A dance troupe for Dadis may sound like a cracker of an idea now, but when Swati Patel discussed the idea with her friends for the first time, she was greeted with the biggest downer ever. Shaking heads.
This was Ahmedabad in 2014. Swati’s friends advised her to be sane and “drop the idea.”
“They were certain that elderly ladies won’t be comfortable dancing or might have any health issues and her plan will flop,” says Swati. However, Swati knew what she wanted.
“At the age of five, when the first time I choreographed and danced on the tunes of Hum Saath Saath Hain’s ‘Mhare hiwda me nache mor’ and won the second prize, I knew this was my calling,” said Swati.
She always wanted to be a choreographer but at the same time wanted to do something different. Keeping that in mind, she started teaching grandmas.
“Even when nobody was supporting me, I took the challenge and started visiting laughing clubs and old age homes to convince grannies,” she said. It took time for her to let grandmas join the group, however. “On the first day, there were only five of them, but second was better with 7,” she tells us.
In 2014, she choreographed a dance for 15 dadis, for a stage performance in Ahmedabad. The audience was spell-bound.
The grandmas weren’t just the age groups of 50s or 60s. There were women who were apparently even 80 plus as per Swati.
After mastering folk dance, she has been assisting her guru, Krupa Joshi, for the last few years. If you are in Ahmedabad, do visit Swati’s JS Dance Academy, where she teaches kids, their mothers as well as their grandmothers.