Dancing through the pandemic, literally
Ballet in itself is a unique dance form for India. On top of it, the pandemic presented a huge challenge to the newly launched SS Ballet Academy (SSBA), which started out in Indore, Madhya Pradesh and shifted headquarters to Ahmedabad, Gujarat. But its business model has fast evolved with the introduction of online classes.
“Although we all hoped that lockdowns wouldn’t come, we quickly prepared for them and transitioned to online classes via virtual methods such as Zoom and Google Classroom. Its worked out fine for now,” quips entrepreneur Pratyusha Chhajer, director of the academy.
She admits to have drawn inspiration from a lot of other people in the industry and dance schools across the globe, who were all forced into lockdowns. “Initially it seemed difficult. But gradually as we started believing in the idea, there was this shift in mindsets that dance classes could be conducted virtually,” she remarks.
Pratyusha also mentions that the dance industry is actually lucky that online classes can be so successful with the right teacher and right programme. “To keep making headway, learn and succeed in these exceptional times, is a huge challenge in itself,” she adds. True! It’s not only helpful to students to keep their minds creatively occupied, but also in learning a new universally acclaimed art form.
“Though virtual dancing lessons may not always be an ideal choice, it sure has opened new avenues for now and given opportunities and hope to many who feel stagnated or had their growth stunted due to the pandemic,” points Pratyusha. “They have now got this unique chance to train and grow, dancing through the pandemic, literally. And that’s an opportunity they are cherishing,” she concludes.
SS Ballet Academy follows the prestigious Vaganova Method in ballet dance. Recently, Pratyusha also conducted an informative interview with a prominent award-winning ballet teacher Fethon Miozzi of Vaganova Ballet Academy, based at St. Petersburg, Russia.
It can be noted here that SSBA has recently received certification from the internationally prestigious Conseil International de la Danse (CID); an official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (popularly known as UNESCO).
The academy is offering certification courses and classes to students who wish to excel in ballet dance. Though the classes are currently being conducted online, the academy is gearing up to resume offline certification courses soon. After Indore and Ahmedabad, SSBA plans to expand its branches to Mumbai, Delhi and other cities across the country.