Dancing for some people is just an entertainment. For her it's a passion, a dream, a walk of life, a platform to give it back to the community. Having learnt tap and jazz, ballet, ballroom dancing, Indian traditional and Bollywood dance, she feels dancing is not just an art it's an emotion. An emotion that helps her to better understand herself and understand people around her. Known for giving more than 200 performances in the last 20 years and Whether its rain, hail or shine she is always there to perform at nursing homes and delighted to spread the happiness through her performances. She is none other than Hobart's well known dancer Sujata Dasgupta. Having been and done all her education and employment in Hobart, Sujata Dasgupta was always keen to do something for the community. She used her dancing expertise in this regard. She regularly visits nursing homes and gets the residents involved in dancing and she feels the joy among the residents is more rewarding than any other thing in the world. We at Diverse Tassie last saw her dance at 2020 Indian Independence Day celebrations. Sujata and her daughter Anusha performed at this event, the most striking feature of this performance was the way both complemented each other Diverse Tassie is grateful to Sujata for giving us the opportunity to interview her and know more about her.
On Being a Dance Teacher:
I am very keen to share my passion with all and I love dancing with my students on a voluntary basis at community events, schools, multicultural functions, child care centers and nursing homes. I never ask for any remuneration and I seldom refuse to perform. “One of the residents was so happy with the dancing that she told please come back “ Dancing is my life and it gives me a sense of happiness in sharing my dancing with others. It gives me relaxation and gives me clarity in my thoughts. My dance school is open to all in the community and my students have been from different backgrounds over the last 22 years (Indian, Srilankan, Spanish, Australian, Dutch, Fijian origin to name a few). I enjoy teaching people dancing. I just charge a very nominal fee for my lessons. When I teach dancing it's more like a meditation for me. If someone is interested in learning contact on firstname.lastname@example.org.
How did this interest in dancing came about:
No one in my family was into this. Don’t know how it came about but I was always interested in dancing. I was into different forms of dancing as a kid, I learnt tap and jazz. Then learnt ballroom dancing later. But my real interest in Indian dancing came around in my late twenties. Back then in Tasmania there was no one to teach this form of dancing so I had to travel to Sydney & Melbourne and used to stay there for a week. I used to travel to India once every three or four years and stayed there for a while and learned more about this wonderful art. I was working at the ATO for over 34 years and had to take care of my daughter and my parents and the working week used to be very busy for me. Dancing was ‘THE’ calming influence and recharger. “I don’t know what I will do without my dancing”. On dancing with Anushua,her daughter. Most of my dances are choreographed by myself, it’s a fusion of traditional and Bollywood dance as people like more upbeat songs nowadays. Music is universal and language is not a barrier. With kids I start with teaching them Bengali traditional dance. I am a carer of my parents and my daughter Anushua. Dance helps me in this process, it gives me the energy and boost to keep me involved and stay healthy. With my daughter, she started dancing as a kid and I encouraged her. She Learnt different forms of dance as a kid including Indian dance and went for more upbeat forms over the next few years, In the last 6-7 years she started showing more interest in learning Indian dance and we have been going to India every year and she gets a chance to learn there as well. My daughter's dancing provides her with an outlet and sense of purpose as she gets up early in the morning to go to her ballroom dancing, and does her dance practice later in the day. Whenever we both dance together I try to complement her in the dance moves. She has won many accolades with her dancing.
Over time, the community I am part of learnt to understand and accept Anushua’s mental illness. This has been very important to me,as we can be relaxed and be ourselves when we are out.
I find that to be very encouraging and accepting of the situation and not compare my daughter with others but rather focus on the positives. We gave heaps of performances together. I encourage my daughter and try to complement her in all the things she does. This Pandemic has been hard for us as we couldn’t go out and dance. Getting used to the new normal now. Dancing performances: I want to do more dancing. I am often asked by different community groups to perform with my students and over the past 20 years I have performed on average about 10 years per year, each on a voluntary basis.
Diverse Tassie wishes Sujata Dasgupta all the best in all her future endeavours and hopes to see her inspire more and more people with her dancing.