Showing posts with the label Dance & Music

Canvas Dance Company

Dancing has always been my passion and there are many posts about it in the ‘Dance & Music’ tag, but this was one exciting and special because I launched my own dance company!  
For about a year, I (brought some of my friends) to dance with moreUpbeat, by Ritu Singh. I met her at a belly dance class, and she asked me to come perform at some events, and then we were on a rocket ship and did 30+ performances in 2016 under moreUpbeat. 
Over time, I (with the friends that I brought to dane) realized that we wanted to do something different and at different scale and reach, so we decided to start our own dance company.   
It took us the longest time to come up with a name, but we came up with Canvas Dance Company because a stage or dance floor is like a blank canvas and ‘dance’ is the art that you create on it. We did some marketing, got logo made, built our website:, and have quiet a few performances scheduled this year and many more we are pursuing.  You can l…

Dance Performance: FOG Diwali Festival

On Saturday, we did another dance performance with FOG, where we competed in the adult category. Again, we got second prize for our upbeat and masala dance: Baby Ko Base Pasand Hai! 

I saw this move in Miami and didn't really much think of the dance before, but then my co-worker that week was like omg, that totally is a song you can dance on, you should do it, and it finally got stuck in my head, so I decided that we would dance to that song, and then we just concluded to just use it for this competition. 

It took some time to choreograph it for me, but it turned out pretty well with a good combination of hip hop and bollywood style. We didn't get a LOT of time to practice it, and unlike Galla Gudiya (2nd place in FOG Independence Day), we performed this dance for the first time on stage. Galla Gudiya was performed three times prior to using it for competition, so I am pretty excited by this award. The dancers worked hard, and we had a lot of fun with it! 

Dance Performance: Durga Pooja

This Sunday, we performed the ultimate Bollywood song that all Bollywood dancers aspire to, which was originally danced by the two dancing queens of Bollywood: Aishwariya and Madhuri. Dola Re Dola from Devdas (one of my favorite movies). 

We were invited to perform at WomensNow Durga Pooja Event, and first we said no, and then they came back and asked us to perform, so we decided to do it and we had very little time. 
Since it was Durga Pooja, we thought the best song to dance to would be  Dola Re Dola, so in midst of practicing Baby Ko Base Pasand Hai for FOG Diwali Competition, we decided to take on this song.  First, we thought we would just use Ritu's previous choreography from another Dance Company, but then I really wanted to change parts of the song edits and the songs a bit, so we infused some of Dance Company choreography and added in a lot of moves I picked up from the actual music video of Dola Re Dola. 
We fully put the song together on Wednesday and practiced for 2.5 hou…

Dance Performance: Galla Gudiya at FOG Independence Day

We performed/competed “Galla Gudiya” at the FOG India Day Fair and won SECOND PLACE in Bollywood Adult category! It was really exciting to dance on this stage, compete, and then win second place! The energy of the dance speaks for itself (checkout video here).

The day was full of action packed dances of all age groups and categories! The dance is fun and upbeat, and so many people afterwards came to us and told us how amazing our energy was. 

Our first trophy sits in our dance floor with many more to come! 

Congratulations to our amazing dancers: Honey (choreographer), Ritu, Khin, Michelle, Neal, Vasu.

Dance Performance: Ram Leela at Ladies Only Charity Event

On July 29, Michelle and I did a duet dance performance at a ladies only event to one of my favorite songs that I choreographed: Ram Chahe Leela Chahe. We had to learn it within a week because I was traveling for two weeks, but it turned out really well! 

We met a couple of celebrities from tv shows in India and we listened to the most amazing singers, including the lady that sang Ambar Sariya. She was just spectacular. 

I love the outfit I selected for this dance with the yellow and black skirt with a slit, scarf to match and a black short blouse! Fun stuff!

Dance Performance: Bollywood at Delhi Haat Festival

We opened the show at Delhi Haat (June 18) in Cupertino at De Anza College with Resham Ka Rumal! It was a lot of fun to dance to this with full indian choli and very traditional folk dance. 

On that day, we also did Laung Gawacha, Galla Gudiya, and Udi Teri!  

Dance Performance: Latin Fusion, Punjabi Mix, and Bollywood Mix at India Spring Day and Dhoom Band

The title of this post should have been 'My Dance Day' because on June 11, 2016 I did 8 (yes, EIGHT) dance performances in one day at two separate events/venues.
India Spring Day was something we have been planning for a while. We were going to do some new songs, but when we went to audition, we showed them what we had been working hard on: Udi Teri and Sholon SI. They really likes the songs, colors, and the fusion aspect of it, so they requested that we perform those two songs on India Spring Day.
My day started with prepping for this long day, then driving to the city to do these two performances in San Francisco Union Square around 1:30 pm. There were probably 500+ in the audience and it was a beautiful sunny day. In fact, too sunny because the dance floor was burning hot. We performed Udi Teri and Sholon Si, and then quickly wrapped up to migrate to Foster City for our second event.
We reached Foster City at like 4, and had 2 sets of performances here. One at 4:30 which wa…

Dance Performance: Chittyaan Kaliyaan and Kar Gayi Chul at Summer Fashion Show and Antakshari Event

We were invited to dance at this Summer Fashion Show in Pleasanton on May 21, 2016. This was the first time we did Chityaan Kaliyaan performance. I had just recently heard this song, and decided I wanted to dance to it, so it was next in my line up to choreograph. First, only Khin and I were going to do a duet, but then we decided to expand it to  more girls, so we had 4-5 dancers for this song. Besides the timing of the show and dance, it was really fun to dance to this with a mix of Bollywood and hip hop.

