Vaishali Sagar Chopra

The teacher, the Performer

Those who perform cannot teach is the belief that Indian folk dancer Vaishali successfully shattered. She is as much a dedicated performer as she is a teacher.

It is often said that, “Those who don’t do, teach,” but here is a woman who “does” and “teaches” with equal devotion! Vaishali Sagar Chopra is an Indian folk dancer who has dedicated her life to not just honing her art, but teaching it to other folk as well.

Being able to impart knowledge on a subject means knowing it inside out. And to achieve that level of understanding takes time. That being said, Vaishali was already teaching Indian folk dance at the age of 16; so you can imagine how early in life she started! Back then, she taught people out of her father’s garage. But as she grew up, her class size grew as well. Vaishali now runs a dance academy called Kalanjay, that boasts of a strength of 800 students and 2000 alumni. “At Kalanjay, we believe in spreading our culture through our dance, at home and around the world,” she says. And sure enough, they’ve had the honour of representing India in folk dance festivals held across the globe in countries like Italy, Austria, Germany, and Greece!

But teaching isn’t the end of the line for her… Under the guidance of her guru Rooma Banerjee, she has earned a Masters in Indian Folk Dancing. She continues to participate in various international festivals alongside Kalanjay, and has represented India in the Federation of International Dance Festivals as well. And with that, Vaishali balances her ambitions and future as a dancer, along with the future of folk dance itself.

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