I got the opportunity to write for a business for its website blog recently. My best friend Shivani, a Ballet instructor, referred me to her employer Neha Suhjani, Artistic Director and Founder at Les Danseuses Academy of Ballet (LDAB).
Les Danseuses Academy of Ballet is an associate member of Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing(CSTD), making it the only dance academy in Pune to offer training in classical ballet and Contemporary(JWCT) through CSTD certification program providing the highest quality of excellence. They provide a full spectrum of dance knowledge and technique necessary to attain a professional level.
Link to the LDAB Website
It was a really surreal experience for me, where I was being paid for something I’ve only been pursuing as a hobby since February last year. My friend Shuchit Patni, Chartered Accountant, eloquently described what I felt when Neha expressed her happiness with the draft of the text I sent her, “It’s about being recognized, and never about the money.”
Moreover, it was a very different process from what I’m used to normally. I feel something strongly, I type it out, spellcheck it, proofread it for grammatical errors and hit publish. However, this was the first time I had to write on demand as per someone’s specific requirements and expectations and then also get the draft approved and wait for it to get published as per the business’ predecided timelines.
I reproduce the work done by me for LDAB below:
BALLERINA OF THE MONTH FEBRUARY 2018
We’ve already reached the end of the second month of 2018 and as always, we’re elated to announce that the Ballerina of the Month for February is Varnika Kothari.
Varnika, a shy and soft-spoken ten-year-old, has an endearing smile on her face as we sit down to talk to her about her journey as a ballerina at LDAB. Varnika has been diligently training at LDAB for over a year now under the expert guidance of Neha Suhjani, Artistic Director and Founder at LDAB. Varnika was one of the first students at LDAB and has introduced many students at St. Mary’s to the Academy. What started as an enjoyable time with her friends beyond school has now blossomed into a full-blown passion and love for all things ballet.
As her teacher, Neha has some interesting observations to make about Varnika.
“Her most beguiling quality is her eternally cheerful demeanour. She’ll always have her charming smile on her unassuming pretty face. Even when I’m strict she’ll never frown.”
When asked about her most heartening memories in the past year as a ballerina, Varnika is quick in recalling her performance to the song “Let it go” from Frozen, Disney’s blockbuster animated fairy-tale, at the “Once upon a time” concert organised in December by LDAB. She can’t stop gushing over how regal and beautiful she looked in her costume as Princess Elsa. She gleefully described how her turquoise outfit was an exact replica of the one donned by Elsa in the movie. The flawless makeup that day embellished their look beautifully. In addition to the razzmatazz, she’s also particularly proud of the tireless hours that went into putting out an immaculate performance on the D-day. She was exhilarated with the overwhelmingly positive feedback that she received from her teacher, friends and family. She had truly let all her inhibitions go like Elsa, and “wowed” everyone with dazzling dance.
Neha cannot help but shower praise on her student’s capabilities as a budding young ballerina.
“Focus and dedication to Ballet in her weekly training sessions have been the primary reasons for Varnika’s incredible progress as a ballerina. She is effortlessly graceful and elegant. Her fastidious nature makes her exceptional at “adage” (slow fluid movements).”
Varnika eagerly awaits her Grade 1 examination in June this year. She expects nothing except top scores, given the amount of prep work she’s determined to put in. It is truly inspiring to see her unwavering passion for Ballet. It is an admirable trait to have at such a young age.
We also talked to her mother, Mrs Mansi Kothari. As we conversed, we couldn’t help but take note of the pride and joy that she felt about her daughter’s accomplishments.
“I’m really happy to see that my daughter has taken up something as unconventional as ballet in the field of dance. Ballet has given her the opportunity to make the more feminine aspects of her personality shine brightly. The concert in December was her second ballet performance at such a large public stage and I couldn’t help but be extremely proud to see my daughter’s efforts and toil translate so beautifully on stage. She has always had an innate sense of confidence in her, and ballet has given her the right opportunities to display it through such meticulously planned and choreographed shows.”
Mansi reserves special praise for Varnika’s teacher Neha.
“Neha is an exceptional teacher and it gives me immense joy that my daughter learns this dance form from such a positive and kind soul.”
Varnika beams with happiness throughout the interview. And why wouldn’t she? Being crowned “Ballerina of the month” is an extraordinary feather in her cap and she eagerly awaits the reactions from her friends to this priceless moment in the limelight.
The blog was originally published on the LDAB website on March 1, 2018.