“Dancing gives me peace” – Rahul Gupta, classical dance teacher

If someone learns and continues to practice any form of classical oriental dance, he or she will never go astray in life. His mind will never be drawn to negative emotions. The individual will always be a well-behaved person.
The positive and didactic side of traditional classical dance is vehemently emphasized by Rahul Gupta, who teaches and provides training in Bharatanatyam, Kathak and other forms of classical dance in Doha. He was recently talking to Community.
Rahul, 31, is a distinguished classical dancer with expertise in Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak and folk dances like Bihu. Later in his career he started teaching and choreographing, and spent time spreading classical dance culture to different countries around the world.
Originally from Chandigarh, India, Rahul was introduced to classical dance early in the day. “I started to get interested in classical dance when I was in kindergarten. My mom always encouraged me to keep dancing and she always took me to dance lessons. She never cared about negative comments like Rahul is a boy and why is he learning ballet dancing. She has always appreciated the talent that I have.
“I have two older sisters. They don’t follow dance, but I made classical dance my job. In all my family, no one likes classical dance; they are all business people. However, I feel very happy and satisfied to be a professional dancer. I have always been appreciated and applauded in my school for being a good ballet dancer from a young age. I also taught dance to other students in my school, even much older than me. I got my first real recognition when my school won a dance trophy and the dancers were trained by me. Later, I was admitted to Pracheen Kala Kendra, a large dance school in my town. I majored in Bharatanatyam. I was constantly discouraged from pursuing a career in classical dance because I was a boy. At one point, I also thought about interrupting the learning. However, I am happy today to be a professional classical dancer.
Rahul, who recently returned to Doha, previously lived and worked there for two years from 2014 to 2016. He attended training sessions and performed in different parts of the world. “My wife Seema Gupta is also interested in ballet dancing and she learned it after marriage. She is a good dancer now because I give her all my support. My 10-year-old son Bharat is also very good at various forms of classical dance.
“Before, I worked a lot in Doha and I have very good friends here. I went to another Gulf country where I continued to teach different forms of dance. My friends here have always invited me to come back. I finally returned with my family to Qatar (smiles). ”
He has performed with his troupe in different countries including Bahrain, Australia, Armenia and other parts of Eastern Europe. “My troop is based in Chandigarh. I miss them and I miss them. However, my senior teachers are there and they continue to practice. They perform regularly in different cities of India.
Bharatanatyam, for Rahul, is the best dance and form of exercise in the world. He finds it distinct and different from other forms of classical dance in other countries. “In Bharatanatyam, the movements are very clear. There are different facial expressions in this form. He is more focused on acting. The dancer must act to show different emotions and feelings. We are taught that there are nine emotions that human beings carry. In this dance, I have to play a hero and a villain in a performance. A dancer has to play different roles. It’s a unique dance with different characters.
Rahul believes that classical dance keeps an individual on the right track through thick and thin in life. “I have observed and experienced this in my life. If someone learns and practices classical dance, they will never go astray in life. He or she will remain a polite and gentle person who completely follows good practices and principles of life. A classical dancer will stand out among 10 Western dancers because of their different aura. I saw this in my teachers and my friends.
For Rahul, classical dance works as a stress reliever. “When I am tense or unhappy, I start to practice dancing. It makes me stress free and fresh. It seems that tension has become a part of everyone’s life. Art in general and ballet dance in particular make you relaxed and fresh. It gives me real peace of mind. I feel very relaxed. Until today, I have no idea what a headache is. It keeps my physical shape. Dancing for me is Tapasya (devotion).
“In addition, dancing is very dear to me. It brought me both recognition and respect. When I teach young children, they slowly start to follow me. Sometimes parents come to me asking for my support in giving their children lessons in everyday life. They believe their children are listening to me. In fact, whatever I preach, I practice it first. I am very friendly and professional with children.
Teaching and training others gives Rahul a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. “Everyone has to make money. I am no exception. However, I also gain satisfaction from teaching classical dance. When parents appreciate my role in their children’s learning, I am proud. The feedback has been very positive. For example, recently I was invited to the Don Bosco school in Shimla where more than 3,000 girls study. I talked to the students for an hour about classical dance and its meaning. Some of the more experienced teachers in the school applauded my style of teaching and delivering the message. “
The enthusiastic classical dancer plans to continue teaching and training young students. “I have programs in preparation to play dance dramas in different countries. In Doha, I like to teach children of different nationalities and cultures. I want to continue teaching dance. In Qatar, I feel more respected because people give due recognition to art and dance.

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