With the new year, and a new season, we have some new HustlinKween’s joining our Queendom.
This week we will introduce one of our local dancers and choreographer, who from a very young age knew what she was passionate about.
She is confident, she loves adventures and most importantly she is one of our Bollywood Dancing Kweens in the local community who brings smiles to people who learn from her.
Let’s welcome Sara Shah into our Queendom.
Sara was born in Gujarat, India but migrated to New Zealand when she was four and half years of age. She comes from a very simple immigrant family where her parents have always supported her hobby of dancing from a very young age
"As cliche as it sounds, from a very young age, I just knew that I had a dancer in me. I’ve had a love for performing and dancing. It became an obsession for me at one point in my life and the more I did it, the more confidence I developed as with anything; if you spend enough time practicing and perfecting your craft it becomes second nature. For me, dance is not just about movement and technique but it's about being completely vulnerable and true to yourself in those few minutes that you have onstage.
In our community there is a famous proverb, “You are not built for something unless you are forced to do it” and Sara is a perfect example of this. She loved dancing but choreographing was something she didn't’ have her mind set into until she was pushed into choreographing for the biggest High School Dance Competition.“However, after years of dancing, I still hadn’t even given a thought about choreographing until I was pushed to choreograph for the biggest secondary school dance competition in New Zealand whereby various schools competed and showcased their talent. I had immense difficulty in believing in myself but having my former teacher push me and show faith in me really did serve to become a catalyst for my dance journey".
“My proudest moment was our team winning the second runner up and it was the first time in ten years that we had even been nominated in the top 3 places. I had also won the Best Female Dancer award that year. Over time, I slowly learned that I became extremely fond of not only choreographing and performing, but collaborating and coordinating, working with other people and learning their craft also made me really happy seeing the joy in people when they dance to your choreography or when they tell me they want to learn more.
I realized that planning, catering to different skills and abilities, coordinating people,
and doing group projects made me extremely happy. I think the beauty of dance and art is that it's essentially just a chain of inspiration that flows from one person to the next and before you know it, comes back to you!”.
Sara’s willingness to expand her form of dancing to other styles challenged her to learn various forms of dancing. “Although my passion lies mainly in Bollywood dancing,I do love learning other styles too even though I find that it can be strenuous to move my body in accordance with other styles, being a self-taught dancer with no formal background training.
Overall, I am glad that over the past few years there has been a shift in perspective in terms of Bollywood dancing and I hope this is maintained. Bollywood dancing is a form that does require a lot of time, effort, and skill and should be given as much respect as other dance styles get”.
Sara has always followed her heart and believed that one should take their passion with them wherever they go. “One of the most challenging life decisions I’ve ever made was choosing to build a career in STEM. It made sense for me to choose a field that enables me to live and work on the cutting frontiers of science and technology. Although I still have a long, bumpy ride to go; I’m thankful that I have my friends and family supporting me throughout - especially my mother. She is my biggest pillar of strength and inspiration”.
“I am extremely inspired by the many women that I have seen emerge this year and have continued to fight all odds to be successful female entrepreneurs and artists and have never failed to believe in the beauty of their dreams. But today, I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities that I have been given, the platforms that I have been given to showcase my work, and the people that have supported me, especially my parents.
In the future, I still have a lot more that I want to contribute towards the creative community, getting trained classically and growing myself even more because as a dancer you are forever a student and are always learning.
I want to dedicate this to all the young girls out there who know they are the best but need a little boost because I believe that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
Through some of the increasingly difficult times we have faced throughout this year,
I feel that dance is exactly what more of the world needs right now”.
To stay connected to Sara's latest projects, check out her instagram page