Living and Loving Dance, the Mona Khan Company way!
As I emerged from the dark wings backstage into an abundance of bright light, I heard cheers from the sea of wide-eyed audience members in front of me. My adrenaline shot up higher than the sound of the music bouncing off the walls of the sold-out show. Around me, dancers swarmed into position and we finally let three months of our non-stop hard work pay off in a mind-blowing performance. It was then, during my very first show, that I realized that I had never felt anything more powerful. All of a sudden, I was someone new, portraying a confidence that I have never felt in my own skin. Yet, I couldn’t have felt more comfortable. I was surrounded by people who had a passion for the same thing I did, and who fueled me to become a better dancer and better person.
Although I have been dancing all my life, these past several years in Mona Khan Company have given me countless life lessons and skills that have helped me evolve both in and outside the studio.
I have had experiences in a couple of different dance studios in my life, and no where have I found a company so full of passionate people who not only care about dancing, but who insist on perfecting every aspect of technique and performance to truly further their talents. This quality is present in every single dancer in the company, and it is what makes us connect so easily. We are all avid fans of our art form; we can be seen rehearsing pieces in the middle of studying, replacing walking with dancing, and humming to the latest song we learned in rehearsal. Dance is a visceral part of us, and it is what motivates us to work together to make the company even more successful. Every rehearsal, no matter how long and tiring, is a joy for each dancer; it is a chance to express ourselves and develop our passion even more.
Behind the show-stopping performances and intricate choreography, there is a family that forms from the blood, sweat, and tears shared in every endless rehearsal. We are a family that stems from all walks of life: students balancing school with various extra curricular activities, adults managing work and married lives, and kids in elementary school bouncing off the walls with energy.
We have committed people like Archana Ganesan, who has a full-time job and is married, but still comes back every showcase for the family-like bond she feels with her fellow dancers, and for the dedication she has to improving her technique. We are composed of passionate dancers like Rohit Sudhir, who has been performing for years just for the exhilaration of being on stage and expressing his inner happiness. We are a home to loyal individuals like Anya Mathur, who has been dancing with Mona Khan Company since she was five years old because of the inspiration she finds in other dancers, and for the unbreakable bond she has made with life-long friends in the Emerging Performers program.
The diversity in the company also brings to the table a wide set of talents. There are dancers I have met who have been Classically trained all their lives, and others who specialize in Hip Hop or Jazz. We are not just a Bollywood company. In fact, what makes us so unique is our fearlessness in approaching different styles of dance like Contemporary, Acro-yoga, Afro-jazz, Michael Jackson, and more. This variety of dance styles, combined with a team of passionate and dedicated individuals, is what truly makes the backbone of the company so resilient and revolutionary.
That backbone pushes us to train harder, rehearse longer, and learn further, which propels the acts you see in the shows to new heights.
What keeps all of us coming back is not just the passion that connects us; it is support and enthusiasm we offer each other despite any circumstance. It’s the smile we give each other across the stage in the midst of a dance routine. It’s the dupattas we pin, the skirts we velcro, the hair we poof, and the classes we teach to shine on stage. In Mona Khan Company, we learn the importance of teamwork, understanding, communication, and reliance. Without each other’s help, we would not be able to pull off shows or make choreography look effortless. Every rehearsal, we are given something new for us to breathe life into, and it is our responsibility as a team to work together to make it as successful as possible.
Mona Khan Company is truly a home for those who are passionate not only about dance, but teamwork, fun, and dedication. This company provides for us a palette of talent that runs the gamut, and allows us to dip our brush into numerous forms of dance, culminating into an extraordinary experience for anyone who steps foot in the Mona Khan Company studio.
Written by Reema Kakaday.