Another dance we were going to do at the Summer Fashion show was Kar Gayi Chul. I love this song and I made it very hip hoppy. Since we were tight on timing, we decided to skip this song for Summer Fashion show and did it the first time at the Antakshari Event. This is one of my best choreography thus far, and everyone loves the song, the dance moves, and our energy when we dance to it.

Dance Performance: Latin Fusion at Indian Fair Day and IFFER Mother's Day

I mentioned in an earlier post about how I got involved with moreUpbeat and the songs we started practicing. Those songs were specifically for this performance on April 24, 2016 at India Fair Day in Santa Clara. It was just a small convention with Indian clothing and jewelry booth, and lots of dance performances, music shows, and a fashion show with a celebrity. We did the two Latin Fusion songs we planned: Udi Teri and Sholon Si. We performed the same one again at IFFER Mother's Day on May 7, 2016

Dance Performance: Bang Bang Hip Hop Dance at Fiji International Day Fundraiser

For Fiji International Day Fundraiser on April 8, 2016 we decided to do a fusion of international dances in one long performance. Ritu took up Jazz, Nitya traditional belly dancing, Pat indian belly dancing, and Eugenia did Chutney Soca. I picked what was close to my heart: hip hop. 

I am not munch into doing solos, so I asked Laarni, my favorite zumba instructor, to join me, and she has been dancing for a long time and is really good, so got excited and joined. 

We decided to dance to 'Bang Bang' by Jessie J, Nicki Manaj, and Ariana Grande. We practiced every Tuesday and Saturday for a 2 min performance and had a lot of fun with it. Finally, we performed at the event and had loads of fun with it.

Dance Performance: Latin Fusion & Belly Dance Fusion for Fiji Fundraiser

I have a friend who asked if I wanted to come do dance performance with her troupe that she created 'moreUpbeat Fusion Dance'. I thought about how much I missed dancing and doing performances  before I had a knee injury, but I have been doing active for few years now with zumba and ujam, so I decided to say yes! 

We started practicing in February 2016 for a April 2016 performances and she had picked out two Latin fusion songs: Udi Ter from Gujaarish and Sholon Si from Shabd. At first practice, we learned Udi Teri a bit and she offered me to choreograph Sholon Si, so I took it up and choreographed it (more details on this later). In between, another performance came up, so we decided to do two songs plus another one within two weeks.  

We practiced over video only, and performed Udi Teri, Sholon Si, and Deewani Maastani on March 11, 2016 at a IFFER Fiji Fundraiser event in Richmond, California. It was nerve wrecking at first because we didn't practice much, and it had been a …

DWD: Bollywood Dance Style

Bollywood is the blood of almost every Indian girl who has grown up from watching Bollywood movies with colorful and expressive (shy of dramatic) songs! No seriously!!
For me, Bollywood breaks down into the following four categories:
Bollywood Masala - Hindi SongsBhangra - PunjabiGarba & Dandiya - GujuratiKathak - Folk Indian Dance(more to come…)

DWD: Hip Hop Dance Style

Hip Hop is something I learned through high school and college. For a couple years, I took a hip hop dance class because I really enjoyed the music and the style. It used to be a class every Monday from 6 - 8, and then two performances at the end of the semester dance class. I learned a lot and my passion for hip hop continues.
Hip Hop is more of a culture rather than a dance style. It's an umbrella term for quite a few types of dances, but most are characterized by fast, athletic, and choppy movements.

(more to come…)

DWD: Latin Dance Style

Latin Dance is interesting. I learned it in college by going clubbing and learned more technique through Zumba classes and Zumba instructor program.
Most Latin dances are done by couples. It's very passionate and socially based. I love Latin music, and have a natural sense of Latin dance moves, especially the hip movements.
There are many different types of Latin Dances and multiple categories, but here are the ones I will share more about:
Bachata / Dominican RepublicMerengue / Dominican RepublicCha Cha Cha / CubaMambo / CubaRumba / CubaSalsa / CaribbeanSamba / BrazillianReggaeton / CaribbeanFlamenco / SpanishPaso Doble / Spanish (Traditionally, the man is characterized as the matador (bullfighter) and the lady as his cape in the drama of a Spanish bullfight)Cumbia / ColumbiaTango / Argentina

There are many other dance styles that combine two or move from above list such as Lambada which has a flavor of Samba and Rumba.

