When calling calls nothing stops
You are well-qualified, you have a blooming corporate career and you are slated for another promotion after having received appreciation emails from your managers for your exceptional performance at a major event where you represented your company. And then, you decide to leave it all and quit the path you were traversing. You decide to take the road less travelled and start from scratch. Sounds imprudent or unwise or crazy? Well, whatever one calls it, for me it was just a response to my true calling. It was undoubtedly a tough decision but a landmark one. I listened to my instincts and took charge of my life, and the journey has been nothing short of a thrilling rollercoaster ride.
I have always been a dance enthusiast and my passion for dancing was evident from a very early age. Hence, my mother started sending me for Bharatnatyam classes in my neighbourhood. With a strong classical base, I continued to nurture my passion for the art form as a hobby. However, we had limited resources during those days and I had to rely on movies or television to learn about new dance styles and moves. I used to take part in college fests and competitions as well and gradually, I realized dance is not just my hobby but it is what defines me. It is what connects me to my soul.
However, the thought of pursuing it as a profession was often brushed aside by me due to many factors, primary one being that it was not considered a reliable and respectable profession our growing years. With a hectic job at a top IT firm, inadvertently dance started relegating to the backseat in my life and there came a time when I just could not ignore my inner voice and instincts anymore. After I took the plunge to resign, I decided to give myself some time to sort out my own thoughts. I took each day as it came and began working on myself. I enrolled for a dance workshop at Shiamak Davar’s Institute and my experience there further strengthened my belief that this is what I am made for. I also focused on self-learning through online tutorials to enhance my skills.
In my life, universe has often conspired to make things happen for me. Just when I was thinking about how to take that first step towards being a dance professional, a dear friend suggested that we could do something together. We launched our own brand and started with a summer workshop for kids where I taught dance and she taught art & craft. This was well received and we were motivated to continue with regular classes. But, I had to discontinue when I got pregnant and my friend single-handedly carried on taking the brand to greater heights. After childbirth, the first time I danced, I was terrified. I was not able to move as flexibly as I used to and this bogged me down. I could not let go of that one thing which keeps me ticking. Hence, I resolved to get back dancing into my life full-fledged. There were challenges galore – I was the primary caregiver for my daughter and it was hard to take out time for myself. But, I did it because I had to. And then, I realized that dancing actually helps me to be a better parent. Finally, I launched my own dance label “Rhythms & Beats” and resumed my role as a dance professional from January 2017. By and large, I conduct workshops and classes when my daughter is at school or with my husband (when he has time). At times, I take her along with me if there is no other option and she co-operates as she enjoys dancing too. I have plans to make the brand bigger and better in 2018, and hope someday “Rhythms & Beats” will be able to spread the joy of dancing to people across the world.
Anupama Dalmia Barnwal
Anupama quit her corporate IT job to pursue her passion in the creative field. She is the founder and owner of “Rhythms and Beats” which is a dance enterprise. She is also a multiple award winning blogger and writer who loves penning down her thoughts on social issues, parenting, relationships, travel and fitness. Her short stories, articles and poems have been published in various magazines and platforms like Women’s Era, Women’s Web, eFiction India, SheThePeopleTV, Youth ki Awaaz, mycity4kids, ZenParent and Readomania. She also co-owns a cookery website.