Savvy Raj

Live Life Lovingly!


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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

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When the heart dances…

When the heart dances

The body moves

The spirit sings

The soul senses

Joy abounds.

It doesn’t matter what dance you love …. what matters is that your heart loves to dance 🙂

Savvy


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What’s your favourite style of dance, and why?

As a Ballroom & Latin dance educator, many students have asked me what my favourite dance style is…
It is said that each style is like a language. Personally, I also think of different dance styles as having a “mood” that goes with them. I guess it’s not surprising that I do like lots of “happy” or “joyous” styles of dance. But I really do like the variety of dances for the variety of moods and it’s amazing ability in bringing a sense of balance. If I was stuck to dancing in one style, I would probably get bored after a while (I know that sounds strange). But it’s one of the reasons I really like dancing a variety of dances.

The Tango (for its intensity and passion at play as much as its fancy footwork)

And dancing the Waltz (for the heady glide, the rise and fall and its romantic sway).

Love the Rumba for it certainly is the dance of love… the song Everyday I love you, immediately comes to mind. But this performance by Slavik and Karina is quite riveting.

Happen to like the Cha cha for its stylish moves as much as its teasing spirit …that kind of speaks, this is my move … now, what’s yours?

I love the Jive for its lively spirit. You can truly never be sad after a little Jive/ Swing and Rock and roll. What say? At least it has always been a happy dance for me.

Really fond of it as much as the Samba for its lively bounce, so full of joyfulness.

Then of course comes the Foxtrot that feels like a wonderful conversation a dialogue between the steps

I also like the Merengue with its simple marching steps and executing many inter-looping turns almost feeling like a pretzel.

And how can I leave the Bachata for its engaging sensuality as those dancing hips don’t lie, they say it all and much much more…

Dances are so many and styling makes it even more unique.

In fact, I enjoy all these dances and more for their unique expressions – just one style would get boring.

The trick is to flow with the music and your partner whatever the dance and partake in the pleasure of dancing together in the now.

To actually be able to enjoy dancing to the varied music styles that would be a real treat. All the more reasons to learn and train in more than just one dance style :))

Do share your thoughts on dance and if you love to dance, what your favourite style of dance is…

I would be glad to learn and read more.

Savvy

Every day I love you

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To dance ‘the love of my life’....

‘To dance is to converse with your soul in oneness’

Savvy

Well I have just sat down to write supercharged after dancing an improvised version of Rumba to one of my favourite songs ‘Every day I love you by Boyzone. Yes I love to dance and I willing and wholeheartedly share my love and passion for it with the world.

Well who ever told you about dancing by numbers has perhaps never learned to dance from the heart!😉 Beyond the number game … yes we may begin with counting steps though I find a lot of people like me who prefered to learn with rhythms of quicks and slows. I prefer to associate dancing with the heart beats and the breath of life itself . I also find that when taught this way the dance gets closely connected with the authenticity of you and your movements as you are.

After all dancing is being you!

The art of dance can introduce you to yourself and beckons you to know your limitless potential.

Savvy


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Science of Wellbeing in the Art of Dance

Movements are energy in action.And movements in a dance can heal and transform lives for the better.

How?

The physicality of a series of rhythmic or structured movement like in a dance creates a chemistry of changes to integrate the body mind and soul in a flow gradually towards health and vitality.

 

A few pointers to those who wish to dance to bring wellbeing into their lives .

When you dance …

Dance sensing the joy of movement. Feel the energy in the action

Dance your best but don’t showboat.

Dance with all of you,

When you dance

Leave all of your stress & worries away

Dance often whatever the dance!

Savvy


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Behind the Scenes


Feel like sharing a blast from the past. 

I wrote this as a self reflective piece, on what it is to be a teacher, trainer or educator and its varied perspectives in life and living. 

There is always more than what meets the eye…


# Behind the scenes


When I say I am a Ballroom and Latin dance form trainer… there is this natural association with everything glamorous, high heels, fancy bare all clothes, svelte tanned bodies , hairdos and glitter, there is youth, shows and events galore, a fancy personal life filled with parties and a fabulous nightlife life may be .

 Far from it is the truth, actually it’s so much more than just that, it’s about raising your conscious awareness in harmony and balance of the mind and body .

It’s about empowering your mind and heart with care and understanding of the relative nonverbal communication  sensed through the medium of movement as patterns. 

It’s about taking time to internalize at times complicated moves yet being able to be at ease with your own self so much that the strain of practice never shows.

 It’s about making friends with your mental physical and spiritual body and creating a dimension of composure and gratitude for another to be inspired enough to want to learn from you.

 

It’s a huge responsibility, to make a connection with a human being and sustain it gratefully whether it is for a class a, a dance or a lifetime. Savvy Raj 


It’s a huge juggling act more so, if you have other interests as well, professionally and even personally, being a mother, a wife, a daughter and most of all a free spirit. Its about understanding the perspective of the space in between all that you are and all that you want to be and managing your creative resources the best you can.

As one fine tunes the self to understand and accept the value of the pauses between our moves we reach to our potential heights gradually and learn to be at peace within and around us. 

In the truest realm when we focus on any art form it’s about bringing discipline and dedication in every aspect of one‘s life , learning and growing all the way .In the journey that‘s ever enriching,  with experiences that must be savored along the way.

Savvy Raj

Member International Dance Council