(more to come…)

DWD: Belly Dance Style

Now who doesn't love belly dance! It's sexy and beautiful! Belly dance can be either extremely easy or extremely overwhelming… There are two forms of belly dancing: Raqs Baladi: social belly dancing performed by celebrationRaqs Sharqi: theatrical belly dancing
Even though there are those two forms of belly dancing, there are many variations: American Cabaret/Vintage Oriental - style you see in restaurant, night clubs, and entertainmentTaqsim - arabic word that means division and is danced with instrumental soloVeil Dance - using a chiffonCane - EgyptianSword - using a swordRegional - Egyptian, Tribal Fusion, Persian, Arabic, Greek, Turkish, etc.(more to come…)

DWD: Other Dance Category

As I explained in my new beginning post, there are many many many styles of dancing, and I am close to four main categories (Bollywood, Hip Hop, Latin, and Belly Dance), but I don't limit myself to those four categories. I enjoy dancing other forms, and have done some training in other types of dance styles. 
There are some of the dance styles that are in my other category:
ModernLyricalJazzBalletTapWaltzFolkBallroomLine DancingJiveFox Tort

And the list goes on…

I love to dance, so I would never shy away from learning a new dance and incorporating it into my four main categories.

Don't Walk… Dance (DWD) Series - New Beginnings

I love to dance; as you can tell by my numerous blog posts about it. Similar to the music theory lessons, I am starting a dance series about dance theory and dance performances. For easy filter, they will have following tags: Creativity, Dance, Design, Inspiration, Music, Reflection, Music Theory
Besides the fitness dance forms that I do (Zumba, Bombay Jam, and Ujam), I consider my 'dance style' falling into five main categories: BollywoodHip HopLatin DanceBelly DanceOther
There are many sub dance styles in these five categories that I know about, will learn about, and will share in the dance series. 
Over the years, I have learned two most important things when it comes to dance: Technique matters - following a style and a move and to do it correctly makes the dance more effective and authentic, and even enjoyable Expression - this is one of my weaker points, but face expressions, eyes, smiles makes the dance more fun and meaningfulThere are a lot of things I …

How to Choreograph a Dance

Choreographing a piece of music is an art, but my right brain dominance took a very science approach to it. Few weeks ago, I signed up to do three dance performances with my group of friends for India Spring Day on April 24, 2016.

The first time we met for practice, one of the ladies had picked three songs for us and had choreographed one of them. She offered me to choreograph one of the songs as I know latin dance and we were doing latin fusion. So we are doing three songs: Udi Teri from Gujaarish (Latin Fusion) Deewani Mastani from Bajiro Mastani (Belly Dance Fusion) Sholon Si from Shabd (Latin Fusion)

Sholon Si is the one she gave me to choreography. You would think that’s it's challenging to have to choreograph a song you didn’t pick, but it actually makes the process easier because you don’t have to go through the overwhelming process of picking the perfect song.

At first, I had to choreograph and record it and share it with everyone else so they could learn the moves on video…

Zumba Instructor Workshop

Today, I completed my Zumba instructor workshop, and obtained my license to teach Zumba! The trainer was Joy Smith and I drove to Vacaville, CA for this workshop because I really wanted to complete it this month.
Zumba is a dance fitness program that is Latin inspired, but incorporates Latin and international music and dance movements for an effective fitness. It integrates basic aerobic, interval, and resistance training to maximize caloric output, cardiovascular benefits, and total body toning. Zumba was created by Beto, who is originally from Colombia.
The three core elements of Zumba is music, core steps, and choreography. The anatomy of a song plays a huge role in choreographing Zumba moves: Intro, Verse, Chorus, and Break/Bridge/Tag/Music Interludes. Zumba is composed of four basic steps: Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia, and Reggaeton. There are different type of cues that should be used when you are teaching Zumba: visual, verbal, and tactile.
I have been going to Zumba for years now, …

U-Jam Instructor Workshop

This weekend, I did my U-Jam instructor workshop with Amy Chang Radosevich at San Mateo Athletic Club in San Mateo, CA. It was two days of hard-work, fun, learning, meeting some great people, and dancing! The workshop was 9-5:30 ish on Saturday and Sunday and it just flew by! We started with a Master Class with a lot of people and great energy followed by hours of lecture materials and learning specific choreography.
U-Jam is a dance fitness program that combines world beats with an urban flavor. I first learned about U-Jam when I worked at Safeway Corporate and attended the U-Jam class with Irene on Wednesdays at 5 (most of 2014 year). I really enjoyed it because it has a urban hip-hop flavor, which has been my forte. At that time, Irene tried to recruit me to be an instructor, and I kind of brushed it off,  which I regret, but better late than never! I attended few classes here and there, and I decided to get all my instructor workshops done this summer, so I took it this weekend.