Interview by Jamil
You are the daughter of 'Jenaeni' a renowned belly dancer. Was she your initial inspiration to take up the art? Or was there any other profound experience that contributed to your decision?
Ansuya - My mother has been my inspiration in life and in dance. She taught me from when I was a baby. I gave my first performance when I was four years old under her teaching. Another strong influence on me and my dance style has been Alexandra King, one of my mothers students. She became my teacher as well and has influenced me in my life also.
Ansuya, you are a member of the esteemed troupe 'belly dance superstars'. In your opinion could you explain what the positives and negatives are of working with a troupe?
Ansuya - I feel the beauty of working in a dance company that has a strong leader can be a magical experience of comraderie, self discovery, and inspiration. Dancing in my mothers company and having a company of my own has taught me the immense value of team work, friendship, and genorousity. When the intention of the leader is to build that esteem into the company, I think a troupe can be a completely positive experience. If the intentions are mixed with competitive values, unhealthy physical conditions, and dishonesty, then a dance company can be a negative experience. With the Bellydance Superstars, I am proud that our show seemed to represent to our audiences the values that I hold most dear on the outside. However, behind the scenes was a different story. I felt it was my duty to progress the Bellydance industry by continuing to participate in BDSS for as long as I could, but I am also proud of my decision to work on my own so that I can better progress the spirit of the dance without compromise.
Your dance style is a beautiful and technical amalgamation of soft controlled movements and harsh joyous shimmies. Could you please let your viewers in on what main expression you feel that you are able to convey in your particular dancing style?
Ansuya - Thank you for the compliments! I feel every emotion when I am dancing according to the music I am using. I just finished a show that began with an Indian fusion piece that put me in my highest level of joy, immediately followed by a song that put me deep into passionate meloncholy. For me, dance, as in life, knows no bounds when it comes to emotion. If I were to describe an overall message with my dance, it would be to convey the art of sensual and spiritual discovery. I hope to inspire others to find their power within to unlock the keys of the universe by becoming in touch with their body, mind, and soul through dance.
What hints could you offer to professional dancers that want to make it as internationally renowned as yourself?
Ansuya - My best advice for ambitious performers is to trust their own talents for art and for business. As a Bellydance entrepenur I have discovered that I am a very savvy business women. Many artists doubt their abilities in this area. But, having seen managers and business leaders at work has only increased my self confidence and helped me to discover that I have had all I have needed from the beginning to create my own enterprise. The best way to find your own direction is to connect to your inner intuition, focus on your vision, and trust in the universe. I like to follow the Law of Attraction in life, business, and art. I recommend trusting yourself and the Law of Attraction above all other advise.
I have never been introduced to the concept of an 'online class'. What was your initial aim of beginning such a project and what should students who enroll to participate in it expect?
Ansuya - My online class project is constantly developing. My goal is to provide my worldwide student base access to classes with me on a weekly basis so that they don’t have to wait years for me to come to their city. Students can expect to have great breakdown of combinations in every style of Bellydance by me in my studio. We are upgrading the payment system now based on the feedback we have received from students so that the classes can be more easily accesses and enjoyed by a wider audience.
With already so much recognition nationally and internationally as a soloist and a troupe member, what plans do you have for the upcoming future? Any projects that your Australian followers should be aware of?
Ansuya - Along with my online classes, I plan to offer my international student base the opportunity to come in small groups to my studio to study with me. My studio is located in the beautiful, tropical, vacation destination of Naples, Florida. I am excited to suggest to students that they combine a beach vacation with a Bellydance intensive at Ansuya’s Bellydance Studio. Interested students can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have attached a photo of my studio. I hope to see the Bellydancers of Australia at my studio soon!