Nivetha Shree - A Tribal Fusion Dancer



Tell us about yourself

 Hi, this is Nivetha here. I am a tribal fusion belly dancer and a mover from Bangalore, India. I started dancing 12 years ago and bumped into this beautiful art form called belly dance. I was always fascinated by movement arts and when I took up learning this art form, I did not know that I would change my life upside down. What unfolded in the coming years was the most beautiful experience of my life. It changed me as a person inside out and has given me a new sense of identity.

Through dance, I learn so much about life and it is a medium for me to understand life better and navigate through its nuances. I have also had the privilege of teaching this art form to numerous students by conducting workshops and doing regular classes. I have a troupe with whom I perform regularly and I am a solo artist as well. Learning this art form and now teaching this to so many has been an eye opening experience because you understand the subtleties of life and dance by practicing something rigorously and this opens you up to avenues that you did not know existed before. This expands your capacity to see things differently and to perceive them for the way it is. That said I am looking forward to this journey further.

 What was your ambition as a child?

 I’ve always wanted to dance because I had my dad who was a dancer and he had this huge studio and I grew up watching him train students day in, day out. And I had watched him perform. I had watched him choreograph for movies. So it was always surrounded by dancers or surrounded by performances. We used to have a lot of stage shows and as a kid growing up in that environment, I've always wanted to be part of it and dance and perform. Somehow he felt that I would not focus on academics if I do more of dancing and he would discourage me. But I think eventually it caught up and dance became a part of my life big time.
How did you first discover tribal fusion belly dance?

I was working in a firm which had given us access to YouTube. This was back in the year 2012, and we used to watch a lot of dance videos in our free time. And one of those days I bumped into this video of a bunch of women who were dancing gracefully and were moving very slowly. They were dressed in a very gothic belly dance costume that caught my attention, and it was very beautiful. I watched all of their videos on the same day I subscribed to their channel, and then there was no looking back. That's how I discovered tribal fusion Belly Dance.


Why did you choose tribal fusion belly dance and what are its benefits?

Tribal fusion belly dance is not just about movements. It's about your style. It's how you express yourself. It's very holistic that way. Not everyone can resonate with the stylization of it, but once you do, there's no going back. And that's what caught my attention in the first place. This has been my driving force to further dwell deeper into this art form. Benefits are numerous, but to name them few. It starts out with self-expression, which is very crucial for women to have a platform, to have an art form, to express themselves, to bring out what they feel inside to the outer world, because it gives you the safe space of putting yourself across to the world. That's first. Second, it has a very subtle feminine nuance being touched upon when you practice this art form more and that opens up avenues about yourself to you and that is something I have experienced and which is something every woman who has been in this art form for some time has experienced. It's very joyous to know that about yourself.



Tell us more about your classes

In 2016, when I was performing a lot, few women wanted to learn this art form and that's where my teaching journey started. I founded Sara Belly Dance space as a school to promote and teach this art form. Since then, I have conducted workshops across all cities in India and recently I've had the opportunity to teach internationally as well. And through teaching, I wish to take this art form to a lot more people in the future.

 Describe your personal style

Over these years of training in multiple dance forms and learning from different teachers across the world, I've had this opportunity to pick up certain nuances from different teachers and students and fuse it in my dancing, making it my own style. This has evolved over these years, and it has become very different over time. But I know that as a dancer, I have a solid foundation right now, which I delve into to fuse with new elements that I learn from now on. That's how I would describe my personal style.



How do you resonate with Teejh?

When I first came across their collection, I fell in love with their clothing and jewellery. Today, I'm clad in one of their beautiful sarees and have accessorised with their oxidized jewelry. They have a very curated collection of jewellery and clothing that you will love. I fell in love with it because I personally use oxidized jewellery for my dance costumes and styling my dance pieces as well. I'm in love with their products, and you will fall in love with them too.

 What advice would you give for an aspiring tribal fusion belly dancer?

If I have to give one piece of advice to an aspiring dancer, it would be to practice and stay consistent. These may seem like overrated terms, but bringing them into action in your life and experiencing their benefits is a different ball game altogether. Practice is crucial for any art form, and so is consistency. This has changed my life. And this is crucial not just for you to practise any art form. It applies to every aspect of your life. So, this is the best advice I can give to anyone aspiring to be a tribal fusion belly dancer.


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