From its humble beginning in 1999 in a garage with handful of students, Aerodance grew as an Academy to offer Indian Ethnic, Folk, Patriotic, Devotional, Bollywood, Fusion, Modern and Contemporary dance styles to more than 1000 students in the Bay area and became a forerunner in winning all Bay Area dance competitions.
Parents wanted their children to dance for fun and after one or two years of dancing, students would drop out of dance classes in order to save time for studies.
Is dance just for fun and entertainment?
It set the director Ms. Ranjani Avijit thinking about levels in dance and design a graduation program to get the students more passionate about learning dance as an art form.
With a double master’s in Child Psychology and as a Kuchipudi exponent, she believed that students ages K-12 can be trained in Indian dance using dance as a creative directional tool that has a positive impact on student’s academics. She felt that students must experience the benefits of all Indian dances not only physically and socially but also emotionally [EQ] and intellectually [IQ]
To achieve this objective, in 2011, Aerodance opened a 2000 sq. ft. well equipped studio for dance. This space created an environment suitable for students to explore higher possibilities in choreography skills and aided in developing focus to exploring subject concepts. For example, dancing and moving in a bigger area and transition of positions in shapes, use of movement and dance on counting combinations allowed students to relate to mathematics. The speed of the routines grew to be appreciated as it involved time management. As the students worked in groups, they experienced positive team building.
Aerodance began empowering its students with Indian dance traditions in classes using a combination approach of Instrumental, Classical, Folk, Bollywood, Fusion music, incorporating creative dance games for energy building, encouraging class performance discussions that aided in thinking skills. It had to be launched as a program for the possibilities were endless. Semi Classical Program was defined. Students were monitored at close quarters and their progress was assessed periodically.
In Semi Classical program the syllabus touched the roots of all classical dance styles which was meaningfully simplified suiting the younger generation keeping the style trendy yet conservative in approach.
As Arangetram or Rangpravesh is for a student to celebrate the Classical genre of dance, it was envisioned that an event must be hosted to celebrate the journey of an empowered Semi Classical Aerodancer who is called an Aerograduate.
In 2013, Aerodance was ready to showcase its first Aerograduate who had received a decade of Aerodance training. AEROVAGANZA was thus launched as an Annual Recital to celebrate the growing levels of all students whilst showcasing the talent of all students in the academy.
Aerodance is now a pioneer in issuing certificate for Semi-Classical dance course and takes pride in promoting Semi Classical dance as an art form. Aerograduates are awarded with an international certificate issued by UNESCO in the field of Semi Classical dance
Aerodance diligently works towards accomplishing its mission by paying personal attention to students ensuring their growth within the curriculum and in personal life. Choreography at Aerodance is marked with beautiful dance steps that are culturally appropriate and rendered creatively in zestful manner. The academy takes extreme care to keep the costumes dignified, tasteful and culturally appropriate.