Ash Oberoi

My name is Ash, Ash Oberoi, I was born in Nairobi Kenya, some years back. My family is very business orientated family, nothing actually to do with the dancing industry like what I have gone into. I kind of started very young and almost got to know that I had a talent and I want to take it further and I think that the help of my parents putting me into dancing like for Kathak and Ballet and other styles of dancing, I kind of got into it that way. I had a teacher who used to teach me Punjabi and she actually was the one who possibly got me into more of the dancing style of Bhangra, Bhangra style and that’s where, I kind of them developed my dancing abilities more.

My first job really is when I was opened the school myself and took on board the Sapnay School of Dance school four years ago, where I taught children as young as three and the half right up to teenagers and adults. So really that is where it all began from. I was able to produce Bollywood champions and we actually have the title of the first ever Bollywood Champion in the UK. With Kathak this, seven years of this, Bharata Natyam you know. There are degree courses for that, whereas with Bollywood it’s more of flavour of what the choreographers feels.

You want to bring the best out of your student and I think that’s very important. When they do come to us, you do see a student grow in our school from, you know, from the beginning to right at the end, as long as they’ve been with us. And when you see that progress is when you know that you’ve delivered as a teacher as a choreographer, to the job. At the end of the day when you are putting a routine together, its got to look different, you know. It’s not something that somebody looks at and says oh I have seen that before. It would depend really on the kind of song, that we are teaching. If it’s got a classical flavour to it, then I would have slight subtle moves, elegance. If it’s a very sharp, you know, a song that’s got a lot of energy, pizzazz, you know, it’s then the moves are catered to kind of a song that we have as well. But the key thing is to always keep the kind of accuracy of the moves. Quite clean, sharp and accurate.

Bollywood teaches you about the culture. It allows people to come together to know about something else which is different. It invites other people from different countries to come together. By bringing in Bollywood shows that are of high scale like the IIFA awards was held here in Yorkshire and then also from health point of view if you look Bollywood dancing, yes, is it allows people to kind of take it as up an exercise and keep fit.

The traditional dancing never dies out. You will always have a flavour of the tradition in your, even modern style of dancing because even modern music will always have a flavour of traditional instruments in it. That’s how I’ve kind of maintained also with the Bhangra classes that I teach to ladies.

I think the positive experience for me as a teacher and as a choreographer is to see one of my students flourish to the maximum, you know. They come to us to learn. That is our job. To teach. And when we see that transition of a child that has nice growth in learning a dance styles and excelling and also winning competitions and gaining a title… That for us is very satisfying and that’s when you see… you think it’s all worth doing what we’re doing.

As we were the pioneers of bringing the fusion of Bollywood and hip hop, we’ve created our own kind of style as well. Yes, companies do that. Fusion work is there but it is how you deliver to the fusion work. You can have bad fusion. You can have good fusion.

The best thing about it is that they enjoy it. They appreciate it. They love it and they kind of get involved in it. And I think that’s the way forward.