Artiste

I : Inside Out

Avanti Garde Art

Dr Avanti Arya’s labour of love, her School of Performing Arts located in the heart of Gurugram is a testimony to the fact that passion is always a step ahead than mere ‘scope’. Read on to know how this former HR Consultant sang and danced her way to success.

by Manisha Sinha

Recently when the CBSE Class XII results were declared two girls secured the top spot, but one of them Karishma Arora from Muzaffarnagar has caught everyone’s imagination because she wants to take the road less travelled (by toppers at least) – she wants to be a world-famous Kathak dancer. Having scored 499/500 and then thinking about taking up dance as a career in the future means her passion for the art form is boundless. Dr Avanti Arya from Gurugram shares the same unbridled passion for the various performing arts which led her to leave her flourishing career and open a School of Performing Arts in the heart of the city. Started in 2015, Arya’s school has given wings to many youngsters in Gurugram, who otherwise would have to travel to nooks and corners of Delhi if they sincerely wanted to pursue a career in dance and music.

She asserts, “No matter what a successful career you have in an organisation, there’s still something incredibly attractive about building an organisation up from scratch yourself. There’s no better feeling in the world than when you make your passion your career.” She has set herself on a mission to spread joy and happiness around the world by building up exceptional artists in the field of performing arts. She defines herself primarily as a creative director and secondarily as an administrator when it comes to running her school. Her lessons in communication, training and development from her days as an HR Consultant is sure coming in handy in the course of interacting with the students enrolled in her school.

Her school currently has two centres: one in Sector 47 Malibu Town and another in Sector 46 Gurugram, with a total strength of 300 students across different age groups. She plans to create a full-fledged cultural hub in Gurugram, and then expand her school internationally in Dubai and Australia. The intent is to create an environment wherein students, and their guardians begin to believe that performing arts is a mainstream career and not one that is not content to be in the shadows anymore. She has successfully roped in various acclaimed personalities from the industry to provide her students with the best training.

How it all began

The thought of leaving behind a full-fledged career (soulless though) to pursue their hobby is a distant dream for many. Arya, however, not only dreamed of it but spun it into reality by setting up her school, thus inspiring many others in her wake to follow their passion and show the world that hobbies/ passions can both heal and bring joy to others’ ‘dil’ as well as pay the ‘bill’.

She, set out on an expedition to learn and impart the knowledge of music and dance to others. An MBA in HR from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (Pune), Arya embarked on a journey to accomplish another Bachelor’s degree in Music from the famous Bhatkhande Sangeet Vidyalaya, Lucknow. She further advanced to pursue a Post Graduate degree in Indian Classical Music.

She has been a faculty of music at some esteemed institutions, her alma mater, Bhatkhande Vidyalaya, Lucknow as well as Tansen Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Gurugram.

Before opening her school of performing arts, Arya ran a small dance academy called Dancekool Studios in her basement. The marvellous response that her small dance academy received from both children, as well as their parents, spurred her to dream bigger and go for creating a full-fledged school of performing arts. Great word of mouth promotions meant her work was being well received by the residents of Gurugram and she felt she needed to give back to society all the love she was receiving. Her easy-to-grasp methods of imparting lessons in music and dance have fetched her students’ numerous awards at the national level. The journey has not been one without challenges though, she says, “It’s a mammoth task to create an image among the masses that the performing arts are a serious profession, and then comes the major issue of funds. Banks pose real hurdles; there are no easy loans for artists. Business loans are more easily available in comparison.” Still, she trudged on relentlessly and finally managed to set up her own school in a short span of time.

Courses offered

A comprehensive performing arts curriculum and training, a positive, encouraging and stimulating environment lead to high success rates of her students. The theoretical and practical training is focused on meeting the competitive demands of the entertainment industry, thus providing students with a competitive edge. She trains students in Contemporary dance style, Bollywood (6 months certificate course), Kathak (Degree Course), Bharatnatyam (Degree Course) and Vocal and Instrumental Music (Degree Course).

Singing along

Arya feels that not only do performing arts have the capacity to pay the bills it also helps keep a person happy and healthy. She feels that the various performing arts keep one both physically agile as well as mentally disciplined. They also encourage teamwork, help shed inhibitions (read stage fright), help channelize aggression properly, provide cushioning as well as emotional support to those suffering from anxiety.

Parents who are looking for a reliable institution to hone their kids’ skills in dance and music, Dr Avanti’s School of Performing Arts is the place to head this summer. For more information and course details, please visit avantischoolofperformingarts.com.

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