Ruby Nayyar – Artistic Director
I have over 20 years of Dance, Yoga and Fitness experience. My training began in Professional Classical Indian Kathak Dance in 1987. I moved on to teaching and performing Bollywood and Bhangra dance, and worked as a Tutor in Redbridge Institute, Newham College, Greenwich Adult Education Centre, and started teaching Couple’s Wedding First Dance. I am the Artistic Director of Indiadances, a multi-cultural dance company that I founded in 2003.
My training began in 1987 at the Bharitya Vidhya Bhavan in London where I received a diploma in Kathak dance and went on to study with Guruji Priya and Pratap Pawar. I continue my journey of learning through various dance and yoga workshops and master classes and I currently learn from my Guruji Sushma Mehta.
As a teacher, I am eager to encourage people who feel they can’t dance but who have a strong desire to, so I focus on basic principles and the essential techniques that are important in creating simple yet dynamic movements with strength, fluidity and gracefulness. My teaching experience covers a wide range of ages and levels, ranging from beginners to advance and toddlers to seniors. My work has included running my own dance business, providing dance workshops for children in schools and colleges, teaching couples’ choreography for their wedding first dance, teaching classes for Local Authorities, Leisure Centres and Health Clubs in the UK.
My workshops and performances explore some of the commonly seen moves found in old and new Hindi cinema: The workshops involve a unique blend of eastern and western dance movements, where I combine the delicacy and intricacies of Kathak, the vigour, fluidity and complexity of modern Bollywood dance, and basic yoga movements for stretching, cool down and relaxation.
When I teach, I fuse elements of traditional Indian classical dance with Westernised movements. I love teaching dance to anyone, no matter what their fitness level or previous experience.
In my Couple’s Dance Choreography workshops, I blend the beauty of Classical Indian dance with the elegance of modern Ballroom, Waltz, Foxtrot and Bollywood, Dance to create dynamic yet elegant and graceful movements for the Couple’s First Wedding Dance.
I pioneered a “Parent & Child Hindi for Dance” workshop with Greenwich Community College, teaching both adults and young children a foreign language through dance. My classes were called “Learn Hindi through Dance” and I was the first dance teacher in 2003 to have set up a structured syllabus providing students a structured direction using language and dance alongside a local authority. I take a keen interest in meditation and yoga which I find has helped enhance my dance practice as well as allowing me to focus my inner being to guide my mind, body and spirit into channelling positive energy into my personal and professional life.
I am often asked about my Kathak practice and what it means, including what method I teach. To me, Kathak, Yoga, Bollywood and Bhangra dance is a precious gift which is a journey and it is more than just a profession. It has enriched my life with passion and energy – I want to pass that on to my students. It gives me great pleasure to help others and to teach my students what I love.
Leslie has been a member of Indiadances since starting as a Kathak dancer since 2006. She trained under the guidance of Sushma Mehta Ji and specialises in Kathak, Bollywood and Bhangra. She supports local annual fundraising charity events in French and Yoga and has set up her own academy in France under Dancing India Association. In 2019 Leslie passed the ISTD intermediate level 3 certificate in Classical Indian Kathak Dance. Leslie is passionate about inspiring people through dance.
Sonia joined Indiadances in 2006 and her scintillating unique style and repertoire of Bollywood dance captures the audiences hearts with her beautiful expressions and storytelling.
Bhamini’s expert knowledge in Bharatanatyam, Bollywood and Hip-Hop free style dance brings a unique edge to Indiadances . She joined Indiadances in 2006 and together with Ruby has co-ordinated a beautiful fusion and union of Bharatnatyam with Kathak performed at the Nehru Centre in 2008.
Dr. Sarmila Sinha
Dr Sinha has more than 15 years of experience as a psychiatrist in the NHS. She has been working with Indiadances on creative health and well-being projects since 2016 and is a trainer on Stress Management for the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine. Her book, An Expert Guide To Stress Management was a number one bestseller on Amazon Kindle. Her passion is to raise awareness on mental health issues and reduce stigma on mental health.
Varsha is a Mindfulness & Wellness Trainer and she has been working in this field for the past 10 years supporting local communities as well as private clients. She will be leading the first of our 12 Week Courses in April 2021 in collaboration with Indiadances.
Varsha’s expertise helps to bring greater awareness, connection and presence into the workshops to transform the experience, from being disconnected to being fully present with the experience, leading others to questioning how we enjoy each experience through mind, body and spirit.