LOK SABHA ELECTIONS 2019: INDIA DECIDES

Fire in the belly

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | IKYATHA YERASALA
Published Mar 14, 2019, 12:09 am IST
Updated Mar 14, 2019, 12:09 am IST
This danseuse is in the city after a haitus, armed with an international certification to teach dance.
Sanaz Bakhtiari in a file photograph.
 Sanaz Bakhtiari in a file photograph.

Stunning and skilled, danseuse Sanaz Bakhtiari who had made Bengaluru her home few years ago teaching dance, is back in town, and this time, on a mission. The gorgeous Persian belly dancer, fresh from her international certification by UNESCO, Paris, wants to spread her love for dancing with people in the city. As president of the Bengaluru section of the International Dance Council (CID), UNESCO, she says, “I'm here to personally certify dancers in the city who have more than 150 hours of practice. I will meet more people through dance studios and create a better network for our dancers and encourage them to travel, attend conferences and dance events. The amount of interest and potential in Bengalureans to learn different styles is amazing.” She will be teaching belly dance and Persian dance to the experts.

After her stint in nammooru, where she taught belly dancing and other forms, Sanaz had to return to Iran due to family commitments. “I was back home as my dad was unwell and I needed to support my mum. While in Iran, I started doing research about the history of dances of Persia. I visited different libraries, met people. I’m glad I could contribute to my country,” she says.

 

While growing up in Iran, Sanaz didn’t have many opportunities to learn dancing due to the ongoing war. “I started dancing only as a teenager. I performed at theatre and learnt folklore — which is something we have to learn here before moving to ballet and other dance forms. I was practicing different Persian styles inspired by pictures and paintings and Oriental dance from the Middle East. In India, we call it belly dance. When I started teaching the dance form in Bengaluru, no one was doing it here and people did not know what it was. I wanted to try and learn Indian classical dance. But when women here started showing interest in the dance form, I started off by teaching four to five women at a small gym. I told them they could ‘shake like Shakira’. This was a huge hit and now I have a record of having taught at least 3,000 students,” says Sanaz, who calls India her home.

Her studio will continue teaching dance, while Sanaz will continue her travels to various countries to meet dancers through her job, and conduct workshops. “I’ll try to bring more dance teachers to B’luru and share my knowledge with people. When I come here, I try to stay as long as possible in this city that I love so much,” she signs off.

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