Bollywood in Bay Area: Starlight Dance Company
In less than one year in business, StarLight Dance Company has grown to over 80 students. The motivation was the passion Nehal and I share for dance as well as Indian culture, writes Michelle Randev.
(Above): Michelle Randev and Nehal Tenany perform at the Starlight Dance Company’s Showcase at the Bravo Studio in Fremont, Calif., Mar. 18. [Siliconeer photo]
As members of various dance companies that performed in the Bay Area over the past decade, Nehal and I have achieved many great accolades. We began by performing at several Holi, Diwali, and Indian Independence Day culture fests.
In recent years, we have also performed at Indian Heritage Night at the GoldenState Warriors game, as well as appearing on the hit TV show America’s Got Talent. These performances, in addition to performing with celebrities Imran Khan, Jay Sean, Mallika Sherawat and Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan would have to be the most memorable. These performances yielded an immeasurable amount of experience for both of us, and also served as the humble beginnings of the idea to start our own dance company.
With over 12 years of dance experience, primarily as students, the next step was to find a way to impart the knowledge we have accumulated over the years. StarLight Dance Company has been the perfect platform as we are now able to reach out to people of all ages who wish to learn the art of dance.
(Above): Young performers Janam Gupta, 5 (l) and Vansh Gupta, 11, perform at the Starlight Dance Company’s Showcase at the Bravo Studio in Fremont, Calif., Mar. 18. [Siliconeer photo]
The company first began enrolling students last summer at the Premier Synergy Dance Studio and Fremont Hindu Temple. Many students showed interest and as the number of students grew, they were divided into groups. The experience that we both have was crucial while setting up the framework for the classes.
This included structuring sessions to maximize time as well as enabling our students to learn at an ideal pace. The wealth of knowledge Nehal and I gained over the years served as an added bonus because we are able to choreograph songs of all genres. Students have approached us with interest in learning choreography for songs ranging from classic Bollywood songs of yesteryear to hit songs of current films, to a blend of Indian and Hip-Hop style of dance.
(Above): Young students and performers perform at the Starlight Dance Company’s Showcase at the Bravo Studio in Fremont, Calif., Mar. 18. [Siliconeer photo]
StarLight Dance Company held its first showcase, Mar. 18. The event was the first opportunity for our students to perform at a studio in front of their friends and family.
Students of all ages showcased their dance making the event a huge success. One of the performers, Richa Tenany also served as the emcee for the event, doing fantastic job at keeping the audience engaged between performances.
(Above): Older students perform at the Starlight Dance Company’s Showcase at the Bravo Studio in Fremont, Calif., Mar. 18. [Siliconeer photo]
We thoroughly enjoyed working with all of our students during the past few months. As dancers, the most rewarding element of becoming instructors is seeing progress of our own students that include kids as young as four to, in some cases, our moms.
We look forward to continue working with our current students as well as adding more students as the company grows. Remember, there is no age for dancing, it has more to do with spirit.