Dhanya Nair, founder of Mudra Dance Academy and a resident of Sector 91, Gurugram is a trained dancer in classical art forms like Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam. Below is her journey from learning to teaching classical dance.
Dhanya’s mother had love towards classical Indian art forms. She always wanted to be a performing artist. But her home circumstances and responsibilities prevented her from doing so. This developed a desire to see her daughters get trained. As a child, her eldest daughter Divya took to academics. And her younger daughter, Dhanya took a liking for drama & creative performance. This prompted her mother to meet one of the leading Gurus, Mrs. Hymavathy.
Mrs. Trichur Hymavathy took little Dhanya under her training for dance, after school hours.
How it started
While she was still in class 5, little Dhanya got selected to join Kerala Kerala Kalamandalam. The selection was a difficult challenge. As it required determination and training to pass in the entrance test. This premium institute selected only 25 kids out of approx 500. She aced it!
Life at boarding school… a new beginning
This was no ordinary boarding school. All the students had to follow a disciplined routine. The day started early at 4 am. Each student had to learn the exercises of the eye, body and music coordination from 4 am to 8 am. Academics along with dance as a key part were studied throughout the day till 6 pm. After evening prayers, there were interactions with seniors to clear doubts. After dinner, everyone had to complete their homework.
In class 11, She gave her Arangetram ( debut performance ) on occasion of Vijayadashami. As she progressed, Dhanya honed her skill in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam. With seniority, there were no special privileges. As she now says with a smile ” The disciplined routine remained the same…with no proxy”.
As time went by, her didi, Divya, completed her academics. She learned to dance, gave her Arangetram and picked up a job.
While still in graduation, Dhanya started giving her performances and traveled to cities like Bangalore, Ooty, Mysore. As a reward, she started getting performance allowances from the University. She also judged various competitions at the state level and youth festivals.
Marriage…A new page
She got married, just after six months of graduation. During this time, She started her academy named Chilanga ( Malayalam word for ghungroo ). Her husband, Manoj, fell in love with her dedication and skill. He is professionally an engineer but his heart has been in love with creativity and arts. This inborn love has become the thread of their happy marriage. They have a daughter and a son now. She manages her day playing diverse roles of a mother, wife, teacher, daughter in law and more.
New City …. New Achievements
She shifted to Gurugram due to her husband’s job. Here she joined Amity school, Sector 46, Gurugram, as a dance teacher for two years. She has been a part of ICCR ( Indian Council for Cultural Relations ). Between 2012 to 2013, she performed in various European cities like Berlin, Munich, Moscow, Siberia, etc.
Life as a Teacher of Classical dance
Dhanya Nair, founded Mudra Dance Academy to teach her students the discipline and value of art. Within a few years, two of her students gave their debut performance at Epicentre, located in Sector 44. In 2018 she got the “ Kala Aparanji”. And in 2019, she got the “Konark Kanti” award.
Dhanya Nair is trained in 3 Indian classical art forms – Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattam, and Kuchipudi. Apart from learning the basics of Carnatic Music, without which one can’t learn these dance forms.
Life beyond dance
She is a child at heart. She likes to watch movies, listen to music. Her favorite actor is Hrithik Roshan. She loves to travel. Loves to eat good food. She enjoys north Indian cuisine and loves all varieties of paneer.
Owe it The Gurus
She feels blessed to have learned from maestros like Lalit Kala Academy winner Kalamandalam Leelamma, Padmashree Bharati Shivaji and Professor Rajalakshmi.
Connect with Dhanya
Current Training schools
She currently teaches at 2 locations. The only kid from Haryana to be awarded CCRT Scholarship for Bharatanatyam was trained by her. Her Students Kalyani and Navaneesha were state-level youth festival winners and represented the state of Haryana in National Youth festivals held in Raigarh and Rohtak. Her students are regular participants and winners in Classical dance festivals and prestigious competitions in Delhi. Mudra Dance Academy encourages all to learn the classical dance forms.
- Kalaa – art, music and dance school, H1 / 05, Ground Floor, Primrose Avenue, Vatika India Next, Sector-82, Gurugram.
Schedule: Monday and Thursday: 6 pm to 7 pm.
- Mudra Dance Academy, Little Millennium School, Site no.1, B-Block, Mayfield Garden, ( Behind Baani Square), Sector 50, Gurugram.
Schedule: Tuesday, Friday and Saturday: 4 pm to 7 pm.
Her students have shown remarkable results. She says that she is not the only reason for the success of the academy. The dedication of all the disciples & the loving support of their parents has been remarkable and important.
The success of Dhanya Nair and Mudra Dance academy has been highlighted by various articles including The Times of India and Hindustan Times.
All this and more.
During the day she enjoys her new carefree life. She practices after her husband leaves for his job. She thanks her new life to her husband, who is her pillar of support. He truly encourages her to have her own desired space to grow and learn.
She has a dream to train underprivileged girls in Bharatanatyam. She is hopeful that some of them could be talented and dedicated. Enough to pursue it and earn a livelihood out of it.
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