BollyFit Guides

Abby

"I adore bellydance because it celebrates a woman's body." Abby began dancing at age 13 in a variety of forms including jazz, ballet, modern and musical theater. While at Wesleyan University, she helped start a collaborative dance company called Visible Rhythms. She continued to dance while obtaining her Masters in Acupuncture but never with the same passion she had in high school and college until she discovered belly dance. Abby spent 3 years studying and performing with Penny Morris, Sharon Leduc, and Kimmy O'Shimmy of Crystal Bindi Studios of Traverse City. She returned to Ann Arbor in 2012, joined Unveiled Bellydance and has been performing with them since. She began teaching bellydance as fitness in 2013. Abby contends, "BollyFit® has the same approach to exercise that I do. It is about having fun, being grateful for the body you were given, and relishing the opportunity to move in that body." She enjoys being part of the BollyFit® community and sharing her love of bellydance through teaching BollyFit® Belly. “All bellies welcome!” Abby practices acupuncture and Chinese Herbology.

Adele

If theater is ritual, then dance is too... It's as if the threads connecting us to the rest of the world were washed clean of preconceptions and fears. When you dance, you can enjoy the luxury of being you [Paulo Coelho]. Adele was born and raised in Ile-de-France, France. She was introduced to dance at the age of four when she began taking ballet and Soukous classes. She got seriously into dance at age 27 by joining Hip Hop Newstyle founder, Coco Crew, realizing then that dance is truly her passion and that she must make time for it. Adele took casual Bharatanatyam and Salsa classes. Wanting to change her lifestyle and become bilingual, she moved to Saskatchewan, Canada. In 2013, she visited India and got introduced to kathak. Adele fell in love with kathak and decided to train. In 2015, she performed at Folkfest. She began teaching kathak to kids and discovered a new passion. Adele found BollyFit at the recommendation of her teacher, Mudra School of Performing Arts founder, Sneha Mukherjee. BollyFit is the opportunity she was waiting for to share her passion of dance and experience: “Je loue la danse car elle libère l’homme de la lourdeur des choses et lie l’individu à la communauté. La danse convoque la partie sensible, vivante en chacun de nous. Cette partie désirable et aimable qui fait rayonner avec grâce notre réelle beauté. Je loue la danse qui demande tout, favorise santé et clarté de l’esprit et élève l’âme." - Facebook page: https://business.facebook.com/pg/BollyFit-Saskatoon-688445874650705/ - Email address: saskatoonbollyfit@gmail.com

Alisha

Alisha is a senior at the University of Michigan, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Applied Statistics. Alisha plans to start pharmacy school this fall. From ages 5 to 18, Alisha was part of the Nartan Dance Academy and then joined Michigan Manzil during college. Alisha also takes part in the annual cultural IASA Show. Alisha, "Loves being able to incorporate different styles of Indian dancing to create a fun way for everyone to work out.” Alisha’s favorite BollyFit® event was the Michigan Manzil Summer Children’s Dance Camp; “We had the opportunity to work with numerous kids from different backgrounds and teach them different types of Indian dancing to ultimately create a show. It was an absolutely amazing experience!"

Harita

"Life isn't about letting the storm pass--it's about learning to dance in the rain." Harita loves this quote as it defines how dance makes up her life. Dancing in the rain is a spontaneous act, Harita can always be found tapping her feet and spontaneously twirling around on the kitchen floor.Harita has been dancing for over 10 years in Bharatanatyam (South Indian Classical Dance) including her semesters at the University of Michigan. Go Blue!Harita completed her arangetram (graduation) in 2009 under the tutelage of Sudha Chandrasekhar of Hindu Temple Rhythms. In Harita’s own words, “BollyFit® combines the things that I love most: spontaneity, dancing, and a healthy way of living. It allows me to continue dancing as well as promote a healthier lifestyle in the community.” Currently Harita is working and applying to medical school and biotechnology graduate school programs.

