner, each focusing on the bringing the best of each others strengths than the weaknesses…

Wise leaders hardly blame the follower when things go haphazard , which it might at times! After all exhilaration and excitement are a stones throw away from comfort zones that one might trespass at times , yet when ever the leader and the follower work in harmony … it is magnetic and mesmerizing indeed! It is then a dance beyond all expectations!

Savvy Raj

Member of International Dance Council

UNESCO

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To share is to learn

Unconference, the word piqued my curiosity for a while now.

I checked it up on the internet only to find that the idea has gained tremendous momentum across the globe.

The idea of un-structuring the ingrained structure seemed interesting to say the least, in creating spaces and possibilities to honour the learning.

Suffice to say recently, when I came across an Unconference event in the local newspaper I decided I must make a visit.

The venue of this Unconference was the well known Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts in Pune. I reached just in time for the proceedings to untold.

A customary registration ensued and I was greeted by a few volunteers with a relaxed warm and welcoming attitude. Clearly, the Unconference had started right there.

The word Conference kind of stiffens people up. There is a formal attitude, a thick air of competition to perform at their very best. There are fees and strict rules to adhere to. There are super busy organisers scurrying through and tension is writ large on their faces and their bodies as well are stressed out with expectations of the outcome of the event. Suited men and women whizz through looking super important. And yes there would be a Chief Guest of honour and a coterie of important people who need VIP handling… Adherence to their whims and fancies and most importantly their speeches which may or may not be of interest to any. But all must endure as to get up and leave is an offence to the speaker.

On the contrary here there was a prevalent free-spirited feeling in the first place that all were in it together. The sense of community always takes time to build so I stood in that room with a small group of people waiting for the (informal introductory practice,) the opening circle.

The Opening Circle :

Someone from the group had taken an initiative to design a pretty pattern made of flowers in the centre of the space and light a lamp there.

A few introductory rounds later which turned out to be icebreakers with a few games to let loose and get into the flow.

There was a board set up with a mention of few rooms and a time slot to boot. The participants were encouraged to choose to attend or conduct workshops or just wander around and network.

A few people got up to mention their workshops and claim their slot. On a moment’s impulse although I was not exactly in the right attire for a dance workshop I simply decided to go with the flow and offered a Dance connection workshop by me.

Encouraged by a decent number of participants I let the moment take the lead. As I began teaching I witnessed the flow of the energy in the exchange.

I spoke about the dance, hold, frame and positioning and started introducing them to partner dancing and some basic steps. Bit by bit people shed inhibitions as they were getting tuned into the moves.

The moment strangers began to hold hands and face one another… for many, there was harmony to be found in the mirror imaging. For after all the lead and follow were simply an extension of each other dancing as one unit.

The energy in the room turned up a notch with the Achy Breaky Heart country cha sounds of Billy Ray Cyrus for company.

All started sensing the tuning with their partners at that moment. And an all-new dance impression in the expressions birthed itself in their hearts.

After the dance workshop I asked what they felt in that moment and here is what they shared immediately…

Deeply grateful!

The Give and Take

Truly to immerse yourself in that which you love all you have to do is to take a step … for your own good as much as for the others.

Essentially the whole experience was to me simply about honouring life energy in all its uniqueness of expression.

Great experience being a part of this interesting initiative!

Savvy