i discovered princy mehta’s work through amrit. i became fascinated by the idea of being a dance instructor in india, so i asked her a few questions. thank you princy, for being so kind. here’s the result:
how you became a dance teacher?
i have been learning to dance since the age of 8. until then i used to just perform for family members and they loved watching me just like every family would. it was my mother who pushed me into taking Indian classical dancing. the dance form was bharat natyam. i remember being good at it but never saw dancing as a passion at that point. my affair with dancing became bigger when i shifted from a small town to a big city for college and got introduced to hip-hop and freestyle of dance forms. i became a part of special groups that were trained to perform in shows. meanwhile i got into a regular corporate job into public relations & events and got highly carried away for about seven years into this profession. however, i kept on learning some or the other form of dance in the evenings whenever it was possible. i bumped into amrit, my husband, sometime in 2010 and we talked about our future one fine day. over the course of time, it just happened that he got into candid wedding photography and eventually quit his job and i too took a somewhat similar step. while working in mumbai, i took my group fitness instructor certification which i thought would go well with my dancing abilities. we decided to move to goa as mumbai didn’t have anything to offer at that point in time. so i took a sabbatical from my company to try my luck into dance and fitness in goa. luckily it worked out well within just a month of shifting here. i got my first break at one of the fitness studios in goa to conduct a bollywood dance choreography class in march 2013. my students loved it and since then there has been no looking back.
did your husband inspired you to pursuit your own dreams?
yes, during our dating period, he always used inspire me in silent ways. but now, i feel he has become more vocal and inspires me through our conversations.
what are some of the best things you’ve learnt by not having a “regular” job? did it improve your relationship with your husband? do you have more time to do what you enjoy?
being a dance and fitness instructor means i was all by myself. a solo professional without any team. that was a challenge because i have never been in such a situation before. and that also meant i had to not only start from scratch but also manage everything that comes with it like managing finances, doing my own marketing, etc. because it was new to me, i was driven to achieve excellence for the first two years of being in this career. in the meantime, it was exhausting me from all the possible ways. and that specifically taught me that no matter what happens, the show must go on. i am now in a place where i am collaborating with other instructors in goa to offer our students something fresh and unique. it taught me that i am a team player and that walking on my path all alone may not be the best possible scenario for me. i would rather prefer walking with similar minded people to achieve dreams that we want to.
how did you surpass the lack of knowledge on marketing, finances, and the like?
sometimes, all you need is a push into the dark and then you have to figure out the way forward. and its a continuous learning process, whether its a business or profession.
did you felt overwhelmed when beginning your business?
i was completely elated when i kick-started my dance and fitness career. it was a new phase of my life and good things were unfolding.
looking back, would you have done something different?
i would have loved to undergo intense dance training into contemporary form of dancing. but this is something i can pursue even now. i will make that happen very soon.
what do you like more about teaching how to dance?
i love the fact that with my ability to teach i am able to help people achieve their wish to become good at dancing as a skill. and i feel blessed that i am able to bring happiness to their day.
what do you think dance brings to people’s life?
something beautiful happens when one dances. it releases good hormones and makes you feel free.
what kind of dance(s) do you teach? and where?
i teach hip hop, contemporary, indian folk, indian semi-classical and freestyle dancing. i also take group fitness classes that involves high intensity interval training and dance cardio. i take personal projects for wedding choreographies and dance competitions.
do you create your own choreographies? if so, what inspires you?
i usually have two approaches to choreography – 1. when i listen to a song for the first time, i become fully aware and go with my gut instinct with the steps. what comes naturally is what i choose most of the times. 2. i listen to a song umpteen number of times without having any dance thoughts and then think about the steps in a structured manner. both work equally well for me.
you want to be an actress, right? what roles have you played already? how did you feel when interpreting a character? do you find any similarities with dancing?
what attracts me the most to acting is that i get to live and feel myriad of emotions and characters which otherwise, as a princy mehta, i will not get a chance to live in my lifetime. acting and dancing both are strong forms of art where you can express yourselves without limitations. i have had a chance to act in a few plays in my 20’s. i am now looking at acting for short films and plays, and eventually for feature films.
how do you feel when you act?
i feel alive in every single cell of my body when i act. i feel so much in the moment and that is a priceless emotion.
how is it like to live in goa? how your regular day looks like?
goa is a fabulous mix of cosmo culture with a peaceful life. it’s a small, beautiful place with less population. i take classes early mornings and evenings mostly on a daily basis. so my afternoons sometimes are relaxed, and sometimes are packed with the wedding film editing projects that i undertake.
besides dancing, acting and editing, do you have any other passions?
i am an avid trekker. himalayas are my favorite spot and i have been there for various treks for over dozen times by now. i am also very passionate about nutritional science. i read up a lot on nutrition in my free time.
//princy mehta is a dance and fitness instructor based in goa, india. she takes up personal dance choreography and wedding film editing projects as well. she’s an outdoor enthusiastic and loves being either by the sea or mountains.