There’s a YouTube video with over 5.3 million views (at the time of writing this article) featuring a young south Indian woman with a long braid doing a fusion of belly dance with Indian classical dance. Titled ‘Sublime’, there is something hypnotic about the woman’s movements, the grace and fluidity with which she moves her hips, and the utter creativity of the choreography. It appears as if the girl and the music are one, sensuality sublimated.
It is no wonder that Anusha Hegde is one of the masters in her field of belly dance. The head of Tarantismo Creative Dance Company along with Deepthi Shetty, the pioneers of belly dance in Bangalore and Delhi, Anusha – who is also trained in Bharatnatyam, Kathak, contemporary dance, ballet, hip-hop and a few Latin styles – has been teaching with Tarantismo for the past 12 years, and is only just getting warmed up.
Born in Mangalore and raised in Bangalore as the only child of a businessman father and homemaker mom, Anusha always loved to do the smallest of tasks with the utmost dedication, and was fascinated by just about everything. She did her Bachelor’s in computer science engineering from NMIT Bangalore and MSc in management from Manchester Business School, UK.
It was during her engineering days that she chanced upon belly dance. “Dancing is like going on a ride, where the music drives and you just go with the flow,” says the 30-year-old, who idolises dancers like Martha Graham, Michael Jackson, Madhuri Dixit, Prabhu Deva, Rachel Brice, Sadie and Galen Hooks among others.
“It not only improves muscle strength, body flexibility, stamina and coordination skills, it’s also an absolute stress buster, which seems to be a necessity in today’s world.”
Passionate, meticulous and a constant learner, Anusha believes there is a spiritual quality to dance. “I dance to a piece of music only if I can connect with it within. I find dancing quite meditative. I find myself as I lose myself to dance,” she says.
Having taught thousands of students in her 12-year journey with Tarantismo, Anusha believes women can use dance to develop self-esteem and confidence too. “If one needs to enjoy dancing completely, one needs to let go of all hesitations. It does not matter if it’s an empty room or an auditorium filled with thousands of people. Dance is an internal process when you use your body to express yourself. The only person you should worry about judging you is you. Nothing else matters. And when you understand that, low self-esteem or confidence will be trivial issues,” she says.
First published in eShe’s September 2019 issue.
Syndicated to CNBCTV18
Learn belly dancing from Anusha at eShe’s Shine Your Light Bangalore on September 21 at The Lalit Ashok
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