Hi Damini, could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
I am a fun-loving, optimistic and very much a people’s person. I am happily married to a wonderful person, and have a cute little munchkin to cuddle all the time. An entrepreneur by profession, and a dancer and model by passion. My approach in life is very positive, and I believe in bringing best out of the worst. I Learn from my experiences and follow my passion strongly. As an outcome, I just won Mrs. Bangalore corporate diva (1st runner up) pageant organized by stylebee.
Other than your mother, who do you think is the most beautiful woman in the world?
As per me God’s best creation is women. Every women is beautiful in their own sense. But what impresses me most to be considered beautiful is the dedication in all the things we women do, be its our relationships or profession or following our passion. As they say, beauty is just not physical, it is the heart and mind which defines the beauty. I back that, but also believes that there is no harm in enhancing any criteria of beauty. Physical or mental or emotional, these are all the characteristics of being beautiful.
Some people think beauty pageants are shallow parades of beauty. What do you have to say to them?
I do not agree to the above words. As, in any other profession you are required to perform your duties with-in the given criteria, beauty pageants are also a platform allowing anyone, who is passionate, to showcase their talents through a fixed agenda. Only difference between being in a corporate profile and participating in pageants is timeline of the outcome, level of struggles & performance criteria. People around us doesn’t think of the hard-work we models or participants required to do to live up to the journey of any pageant. It is a myth that these pageants are just a showcase of physical beauty and does not ask for any sacrifices. Moreover, I would like to educate people that these are the platforms to enhance the confidence and chances of the people looking forward to make a mark for themselves in glamour world. Winning is not the sole purpose, pageants are the experiences to be lived only by the people courageous enough to face the world instantly (not eventually).
Where did that first thought about entering the pageant come from?
This is a childhood dream which I strongly believed in. I was never restricted to follow my dreams, but proper guidance was a miss forever. Though I have been a diva for myself from the time I know the meaning of being one, looking at the social media advertisement from stylebee gave me a chance to explore the journey in a better and organized way.
Was there anything you watched or read throughout the entire journey to keep you company and to motivate you?
Frankly speaking, when you have a settled and calm life for years, the childhood dream takes a back seat. You feel content and no more need for a change. This flash of stylebee corporate diva pageant was enough to motivate me and re-dream my passion. My motivation was just to live and experience the entire journey. Confidence & suggestions of my dear family and my close friends have been my best company through pageant process.
What incident in your life made you realize about your passion in pageantry? Who assured you that beauty pageants are totally your cup of tea?
I won’t shy away from saying that the little girl in me always wanted to act-out the confidence and postures of models. The thought of showcasing designer stuff, photoshoots and look tests have always taken away my breath. Getting fame is a perk which comes along. And that’s why there is no one incident which triggered this realization. Thanks to Stylebee to give me a platform to showcase my always known passion. Confidence of my dear husband and pretty smile of my lovely daughter, whenever I awaken my inner beauty queen, has always assured me I am someone more than a wife and a mother. A woman with dreams and wings to fly. Hence it has to be obviously my cup of tea, whose else?
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me is feeling good about myself, taking inspiration from places and people and putting them together to make something that reflects the inner me, something I am proud of and enjoyed creating. You can tell the whole world about your personality just by the type of the clothes you wear, a way to express yourself. It provides us with a creative outlet that we can constantly change and improve.
In your opinion which is the one dress that can never go out of fashion?
What to wear? This is an everyday task which every women goes through without doubt. Choosing outfits is really a tough job for us women, and revamping your wardrobe every season is not a wise decision in my opinion. So why not pick up the dresses/ outfits that would never go out of style and are wearable in any season. We must go for some classic pieces in our wardrobe which we can just wear and walk out without any second thoughts. Few of my favorites are the Bodycon dresses, Jeggings and Body hugging T-shirt, and of-course our Indian attire saree with sleeveless blouse.
Bodycon dress, Jeans/ Jegging with Body hugging T-shirt, of course our Indian saree with sleeve less blouse.
What beauty/fitness regime would you suggest for our readers?
