Learning Story – Shambhavee
We are surrounded by messages about ‘dreams’- dreaming big, chasing dreams, not settling, etc. While these may remind us that life’s possibilities are infinite, they can also become oppressive. Sometimes, I pause and think about how, miraculously, many of my ‘dreams’ have come true (and yet, I haven’t done anything particularly big, one could say).
For example, I never thought I’d lead the country’s best college’s elite dance society, or be able to go abroad before I was 30 or perform on one of Delhi’s big stages.
However, it all happened- but I had to take care to pause, realize, and acknowledge that a dream had come true. Can you imagine how much magic lies in those few words? Yet, we live in such web-burdened times that this simple and most utterly-primal of all things is often not even noticed, because the ‘show that must go on’ is seemingly being directed by something other than us.
This shift from the mainstream to a personal- stream, of acknowledging my unique journey as a path littered with dreams in pockets of various sizes, has probably been my biggest learning till now. This allows me to occupy mile- (or meter-) stones of my life as armchairs to spend time in, inhaling their feel and sipping a beverage while in them.
I maintain that dance has led me to wherever I’ve gone in life, and where I am. Whatever I hold in life now as precious and as wealth- art, knowledge, love, nature, music, emotional awareness, colors- can kind of be traced to trajectories of movement. It’s difficult to explain exactly how, but I hold in my arms curiosity, research skills, theory, travels, and observations that have been informed by abstract teachings of dance.
This journey began with innocence and met some obstacles on the path- body-shaming, low-confidence, cluelessness, lack of opportunities, etc. I can clearly say now that each struggle was overcome with shivering vulnerability and stupid courage. And that is all that it comes down to.
My family often says that I have constantly “changed streams/shifted paths”- from science to literature to ‘arts and aesthetics’ to freelance-dance and now, teaching. I understand this; however, I have never seen my journey as anything short of beautifully seamless.
For, how is literature different from the theory of art and dancing from research and politics? I’m quite confident that my journey onward is going to be equally unpredictable (they don’t even know yet my dreams of music and film-making and acting). And therein lies the truth of my life.
Shambhavee is a Noida-based dance practitioner and instructor. You can find out more about her work on her Instagram handle.
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