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Devaniya – Students Speak

by devaniya on March 18, 2015

Jigyasa Giri writes: Recently, when Shri Ashish Khokkar asked me to write an article about five years of Devaniya, I felt that it would be ideal if the students wrote about how they felt. As the saying goes, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Thus, I asked some of my students if they would like to write a line or two on their experience at Devaniya. The response was so overwhelming and unexpected that I just felt impelled to share their jottings with my readers. Truly, as Rumi said, “Love is all that there is.”‎


Aditi Ganesh‎ – “It’s going to be a year at Devaniya and we’ve learnt a lot in such a short span of time. I enjoy coming to these classes which are filled with cheer and joy. Ma’am, thank for giving me the opportunity to participate in the annual day function, it gave us the chance to know other batch mates and mingle with them. My experience at Devaniya has been so good and I am looking forward to more and more.”

Ashmini Balakrishnan‎‎ – “Devaniya has increased my passion and love for dance a hundred fold! I have come to understand that there is endless scope for a dancer to improve his/her movements provided one chooses to learn with an open mind. My own learning experience has been a fantastic one and continues to be so. I am forever grateful to my Guru who taught me to let go and dance with abandon.”

Avani Giri‎ – “Devaniya is not just an institute but a phenomenon. It gives its students the opportunity to explore a beautiful art and at the same time develop their own person and connect with the inner soul.”

Bindu Srinath‎ – “I learnt Bharatanatyam at a young age, but as I grew older, I was fascinated by Kathak. I joined Devaniya a year ago, and I should say that the school has not just taught me to understand the dance form, but also to love it, feel it and express it with beauty and sincerity. Thank you Jigyasa Ma’am.”

Charusheela.K‎ – “Ever since I started my journey with dance two years ago, what I have received from Devaniya is energy, ecstasy and divinity. I have learnt that dance is not just about the footwork, rather, it is a complete expression of one’s soul. And when this soul is felt through dance, it can also be expressed in a divine manner. I always experience a positive vibe around while we all dance.”

Dikshita Rai‎ – “Devaniya is a school where even a novice is taught so well and with so much hope. We are urged to take our dancing ability to a great level. I love my teachers here. It is a place where everyone is like family, even in an unknown city.”

Disha Munoth‎ – “I have always been passionate about dancing, and learning kathak has been one of my dreams. To find an amazing school and a brilliant teacher like you in Chennai has been a blessing Ma’am. In the past two years, my love for dance has only grown more and more. I experience boundless joy in every class and enjoy learning from you Ma’am.”

‎Durga Krishnan – “Learning at Devaniya has been a beautiful journey of my life. Devaniya has taught me the way, looks, techniques and ethics of how a classical dancer should be. The lovely part is that it also teaches the true values of life. I feel here as if this is my home!”

‎Harini Sundar – “A classical dance that is indeed so classy…I am mesmerised with it. Thank you Ma’am for giving us such a wonderful experience with this great form of art. We enjoy learning from you as children learn from their mother.”

Jyoti Belliappa‎ – “For me being part of Devaniya has been a totally fulfilling experience. These joyous moments of free abandon under the keen gaze of Jigyasa-ji have added a new dimension to my life. Besides giving aesthetic pleasure, they confirm my belief in the goodness of life. We all come together to celebrate life through this great art form.”

‎Lakshmi Prathyusha – “It is not about learning dance alone, but it is how a soul enlightens up in the process to reach the supreme soul. In learning dance, Ma’am has taught us how to live and let live which is never an easy task. Learning at Devaniya is not only about taalam and expression; it is about how to dance to the tune of life. Dance and Devaniya are like my eyes showing me the beauty of dance which never fades and which brings life to the soul.”

Madhavi Sethupathi‎ – “My experience with Devaniya has been fantastic! I love coming to class and I learn so much from Jigyasa Ma’am. Not just dance, which is both fun and creative, but also how to be a better person and live life more fully. Ma’am believes that if anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. And that’s something I try to apply to all areas of my life.”

Madhumita Vijay‎ – “From my childhood, dance has been my one and only passion, it is what I adore the most. Kathak is an art of life where we are not only taught dance expressions, but humbleness and simplicity too. Behind every good performer is a great teacher. Our Ma’am is definitely one. I love the way she says, “It’s never too late to learn.” Ma’am, you have no idea how much this means to me, I surely cannot thank you enough.”

Manisha Lohia‎ – “To me dance is the most divine experience where I feel connected to my God within. The nuances of emoting, gracefulness and being aware of the posture while dancing has been enhanced through my learning with Jigyasa Didi. She has been more than a Guru to me. My bhakti to Lord Krishna has been enriched as I completely dissolve in this art form, especially when she choreographs Meera bhajans.”
Meenakshi Subramaniam‎ – “I learn dance as well a way of living in Devaniya, it’s like my second family.”

‎Manju Jain – “At Devaniya you can learn at your own pace. It is a unique experience and absolute delight for mother and daughter to learn together in the same class.”

Pravallika Prasad‎ – “Choosing Devaniya was the best decision in my life. There is a difference between teaching and inspiring. Devaniya inspires us. Not only in dance, but in our way of living. Humbleness, simplicity, determination, hard work, enthusiasm and a lot more. Entire credits and gratitude to Jigyasa Ma’am, without whom Devaniya wouldn’t have been possible! Thank you for everything.”

Roshini Mohan‎ – “If I am dancing today, it’s because I’ve had a great teacher along the way! For the true lover of dance, exploring all aspects of the art form brings great joy. For the true lover of teaching, the same satisfaction is found in bringing this passion into the lives of others. This is truly apt for Jigyasa Ma’am. I just admire the habits that she has instilled into me – professionalism, the art of adjustment and respect for others. From stepping stones to beyond, Devaniya helps us learn to enjoy dancing at any level! Jigyasa Ma’am has indeed built a community of people – of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, and skill levels who love to dance.”

Sanjana Tara Ramanujam‎ – “I love the fact that a lot of batches at Devaniya are a mix of different age groups, so it’s not a conventional classroom environment. It’s also very interesting that one movement we learn undergoes so many tweaks and changes as we advance further.”

‎Shreya Gupta – “Devaniya has not only made me a better dancer, it has made me better person too! Jigyasa Aunty, you are truly the best teacher I could have asked for.”

Tarunika Sunil‎ – “Devaniya helped me bring out the grace and poise within me. Most importantly, dancing has become a great stress buster for me. I dance when I am sad and I dance when I am happy – this is what I have learnt at Devaniya.”

Vidhya Srinivasan‎ – “Learning a dance form was on my bucket list, and I joined Devaniya after Jigyasa assured me – age no bar. Four years and many “chakkars” later, I am still here – learning something every day, embellishing every movement and discovering the subtle expressions that are the very essence of Kathak. We always learn well when the teacher is passionate about the subject. Jigyasa’s passion is so infectious you get hooked for life! I am! And am loving it.”

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