When I was a student at the University in Stockholm I was having troubles, like all students, to make ends meet. I needed extra cash… at the same time I wanted to give my studies all my focus. After working in the Bollywood industry in Mumbai as a background dancer and an extra, I had fallen completely in love with the romantic, colorful and dramatic world of Hindi Cinema. A couple of friends and I were talking one night about starting a Bollywood Dance Ensemble. It was one of those night we probably had a few too many glasses of red wine, and the next day we all expected this crazy idea to just have been the wine talking. Somehow the idea stayed on and we decided to try to make our first choreography and buy some dance costumes from India. Said and done – we worked hard on getting everything right – and two months later we had our first performance at a student’s pub on campus. We called ourselves Sangam Danstrio and later on, when we added more members to our group - Sangam Dance Unlimited.
The happy rush of adrenaline, and the joy the dance brought us, was beyond our expectations – this was just so much fun! We immediately decided to quickly put together a few more numbers, invested in some more clothes and jewelry and a huge stash of fake eye lashes! We didn’t do any traditional marketing, just creating a simple website, but the word spread. Soon we were doing shows every other week at cultural events, corporate parties, bachelorette parties, weddings and business launches. We went back to Mumbai to do some more dancing, this time behind superstar Mallika Sherawat, and we worked with the industries best choreographers. We came back full of new inspiration! As we continued doing our performances we also started giving workshops to audiences ranging from pre-school classes and high schools kids to kick off’s at law firms (!). We also held weekly regular classes to a group of 50+ ladies in a Stockholm suburb. The journey with Sangam is truly one of the best things I’ve ever experienced – it was a lot of hard work but at the same time it gave us so much positive energy.
I wish that this little story can inspire others to be creative with what they do and to, instead of checking the job listings, maybe ask yourself what you want to do? Really. If you could choose anything in this world! When we started our dance group we had never danced indian Bollywood dance before and five years later we were teaching others how to do so! The whole experience taught me that as longs as there’s a big dose of passion involved – you can do pretty much anything you want!
In 2007: Performing at a club
In 2008: Getting ready for a show with tons of stage make up and indian jewelry!
In 2007: Getting ready to dance at a party!