Empowerment through art
Dance is her passion, she learnt classical and contemporary style, graduated in performing arts, but armed with an MBA, she entered the corporate...
Dance is her passion, she learnt classical and contemporary style, graduated in performing arts, but armed with an MBA, she entered the corporate world to make a living. However, she did not stay away from dance for long; soon she realised her true calling. Dr Avanti Arya trains under-privileged children in dance and she believes that it is her way of contributing to the art world, by unearthing the hidden talent in India.
Hailing from Gurgaon, she has a made a life out of creating a space for the dreamers with talent from underprivileged and unrecognised sectors of the society – Avanti School of Performing Arts.
Avani narrates the story behind starting this institute, "I am a post graduate with an MBA. I was always good with cultural activities and would stand first in which ever activity I took part in.
My mother always diverted me to study as she believed that art will not support me economically, especially since we did not belong to a renowned family of musicians and dancers. They also did not have enough money to support my training. Talent was a burden on parents back then. Soon after my PG they got me married and I went on to do a job in the corporate world.
I worked with NIIT as a Branch Head. After four years of working, I was a bit saturated with the profile I had, and I moved to insurance industry and then resigned as Assistant Vice President ING Vysya life. And then suddenly my mother became sick and so I quit my job to look after her. I rejoined the rat race and worked as HR consultant before deciding to quit everything and get back to the world of dance."
Avani rediscovered her childhood dream, and love towards music and dance. During this time (2015) she found bunch of talented young girls, who were children of domestic workers, and there was no way the children could get support to hone their skill, instead they were being sent to work.
"It all depends on one's luck about how a society accepts a girl's talent.
When I have saw these children, who were going through the same problem that I went through, it gave me strength to decide my path. I began to teach these students to help them realise what they are capable of. I started with small projects like stage shows and choreographing for corporate shows and then I started a studio and opened classes where these dancers who are now excellent and qualified dancers teach those interested to dance, sing or play a music instrument and earn something out of it."
"Giving a job to these underprivileged lot is a big thing and having said that these students earn something out of their talent is what makes me proud," she adds. The trainers who were once doing nothing with their life are standing on their own and making use of their talent. "There are a lot of stories that are very emotional and there are instances where some of the students whom I started teaching were addicted to drugs and some even intended to commit suicide and this really broke my heart. It feels happy when I see these students happy with what they do for a living as it gives them respect."
It has not been an easy journey. "The first challenge that I had was with my own family and the families of my team members. They started to question me as to how I would do things and then it was difficult to convince all of them. There are also financial issues. People have very shallow knowledge about art and there was lack of social acceptance."
"Gurgaon is a place where there is a lot of aggression. So, I want to bring all the people with talent to train and shine bright in their life. If people support me and come to me for franchise I would be open to the offer," she states.
t started with a little idea of teaching dance to less privileged, which is shaping up as an institute. A determined learner with a versatile skill set, her mission is to spread happiness, joy and pleasure in every individual's heart all around the world. Through this, she hopes to make attempts to make everyone better in the field of performing arts.
Dr. Avanti is successful in converting her hobby into a full-time career for only one reason that she was highly determined and passionate about her art and her career and there's something incredibly addictive about making a product yourself. She has choreographed corporate and social events in Short span of time.
At Avanti School one of her mission is to empower women especially the less privileged by teaching them arts dance and music and make them independent and confident in life.