Jineet

"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.” Growing up, BollyFit® Kids Coach, Jineet Gandhi, had no dance training. However, after graduating high school and joining a competitive dance team, Michigan Manzil, Jineet began to explore many different styles of dance. Traveling across the country to compete against the nation's top teams has exposed him to styles such as Bollywood, Bhangra, Hip Hop, and Contemporary. Jineet also has had the opportunity to learn and grow as a dancer and as a leader. “As a competitive dancer, it's nice to be able to take time away from the stage and really share my passion for dance with kids. I hope to instill a new love for dance in these kids as some of my role models have done for me!” Currently, Jineet is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Business Administration at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business with a Minor in Computer Science. Upon graduation, he hopes to start his career in the finance industry.

Neelma

Neelma leads our new Canton and West Bloomfield classes. Dancing used to be something that intimidated Neelma - until she auditioned for (and made!) the Raas dance team at Michigan State University. As she learned, her confidence grew and she fell in love with dance! Neelma has been looking for opportunities to continue dancing since college, and BollyFit® combines her two passions - dance and fitness - in a fun and inclusive way. "I think it's amazing that BollyFit® provides a stress-free opportunity to learn new moves, hear new songs, and leave class with an energized mind and spirit," she says. Neelma is very excited to meet NEW friends in her new classes in West Bloomfield and Canton as well as incorporate the latest Bollywood music! Neelma graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Human Biology, specializing in Bioethics, Humanities and Society. She currently works at Providence Hospital and is planning to go to school to become a Physician's Assistant in the near future.

Neena

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” Dance has been a part of Neena's life since the age of 5. She trained in many styles of Indian classical dance, including Kathak and Bharatanatyam. In August 2011, Neena performed her Mangalacharan, which is a solo performance signifying a formal graduation from Nartan Dance Academy. In May 2015, Neena was casted as one of the lead roles in Nartan Dance Academy's dance drama, "Preet Kiye Dukh Hoye.” Throughout her college career, Neena has had the opportunity to expand her knowledge and performance of dance. She joined Bollywood-Fusion team, Michigan Manzil, and has enjoyed the opportunity to travel and compete nationwide. “I am very excited to be a BollyFit® Kids Coach. I hope to show kids how fun dancing can really be, and to open their eyes to what will hopefully become a new lifelong hobby and passion.” Neena is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Spanish and Biology at the University of Michigan. She continues to use dancing as an outlet of self expression and creativity, and knows that upon graduation, dancing will continue to be a large part of her life.

Nisha

Nisha is at home on the dance floor and the stage. It all began with her debut, appearing as a tomato at the age of 2. That was all it took for her to catch the dancing bug, and it hasn't gone away since! Nisha trained for 12 years in Bharat Natyam, a South Indian classical dance style; Kathak, a North Indian classical dance style; and folk dance styles from from all across India. Through the years, she performed in many plays, musicals and dance dramas, bringing Indian dance to her schools and community. As a graduate student at the University of Michigan, Nisha choreographed and taught Bollywood dances performed at the university cultural events. Nisha received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering,followed up by a Masters in Information Science. She currently works as a Web Designer and User Experience Specialist. Nisha first discovered BollyFit® through friends, and quickly found that it was the “twinkle” that was missing from her day. She has tried many other fitness and dance classes, but feels that BollyFit® is unique in that it perfectly aligns relaxation, dance and fitness. As she says, "In the rest of my life, I'm a little awkward and shy. This makes some of the other classes more difficult or stressful for me. But with BollyFit®, when I hear the music and start to move, I am a confident, graceful person, and the beats carry me through the rest of the week." Nisha became a certified BollyFit® Guide,in order to help others awaken their own personal “twinkles.” Nisha looks forward to dancing with you!

Nitika

Nitika Sood grew up in India and graduated from BJS Dental School. Soon she realized that in order to produce high quality outcomes in the healthcare sector she needed a 360 degree knowledge of the industry driving her to pursue a Healthcare Administration Masters. Her long term professional goal is to contribute to the medically underserved. Currently, she works as a Systems Analyst. Nitika has always been a perfectionist. This includes her attention to detail involving her work academics and her strongest passion, dance. She is a professional choreographer with a Diploma in Indian Classical Dance. Her entrepreneurial mindset helped her establish the Dance Institute “Sanjeevani Kala Kendra” in India which trained students in a variety of dance forms. Although she left India, she is continuing to promote her love of dancing. Nitika comments, "BollyFit® is a perfect combination of rejuvenating body, mind & soul and burning calories quickly. Through dance, BollyFit® inspires you to bring out your best. As a guide, BollyFit® gives me an opportunity to help enlighten students and contribute to their happiness. It helps me connect to the cosmic energy and radiate the same energy throughout the day. Everyone who comes to dance with me at a BollyFit® session is unique and offers something new. This makes teaching BollyFit® an amazing experience.”

