Dance not only helps in keeping the body active but is also a great way to express emotions, release stress and develop discipline in life. It lets us explore our wild imaginations, gives us hope and joy. And in these unprecedented times, these are the things that we need more than anything, believes Pratyusha Chhajer, the director of SS Ballet Academy (SSBA).
Starting out in Indore, Madhya Pradesh and shifting headquarters to Ahmedabad, Gujarat, the academy has been giving ballet enthusiasts a new lease of life during the pandemic.
Taking a closer look at the problem, Pratyusha points out that the highly contagious Coronavirus profoundly changed our lives – it caused huge disruption in our routines and distorted the sense of time. Students became over-dependent on gadgets and their involvement in physical activity was reduced to zero, all thanks to the COVID-induced lockdown. Looking at the pile of problems, it’s high time that people incorporate an activity in their routines that could retain the balance in their lives.
“And there is nothing better than ballet dance,” opines Pratyusha, “as ballet dancing helps in building traits like confidence, teamwork and discipline, thereby promoting overall grooming.”
A mother of two, Pratyusha assures that one hour of ballet dance practice will bring positive behavioural changes. Not just that, the ballet dance postures physically strengthens the person and soothing music calms the mind. “My own daughter started ballet dancing during the first lockdown and the progress in her dancing skills, as well as her personality, has been incredible,” she points out.
In these hard times, Pratyusha wants parents, teachers and guardians to step up and encourage children to enroll in these classes. “It’s good to let your child follow their heart, but sometimes as elders, it’s essential to make them do things that will be good for them in the long run.”
True. Considering how their personal, as well as academic lives have gone haywire, elders should encourage children to take up activities like ballet dancing that would help in their overall grooming while instilling discipline in them. “When gadgets have become our friends and we are dependent on them to this extent, why not make good use of them,” says Pratyusha as SSBA has begun conducting online ballet classes on Zoom and Google Classroom.
Pratyusha opened the SS Ballet Academy three years ago to train and develop professional dancers. Though the pandemic posed several challenges, she turned them into an opportunity, not just for herself, but for many others.
“Opportunities do not come gift-wrapped. You need to step out of your comfort zone and take risks,” she quips and adds, “We did the same by switching to online classes and the results were fabulous. There were so many people who wanted to make good use of their time at home and polish their creative side.”