I’m Jyoti Trivedi. I have been teaching for about twenty years but I have had this school for about 15 years. I’m from Mauritius. Well the background training started when I was back home. I was very young and I started in classical dance doing Kathak and Bharata Natyam and I came have over to England and continued with my training at the Bhavan Institute and I had a lot of private teachers as well. My teachers go back as far as back as Priya Pawar, Pratapji, Alpana Sengupta and I had a private Bharata Natyam dance teacher by the name of Suresh who was a very old teacher but she was very good. I’ve also trained in Bollywood and Bhangra, and folk, Garba and traditional dance and cultural dance as well.
So, when I first started, it was we were still in that tradition ways of teaching like, we were teaching classical and traditional dance and obviously cultural. And I was working for cultural school at that time and we were not allowed to teach Bollywood, but the headmaster said… I told him, look, these children are bored with this cultural dance and traditional dance, so can I teach them Bollywood, because they were able to relate to Bollywood films and so on and he said we are not allowed to teach Bollywood in the school but I’ll open up a dance studio where you can teach Bollywood and it was called Bollywood Studio. That’s what it was called and that was like going back over 15 years. And so I started teaching there but then his school wrapped up both the cultural and the dance studio wrapped up. And I just carried on teaching from there on.
I wanted to able to put my students on stage to perform as well as to take part in competitions. We do a lot other things like film shoot, and em, dance on stage, theatre work, plays, drama we go abroad a lot to perform. We do quite a lot, we are extremely busy every weekend with shows.
You need to have that classical foundation, for you to be able to do or teach any style of dancing not only Bollywood, but there’s a lot of… we use all kinds of dance in our Bollywood. Bollywood, the way I see it, is a fusion of every single style of dancing going, be it modern, be it contemporary, be it classical, be it Jazz, hip-hop street… it’s all a mixture of all these styles of dance that makes Bollywood, including obviously the traditional and cultural dance.
For example, if you take a cultural dance, which… say Garba dance, it’s very low in energy but very subtle moves, soft movement and bit of bending, but with the same style, I would teach the same sort of steps and dance moves but add a bit more energy and vary the movements rather than just a simple bending step I would put a bend and a turn and may be possibly add level to it, going down and coming up and so on. So that’s how it started changing.
A lot of my teachers come from India. So they have to understand our ways to teaching, although they are very professional.
I’m just focused on my students. I just want them to achieve. I’ve had a lot of students from the dance school who have achieved a lot. Already they are working in Bollywood now and you know, to name a few Upendra Patel, Upen Patel and people like that. So I am just happy teaching for my students to achieve. We win a lot of competitions and that’s my challenge and my achievement.
‘And don’t worry about anything else. Remember, you doing a performance. There are going to be loads and loads of people. Isn’t it? How many people you’ve got that day? 500.’