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Meet Arzan Gonda of Rhythm India

Today we’d like to introduce you to Arzan Gonda.

Arzan, please share your story with us.
I founded Rhythm India in 2005 in Houston. We have classes in Stafford, Katy, Bellaire & Plano TX….In 2015 we opened our own studio in Stafford TX, we do still continue to teach at other locations.

Rhythm India was the first ever Bollywood Dance Company to perform at the NBA half time shows for the Houston Rockets games at the Toyota Center since 2010. Rhythm India was also the Opening Act for A.R. Rahman’s “Jai Ho Concert” in 2010. In addition to being featured on TLC’s popular TV shows “The Little Couple” & Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” on CNN, they perform year round at various festivals & concerts. Rhythm India will also be performing at the Miller Outdoor Theatre on Sunday, September 3rd for Bollywood Blast 2017.

I moved to Houston in 2002. Within 2 weeks of me being here, I auditioned for a role in a play which required the actress to also be an Indian Classical Dancer and I got the part. After which one performance led to several other opportunities & in 2005 I started Rhythm India with around a group of 8 children who were keen on learning Bollywood Dance. Over time the classes grew and today we have close to 400 students with other talented instructors on board 🙂

I started my dance training in Bharata Natyam (a style of Indian Classical Dance) at the prestigious Nateshwar Nritya Kala Mandir in Mumbai, India at the age of 5. With the guidance of my beloved Guru Smt. Chhaya Khanvate in Mumbai India, in 1989, at a very young age, I completed my Arangetram at age 11. The Arangetram is a dancer’s debut performance, marking the graduation of the trainee into a full fledged dance exponent.

The Arangetram requires years of commitment and rigorous training. This experience taught me how important dedication, hard work, sincerity, and humility are to pursue the elusive perfection of this art form.

I am eternally grateful to my Guruji of 30+ years Smt. Chhaya Khanvate of the Nateshwar Nritya Kala Mandir in Mumbai, India. She is my inspiration and will always hold a special place of honor and reverence in my heart. My Guruji has been an exemplary performer, teacher and mentor.

“I hope I can be the same kind of example to my students. Dance has always had relevance with every pursuit in my life, it is something by which I measure everything else in life. It has been the basis of my true education, my teacher of perseverance and dedication” – Arzan Gonda

Since the age of 10, I have competed in several State & National-level dance competitions representing my school and eventually my university whilst in India. While competing at the National level, I was awarded the Gold Medal at the 2000 Swar Sadhna Samiti All-India Dance Competition. Whilst in India I acted, performed & choreographed various music videos, commercials & also co-hosted a weekly television game show called Tele – Housie during its three year run. More recently, I received the 2014 Fezana Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts in Los Angeles on December 30th 2014.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t look at it as a struggle. It was hard work, patience & a lot of passion involved:)

One performance always led to another. It started with me dancing my heart out, then teaching my heart out & so it feels like it was always meant to be 🙂

I have a very supportive family & extended family who have always been there for me…I think that made it easier, especially when one works long hours.

Please tell us about Rhythm India.
Rhythm India is a Bollywood Dance Company. I am the Founder / Artistic Director, one of the instructors & choreographers for the company.

We provide the very best in Bollywood dance training & performances in the greater Houston – Sugar Land – Katy & Dallas area. We cater to all ethnic backgrounds & age groups…AGE IS NO LIMIT!!

We pride ourselves on making our classes fun, accessible, and challenging – We commit to the long-term development of our students.

I think what sets us apart is the fact that we hold our dancers & performances to a high standard of technique & energy. We like to take the audience on a journey with us, to be able to feel our passion, emotion and intention.

We are also striving to promote Indo-American culture and Bollywood dance in the greater Houston area. Most importantly, while doing all of this we want to create wonderful memories & positive experiences for each of our dancers, which we hope they will cherish forever.

At Rhythm India, we are family and some kids who started out 12 yrs. ago in my first batch are now senior co dancers & instructors at the school :))

We expose our students to the BEST Bollywood Dancers & Choreographers out there, by conducting multiple workshops throughout the year with renowned dancers & choreographers like Saroj Khan, Shakti Mohan, Swarali Karulkar, Jack Gill & Shampa Gopikrishna.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I’m not sure, I never started RI thinking of it as a business. It was just me performing & then spreading the love I have for dance with others, which slowly then build into this beautiful school. One thing just led to another at the right time in my opinion.

Pricing:

  • Tuition is $76/ month (4 classes per month) OR
  • $128 / month (8 classes per month) OR
  • $22 (walk-in purchase per class)

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Navin Mediwala
Murali Santhana

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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