Nikita Rochlani is a professional ballet dancer. She has trained in Jazz, ballet, kathak, contemporary and various other dance forms. Further she went to Manila, Phillipines for advanced training. She was an instructor of classical Ballet at the Bombay Ballet society and now takes online dance classes.
Nikita considers Yoga and fitness as the essential tools to transform lives. She has been dancing from a very young and she believes in expressing herself through art. Winning the All India Ballet competition, the young dancer has created an identity for herself. Learn more about Nikita’s life by reading further.
Questions and answers
When did you realise you were interested in an offbeat, unconventional and uncommon career?
Every year we had an annual show in my dance school, first time my parents and friends had come to watch me on stage & were disappointed with my performance. To prove myself, the next year I trained very hard and performed 8 acts in different styles. This show was super hit and the turning point where I decided to pursue dance and convinced my parents as well. Now they are very proud and supportive of my career.
Can you elaborate the importance of hard work, referring to your win at the All India Ballet competition?
I wanted to challenge myself so I decided to participate in the competition and give my best. Inspite of all the hurdles, I did rigorous training and was very sure about my goal. I was determined to look part any problem and keep at it.
Tell us about the moment you crossed paths with Master Saroj Khan.
It was long back when Saroj Ji had come as the guest of honour in a show, and I have always looked up to her. I was with my Uncle, who asked me to go and talk to her. I was shy at first, but my Uncle took me to her to take her blessings. She is a very humble soul. She spoke to me, took pictures with me.
I had butterflies; it was a lovely moment. Something that I would cherish all my life.
What is the significance of the various art forms you've learnt throughout your life?
Each art form has something very different and new to offer. Something I have never experienced earlier. When I started dancing, I didn’t know what Ballet was. I never heard of Ballet in my life. I went to the studio, and my teacher insisted that I learn Ballet.
Ballet is something that taught me to self-control and discipline. I also learned Yoga. Yoga taught me to love myself. Contemporary was something that taught me how to perform, how to express myself. Every style has something new to offer. You would not know in how many ways your body can move. The more you practice, the better you grow. Learning never stops!
You are very vocal about mental health issues concerning body shaming. Could you tell us more about it?
With reference to our modern lifestyle, we seem to live in small ‘electronic’ boxes. We often forget that what people flaunt in front of others is not the complete story of their lives; it is just a part of their lives. We lower our self-esteem and develop more insecurities in the process. I think to overcome this kind of huge negative impact on us; we should use affirmations that give us a positive approach and in the process, train our minds to think and positively look at things. It is very much important to improve the tone of talking to ourselves.
It is very much important to accept and love yourself while your body is going through different changes. Small habits can make a big difference.
Talk to us about the Wizard of Oz ballet production.
Though I love my job, I must admit it is not easy to be a good choreographer, teacher and performer at the same time. However, this show was exciting as we had to represent the entire story through Ballet.
Managing the technical bits, planning the show with the entire team was exhausting but totally worth it. I had an immense satisfaction when I saw the whole thing manifesting into something beautiful.
How do you conduct workshops, and what are the challenges you face while conducting them?
The real challenge is convincing people to come and join the workshop and take part it.
People somehow do not feel the need to pay money and learn it; they don’t like investing in things that have accessible sources. It becomes challenging on the part of trainers, to show the difference between the quality of the lessons that we give personally and the ones that are easily available online.