This is for all the women reading this, mantra is to take care of yourself first and keep happy only then you would be able to take care of your family and others. I really believe that women are the most beautiful and amazing creation of god and taking care of ourselves is only in our hands, no one else will do it for you. My personal advise to all you lovely ladies out there is to consume multivitamins every day and do not ignore the power of water intake, your body will give magical results with the love and care you show your body. Exercise to stay fit on regular basis, do not live in a myth of only losing weight by work-out. Working for a healthy body is a lot of hard work but it is a necessity too.
And now Damini we will talk about you as a choreographer and I suppose as a dancer, who are your influences? Whose work do you really like?
As I grew up looking at the nation’s dancing crush Madhuri dixit nene and her exclusive style, I am spell bound in front of her movements and expressions. Of course how can we forget the master of inventions, respected choreographers, Bollywood expert Saroj khan ji, prince of contemporary Terrence Lewis and king of classical Pandit Birju Maharaj ji. I am highly influenced by all of their dance forms.
At what age did you start dancing?
I have been dancing since forever and to be precise I starting dancing at the tender age of seven. The quality and techniques of dance have gradually improved with time. I would like to clarify I have never received a formal education in dance but I have always been in love with that and its every form.
What were the challenges?
One of the biggest challenge is the lack of proper guidance to look at dance as an opportunity. As in any normal house hold, dance was just considered as my hobby not a significant talent ever. Though I was never stopped from performing but yes there was no path considered for dancing to be my serious flair to make it a good career for myself. I am fortunate to have a family, who after knowing that my dancing skill could be used professionally with my own wish, has supported me to the fullest and always encouraged to gain better.
Is it better to focus on one particular style of dance?
See, it all depends on the reason you have to learn dancing for. It could be for personal reasons or for professional but be clear what it is for. It is surely a better idea to focus on one particular style than sailing in different boats. Some of us are really not meant to be multitasking, then why take the pressure of performing multiple? If you are a one thing at a time kind of person and gifted with a lot of patience, kindly respect that and focus on one dance form at one time.
Dancing is actually just not taping your feet and throwing hands in random directions, it is a well-planned sequence of techniques and flexible steps to showcase the art of meaningful expressions, making it understandable on the receiving end. I prefer not to over stress myself with pressure of learning all at the same time. I sincerely love what I am doing at one particular time.
What are the growing avenues of dance in India?
Most popular platform to showcase any talent in today’s time is Tiktok. People are becoming more and more tech savvy and casual in use of many social media platforms like Instagram, facebook, twitter, youtube etc. uploading a video and getting attention is an instant task. There are also many dance talent shows and other platforms like participating in road shows etc. to showcase your talent. Basically there is no stopping the growth of dancing art.
Is it necessary to be trained in dancing to build a career?
Dance is an art. There are very few lucky people who are gifted with this form of art or any other talent. When we look at it professionally and sole purpose of building career, I would suggest to go for a professional training. As it is definitely a mode to have clearer fundamentals and a vast opportunity to explore new techniques.
Choreography and dance, how different are they?
Choreography is an art of creating and arranging creative techniques and steps in to a well-planned sequence. Choreography is a thoughtful process behind designing a sequence and Dance is the performance and act-out for that carefully designed sequence of rhythmic movements with justifiable expressions.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
As obvious as it sounds, my dream is to travel the world but I am in love with Maldives because of its natural beauty reflecting romance from its every corner. It is equally adventurous as it is romantic and lovely place to explore. Maldives is an entire package to be on anyone’s bucket list. Though I have been there already but would love to explore its beauty ‘n’ number of times and spend some quality time with my loving family.
What is your all-time favorite movie and why?
I love all the kinds of thriller movies, and it is just because of the huge opportunity they provide for my brainstorming sessions.
Which do you prefer, Heels or Sneakers?
I prefer both heels and sneakers but occasion appropriate. Obviously for a respective shoot or a show I would go for heels as per demand and for my comfort casual style I like to be in sneakers.
Where can we follow you?
Damini, thank you so much for this lovely interview.