Priya

"There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them" [Vicki Baum] Priya began learning a form of Indian classical dance called Bharatanatyam at the Nupur Academy of Dance at the age of 7. Since then, she has expanded upon her dancing experiences to learn several different Eastern and Western styles of dance. Priya found BollyFit® when she was looking for a way to share her passion and enthusiasm for dance with the community. BollyFit® classes allow Priya to to blend new, modern forms of dance with her traditional roots to create a vibrant and exciting form of fitness. Priya is currently pursuing a BSE in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. In her spare time, she participates in numerous dance groups on campus, including Maya Dance Troupe and Michigan Sahana.

Shivani

Shivani is a recent graduate from Michigan State University and former captain of the MSU Raas Team alongside Sirisha Yellai. Her love for dance and fitness led her to join BollyFit® and extend her energy to her students. Bhangra, Classical, and Hip Hop are only a few of the styles that she brings to BollyFit® classes. She has recently relocated to Los Angeles to pursue further schooling in Dance and Performing Arts, and hopes to start new BollyFit® classes in California this year!

Sirisha

"Dance isn't something that can be explained in words. It has to be danced," [Paige Arden]. Sirisha's passion for dance began at the age of 3. She started classical training under Sandhya Sree Athmakuri in Kuchipudi, India?, 13 years ago, and now also studies Kathak, under Manisha Dongre. Sirisha performed her Rangapravesam, a solo dance recital demonstrating a dancer's capabilities, in 2009. Sirisha attended Michigan State University, where she was a captain and choreographer of the MSU Raas Team. Additionally, Sirisha participated in MSU's Coalition of Indian Undergraduate Students Annual Indian Cultural Show, Satrang, as a performer and choreographer. While dance has always been a part of her life, BollyFit® opened the doors of dance as fitness for Sirisha. BollyFit® brings the beauty, excitement and freedom of dance to everyone, while also promoting a healthy lifestyle. Every BollyFit® class has been a learning experience for Sirisha and she is excited to dance with all of you!

Soumith

Soumith is a Senior at the University of Michigan majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. Soumith has been dancing since his freshman year of college. Growing up, Soumith enjoyed dancing casually, but didn't pursue formal dancing until he fell in love with dancing at the University of Michigan Indian American Student Association (IASA)’s Culture Show The show inspired Soumith to audition for the competitive co-ed campus Bollywood dance team, Michigan Manzil. Soumith learned many styles of dance including Bollywood, Raas, Bhangra, Hip-Hop and Contemporary while performing with Michigan Manzil over the next two years. Soumith choreographed, as well as danced in, two IASA culture shows. Soumith recently expanded his dancing repertoire, auditioning and joining an all-male Hip-Hop campus performance dance team, FunKtion. Soumith was exposed to BollyFit® when Michigan Manzil partnered with BollyFit® during the Summer Children’s Dance Camp. Soumith loved every moment of“teaching and watching kids grow through dance."

Tanuja

Humble, passionate about life, and committed to spreading and sharing the BollyFit® lifestyle, Tanuja is our European BollyFit® Ambassador. From a very young age, Tanuja enjoyed an active lifestyle; today she promotes it! Tanuja has been teaching fitness for over 6 years, on top of being a mother of 3! She enjoys bringing BollyFit® to the UK community and dancing with all of her students.

Vibha

"Being a BollyFit® instructor is a great learning experience for me.Combining dance and exercise to create a fun and healthy routine is a challenge that I take on with excitement. I am very thankful for my BollyFit® experience as it betters me as a dancer and choreographer!" Vibha Sreenivasa is currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. Vibha has been dancing since she was 3 years old, learning Bharatanatyam from her mother (who is a dance teacher). She has also trained in various other styles of dance. She has been part of Michigan Manzil, a competitive Bollywood fusion dance team, for the past 2 years. She choreographs dances for U of M's IASA (Indian American Student Association) and other clubs.