A Story of.... A Passion for Dance

Amador Elementary's Krishna Mehta has a Passion for Dance!
By Rich Boschetti, DPIE Academy Director
October 15, 2019

In a recent interview, Krishna Mehta, who teaches a Bolly Fusion Dance class in the DPIE After School program at Amador Elementary school this year said, “I have a great passion for the performing arts and have always believed that the arts should be integrated into our school curriculum".

Krishna Mehta, Amador Elementary Teacher

Ms Krishna Mehta, Amador Elementary Teacher

Krishna, who graduated with a degree in Psychology from UCLA and earned a Masters degree in education from Pepperdine University is in her 4th year of teaching at Amador. “I love dogs, reading, singing and dancing.  I’ve been dancing since I was 4 years old when I learned a North Indian Classical dance called Kathak.  It’s a classical dance form that originated from Northern India, where dancers tell stories through intricate hand movements, detailed footwork and facial expressions.”

“In addition,” continued Krishna, “I have been doing a folk dance known as “Garba” for the majority of my life.  This form of dancing originates from the region of Gujarat in India and dancers move in a circular motion while clapping hands. “Raas” is another sect of the style of dance and the dancers use sticks and dance in symmetrical lines.

When asked about why she enjoyed learning these dance styles, Krishna said, “Learning these styles of dance has given me the ability to express myself in different ways and has helped build my self confidence in ways that nothing else could. As a result, I have developed a love for all forms of dance and I am constantly on a journey to learn new forms of dance and to improve my skills.”

What excites you about teaching your Bolly Fusion class this year in the DPIE After School Program at Amador Elementary?
This Fall’s class has been so exciting! I am most passionate about the connections that students are making with me, each other and with themselves. This class is a space for students to express themselves and get in touch with how they can move their body, feel confident and proud of what they can do.  Having the opportunity to share my passion with these amazing students is incredibly empowering. Watching the students grow during the Fall session and seeing how comfortable they became with each other is very motivating and makes me excited about the winter session when we will introduce new dances.

What kind of things will kids be doing and learning in your Winter program?
Students in the winter session will learn many styles of Indian dance and will have the opportunity to put them all together to create something unique and amazing! Specifically, students will continue to learn to count and stay on beat while dancing to different types of music, use facial expressions to enhance the dance and learn how to develop their own stage presence.  I’m excited to bring more classical movements into the dances that we do as this is a style of dance that really allows the students to be in tune with themselves. The kids will have fun learning to dance to well-known Bollywood songs while coming up with their own steps and choreography.

Krishna continued, “During the session my students will learn to transfer their energy into their dance and it will be incredibly important to develop the ability to take constructive criticism which is necessary to improve our performance, but to also offer constructive feedbacks and compliments as well. These are skills we will learn while also learning the importance of stretching before activities.

At the end of your last class, what are you hoping the kids will take away, that they will be able to use in the future?
In the end, I hope that students enjoyed taking the class as much as I’ve had teaching it. My wish for them is that they will be incredibly proud of themselves for all they accomplished in our 10 hours together and their love of dance will sustain them as dance has done for me. It is my goal that they will improve their stage presence and self confidence when in front of any audience regardless of size and they have greater appreciation for the importance of teamwork.  I hope they students feel empowered and dance without fear and without inhibitions.”  

To view a video of the Bollyfusion class - Movie icon dpie_dance.mov

Krishan is offering a Winter Bollyfusion Dance class at Amador Elementary - click here for more details.