Hi! I’m Seema Parmar. I’m twenty five years old and I’m born and bred from London. North West London. I’m Indian. My mother is from Kenya from a place called Tanzania and my father is from India. I started dancing when I was five years old, a style called Kathak which is classical Indian dancing. My teacher was a lady called Alpana Sengupta. Dancing has always been a part of my energy, and part of my soul. And it’s a massive passion and it is such a massive part of my life.
My first job as a dancer came when I was about fifteen years old. When I went back to Alpana Sengupta, after having had a four year break from learning how to dance. And I asked her to be a part of her professional dance company, and I went on tour with them for a good couple of years and we used to do a lot of different shows up and down the country. They were mainly international kinds of music and arts festivals. And we used to dance Kathak style at these events. From then, I got a call from a lady called Chicks who then wanted to take me all the way to Norway to be part of a big Bollywood production that was taking place there. So, I went over for two weeks and I was part of a very big show in Oslo.
My work as a teacher started through word of mouth and through people watching me perform as a dancer, because they felt inspired by the performances that they had seen. I started doing one on one classes with… many people had seen me perform and wanted to learn Bollywood / classical dancing.
The basis of Indian classical dancing and Kathak especially, is all about grace and it’s all about meaning and it’s all about expressions. And it’s using your body to express the story you are trying to tell. Bollywood is all about fun, happiness, and you know, just jumping up and down having lots of fun. So combining the two, for me it’s all about, yes, having fun and jumping up and down and doing more street Bollywood moves. But it’s keeping the grace and keeping in contact with, you know, your audience, and using your eyes, and using your body to express exactly what story you are trying to tell. It’s your soul that tells the story, not necessarily the dance moves.
There’s been such a growth in the industry and so many people, so many dancers, who would never had been exposed to Bollywood before are now being exposed to Bollywood and absolutely loving it and enjoying it and wanting to do more.
For me, the sole purpose of me being a performer and teacher is to inject that passion that I have inside me into other people and give them, and make them feel exactly what I feel when I dance and I move my body and I express my body. Because there is nothing like it and I don’t think words can really explain it. I always say to people, when I’m on stage I go into my own little world and it’s a world unfortunately I can’t describe through words but if I catch your eye you’ll feel it for a moment in your heart and in your soul.
I’m very keen to educate professional dancers in the UK about Bollywood and about our culture and about, you know, through dance. The current projects I’m working on has a mixture of Indian, just a multicultural mix of dancers who are all very professional and all very keen to learn a different style that they have not been exposed to, but they want to perform and they’re all, you know, they’re all very determined to get their, their hips and their faces and their expressions and their hands and their delicateness and their, you know, and their fluidity right so that they can learn a new style and bring something new to the table as well as perform, you know, in a group, in something new. And for me, that is, you know, that is probably one of the most important things is bringing something from the East to the West through dance.