This week’s instructor spotlight is on Salt Lake City native, now Bay Area resident, Namisha! This classically trained dancer has been dancing since she was 5 years old and now teaches BollyX in San Francisco. Read more about Namisha in our interview with her below!

BollyX Instructor Namisha BalagopalQ: Tell us about yourself- what do you do when you’re not teaching? What are your hobbies? What other formats do you teach? Give us a little on your background.
A: When I’m not an energizer bunny in class, I work as a Global Product Manager responsible for end-to-end product planning, development and execution and I also write freelance articles for a professional business women’s publication. Dance has always been one of the most important aspects of my life. I began training in Kathak (an ancient Indian classical dance form from Northern India), ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance when I was 5. I performed at the 2002 Winter Olympics, opened a dance school in Salt Lake City in 9th grade and was on a bhangra team in college. One of the reasons I moved to the Bay Area was to become more involved in dance, so after 10 months of not dancing- I was going stir-crazy. Everyone I knew recommended BollyX, so I became certified and it was one of the best decisions I ever made!

Q: How would you describe BollyX in one word?
A: Celebration. Whenever I’m celebrating, I’m dancing and I’m having fun. That sums up every BollyX experience I’ve had. With BollyX you’re celebrating you and your body the second you step into a class- working out is hard sometimes but in class you’re combining fun dance moves with a targeted fitness format. Sounds like the best of both worlds to me!

Q: What is your favorite part of BollyX class?
A: Yeah… I can’t choose just one. How about two? The bhangra songs and the performance section.

I really like bhangra songs because they’re full of energy and the students find them really challenging! The performance part is super fun. The students have achieved so much at this point in the class, once we start dancing I see nervous smiles transform into huge grins. They relax and just have FUN! It’s such an uplifting way to close the class.

BollyX Instructor Namisha Balagopal

Q: How has working with BollyX changed you or your lifestyle?
A: As far as my fitness and health goes- I attribute it all to BollyX for making me much more aware. I was always active growing up and was a healthy eater, but I didn’t really understand fitness or proper dieting. Once I started teaching BollyX I learned how to listen to my body and fitness has become a regular part of my life. It’s amazing how much your body tells you that you choose to ignore. There’s also so much information out there to educate yourself on fitness and proper dieting!

I’ve now adapted a much healthier lifestyle- whether I’m here in the Bay or traveling. I work crazy hours and travel a lot but even then I make sure I work out at least once a day, eat clean, and do what I need to make sure I’m taking care of my body! I’m a huge foodie- but I’ve learned how to enjoy in moderation and it doesn’t feel like I’m sacrificing delicious food J

Q: How long have you been with BollyX?
A: It’s been a little over a year! I became certified in February 2016.

Q: What is your favorite BollyX song to teach?
A: My favorite song right now is Nachange Saare Raat for the performance. There’s so much style in this song I feel like a rockstar once I get going! I also love teaching all the bhangra songs- my favorite one right now is Nishana.

Q: Where do you teach BollyX?
A: I currently teach at Dogpatch Dance and Yoga in San Francisco on Mondays at 6:30pm. I’m planning on adding more classes to my schedule so keep an eye out for updates!

Take a class with Namisha today!

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