"I will be honest - I had no idea if dancing could bring any money at all" - Priya Varunesh Kumar
I will be honest - I had no idea if dancing could bring any money at all. At the same time, I didn’t derive much confidence from my family. My father for example did not really understand dancing as a career at that time (even though he wasn't unsupportive as such). Whenever asked about what I was up to, he would tell everyone that I was into event management!
So yes, I struggled for acceptance from people around. Even my friends thought I was "crazy" to leave a cushy job so quickly. After a point though, I just stopped caring about what anyone thought of my career. I was sure of what I wanted to do, and I knew that I would figure it out.
With time and effort and a lot of hard work I was gradually able to bag paid performance opportunities; I was able to make a living from dancing as a career. I even got into Dance India Dance and made it to top 12. After that, even my dad switched to saying “my daughter is a professional dancer”. All this while, no ounce of fear dwelled in me. I don’t think of myself just as a dancer or a performer. I am an instrument for creativity, and creativity is endless.
Today, other than professional performances, I also create Indian fusion choreographies. I am even working on developing an online curriculum for Indian fusion dances across the world. My times also goes in working with my mom in establishing her lifelong dream of having a merchandising business - it’s about creating bespoke dance skirts. Life for me is always about finding the next thing that stirs one’s creativity, and make one alive."
- Priya Varunesh Kumar, Gandhinagar