SDA Events and Performances This Festive Season!!

This Fall Shehnaaz Dance Academy celebrated the festivals in Jersey City and beyond. We brought the taste of Navratri festivities to Jersey City as early as September 29th. Our SDA Junior and Adult Squads performed at the Fall-o-palooza event in Hamilton Park organized by LCCS School. Our Junior Squad performed the Morya Re piece and received thunderous applause. The adult dancers recreated the magic of the crowd favorite Zingaat number, which got everyone's feet tapping. Our newest members of the SDA squad closed the performance portion of the event by bringing in the Navratri flavor with the garba number Chogada. We recorded this beautiful number with the NYC skyline backdrop and garnered over 50K views on Facebook. Don’t forget to watch it here!

This years' Diwali appearance was at the Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck organized by the ever so wonderful Ms. Rekha Nandwani. We performed at their Indian Diwali Celebration event to an approximate 200 people audience. Our squad ladies performed 2 pieces: a classical take on the song Nainowale followed by the foot tapping Kamariya number. We wowed the audience with our choreography, enthusiasm and grace.

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We kickstarted the Garba and Dandiya event in Downtown Jersey City organized by Indians in Jersey City. Garba is our instructor Kavita's forte and she co-choreographed the dances with Shehnaaz. The two left no stone unturned in entertaining the audience and bringing them all onto the dance floor to join in the traditional garba raas dance. Kudos to Indians in Jersey City for organizing such a wonderful event.

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Lastly, our Paathshaala Hindi class hosted local author and JC resident Shivangi Mathur, for a fun book reading and activity session on November 3rd. Her book, Diwali Fun with Mouse in the House is already sold out on amazon. The book explains the festival of Diwali and the various days and traditions involved through the protagonist Ganesh Ji's mouse. The little mouse plush toy is a favorite for all the kids and the puzzles are a fun way to keep the children engaged while involving them in Diwali rituals. The attendees listened to the story, colored and decorated diya pictures during the session. They had a chance to learn about how to give back and share this holiday season. A huge shout out to our Paathshaala Team for such a wonderful start to the Diwali week and to Beauty Captured for these beautiful images.

Final Adult BollyDance Pop Up For Summer 2017

Last night was our final adult BollyDance pop up for the summer. It was a fabulous session, packed with high-energy music, routines and wonderfully receptive students. 

We are so glad we switched all the routines up yesterday - the workout, the choreography; it all fit in beautifully with our plan to up the game this week. We introduced Masala Bhangra, Jazz and Hip Hop to our patrons. The routine was a perfect balance of a workout with 3 cardio songs followed by a four minute Abs and Glutes crusher. The Ab workout was very well received and is sure to become a staple in our future sessions. 

Our choreography was a competitive, partner driven sequence which provided a fun element to the session apart from a learning aspect and calorie burner, all rolled into one. The class ended on a very high note with the rave reviews and positive feedback, opening up the dialogue for weekly Bollywood Total Body Workout sessions starting fall 2017. 

York Street Project Workshops: A Chance to Give Back!

I attended my first workshop, a Lego session, at York Street project on a Tuesday morning in spring. I was very impressed by organizer Katie Moore's efforts to raise awareness and funds for the York Street Project while supporting children's development, diversity, and building a sense of community in downtown Jersey City. It made me want to help in my own little way. And that was the birth of our Bollywood movement and dance sessions at the York Street project. 

Held typically every 3rd Tuesday each month, the sessions are geared for children aged six months to six years accompanied by their parents and caregivers. Our latest session on June 20th was well attended and had something for everyone including the adults! We kick things off with a warm up routine getting the kids comfortable moving to Bollywood beats. Following a few dances, the children are invited to take a break with Hindi poetry and English nursery rhymes. We do a routine with the caregivers and parents inviting them to follow along to the Bollywood song. Our session evolved into the different attendees sharing poetry from their cultures eliciting big smiles all around. It was wonderful to see the diversity of our community coming together in such a wonderful way. 

We hope you will join us for our next workshop and help support our efforts in giving back!