We all know there is power in words. There are words that make us visualize and feel a certain way. These words often have to do more with our inner connection with the outer world.
Out of all the words out there, there’s a beautiful word that makes us all feel free – ART.
The feeling that we get after hearing the word art is unmatchable.
A subtle word with a strong feeling of associating yourself with your soul. A comfortable place of being with yourself.
Be it in any form – creative art is a jewel that humans are gifted with. From painting, dancing, and music, to designing every field of art has its own journey of exploration. It helps one stay connected with one’s soul.
Today, we bring to you the story of a young boy from Muzaffarnagar who dared to explore his choices and one of the art forms. Let’s celebrate the journey of Gopal Agarwal, a professional dance trainer who has his own dance institute Dance INC in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
The Learning and Exploring Phase
Gopal has been in the field of dance education for the last 15 years. The journey had been filled with being at a crossroads to make choices, fighting the stigmas, and consistently choosing himself despite being surrounded with things to do otherwise.
Like every other Indian child, Gopal’s journey in dance started with Bollywood dancing mostly during school events and annual functions. Growing up, realising his love for dance Gopal started to train professionally in a dance form Jazz from Danceworx, Delhi. Later, he pursued his Diploma in Dance from Terence Lewis Professional Training Institute. Being an ace performer, Gopal was offered to train at the Institute. He has served as a faculty for professional dance at TLPTI for 3 years.
But did Gopal always know what he wanted to do? Well, no. Like most of us, he was offered to run his family business or pursue his career as a cinematographer. Gopal has done his degree in BMS from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. None of the career options above worked well for him and that’s how dance naturally fell into place for him. He positively shares how things that didn’t work out for him were for his own good.
What led to the inception of Dance Inc. India in Ahmedabad?
Often when we make a decision to pursue an art form professionally, it isn’t an easy decision to make mostly due to fear of failure or less exposure to the field. It becomes even more challenging when one comes from a Tier B or Tier C city in the country. The societal point of view as well as the learning and training opportunities often lacking in these cities despite having an abundance of talented people.
Gopal had realized this long back and always wanted to bridge the gap between these cities.
Thus in 2015, Dance Inc. was established in Ahmedabad. The Institute is in its 8th year of training individuals in the field of dance. Gopal being a strong believer in the idea of learning an art form in its totality, has ensured that at Dance Inc. India, dance is treated in a much sincere way.
His institute focuses on all aspects of learning an art form – from its history to practical application and learning about one’s body. The training through an exercise called Improvisation – is the USP of Dance Inc. India.
This provides a platform for all their students to know their own dance style and movement language. Gopal says, “Improvisation is an important part of the training journey to go through while learning dance professionally. This technique allows one to know their style and separates one from another.”
Talking about his highs in career life, Gopal shares his moments of joy when his dream of teaching dance full-time at his institute came true.
Today, DII offers a full-time 9-month training program that also focuses on work projects lined up after its completion.
15 faculties from all over India, specializing in different dance forms teach this course.
Dance – a career choice and how the world views it.
Every profession has its own challenges when one decides to pursue a career in it. When it’s an art, the challenges often tend to be a little more than usual.
Dance as a career in our country has always been in talks and questions. It’s a field where a lot of people are interested but wouldn’t know if it should be explored as a career choice. The past decade, however, has helped change the views of parents when the child talks about making a career in arts.
Gopal shares some eye-opening insights with regard to this. Recalling his early days, he states, “After I actually started in the field I realized it’s not as difficult as how it looks from outside the industry. Of course, you’ve to work hard and make some sacrifices but it’s not an impossible career choice. Dancing is a viable career option if one remains dedicated and sincere for the same. Everything has its time. Remember to reassure yourself that this is your journey.”
Dance also has some societal stigmas attached to it apart from the challenges that one faces in the career graph as a skill. Considering a man too feminine or a woman too tomboy-ish based on their choice of dance form – adds to the pressure that an individual already faces in his career. In this regard, Gopal shares “Art doesn’t have a gender. Dance at its base is the same for all. It is all about the display of emotions.”
Gopal also emphasizes taking that FIRST STEP in his career! Speaking out of his experiences, he shares “More and more people should pursue creative arts. Whether it’s dancing, music, photography, or anything else one must pursue it.”
The financial side looks tough and is often questioned in the field of art, Gopal shares how institutes and production companies have now come up with insurance plans for dancers. Initially one may earn a little less than what they would expect from any other field but eventually, it all works out. One only needs to be consistent.
“Mix your emotional communication with your practical approach. Balance out your emotions, skill, and the technique of business.”Gopal Agarwal
Entrepreneurship and the Field of Creative Arts
Making career choices and living up to your own expectations can sometimes be a little overwhelming. With stories like that of Gopal, we aim to share with everyone the power that dedication and hard work have in it.
For people who aspire to be professional dancers, Gopal advises that one should always be ready to put in their all – emotionally, mentally, and physically to excel in this field. However, one must not forget that being an entrepreneur comes with its set of challenges. There are sacrifices that one needs to make and practical decisions that one needs to take in time.
However challenging creative arts may look from the outside, it’ll work out for you if you remember to have faith and work hard to make your dream come true.
Arts is considered as a field in which one may or may not end up being successful in society’s language, it will always be a successful one that will also ensure your soulful growth.
Emphasizing the importance of pursuing creative arts, Gopal states,
“Art is important to change the world. To change the status quo. To tell stories. We all will end up being robots with no emotional side of being human. Nothing of value added to the world if art is missing.”
In Gopal’s words, “ With the way that life and the world are becoming increasingly complicated and isolated, it needs a lot of love. The love that comes from within.”
A message of Faith and Confidence
Gopal’s journey shares the message of faith and confidence. It surely is a journey that asks for a lot from a person emotionally, physically, and mentally but is also the journey that brings one closest to their soul and the feeling of freedom and attachment to nature, the world, and oneself.
We hope his journey acts as an inspiration for you as it did for us.
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