Unity and dance

Mayur dancing with children
Photo: Donald DSouza

“Dance is a gift that brings people together with creativity and music. It is joyous, and that happiness brings unity.” Mayur from Mumbai is one of the Youth for a United World of the Focolare movement, whose aim is to build unity on all fronts. He started dancing when he was in school, taking part in different dance events and discovering his special talent.

He started his dance academy in 2008 with seven students. After 12 years, more than 800 students have passed through the academy. “My motive is to share my dance talent with the world. With my students we have participated in many reality shows, like India’s Got Talent, Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega, Etv Dina Dhin Dha and other dance shows. My greatest joy is seeing my students getting a chance to perform and excel in public.”

Always eager to encourage those who show they have a talent in dancing, Mayur encourages his students to use dance to build bridges and grow in their self-esteem. “Whatever I am doing today is the fruit of what I have learned from the Focolare. I get so many values and ideas from there, which in turn, I share in my own way with others. My dance studio in Mumbai is the only source of income for me. Some of my students do not have the money to pay the fees for classes; yet I let them come for classes just the same.”

Mayur with Australian students visiting the academy to learn Bollywood Dance.

During the lockdown Mayur found a way to reach out to his students. “When I heard about the lockdown I was totally disturbed. My fear was not only about losing my income but I was more worried for my students. I knew I would miss them all, and I was also worried that they would lose hope and confidence. I did not want that to happen, and I wanted to assure them that everything will be okay.

I got in touch with all of them and started giving them a few tasks to do, one after another. I asked them to send me 30-second videos of their performances, trying to keep them and their parents active, connected and happy during these stressful days.

On Mother’s Day I asked all mothers and students to choreograph a dance and send me their videos. In another activity, I asked them to prepare videos to spread awareness of good health practices. I gave a different script to each student on WhatsApp about using masks, sanitising hands, social distancing, disposing masks, etc., and asked them to act their part alone or with their parents. The final video that we put together was greatly appreciated.

I am taking the Covid-19 situation in a positive way, because something very special has happened in my family. My elder sister had left us due to some dispute in the family. She never contacted us and we did not know where she was. Now, due to the pandemic she has come back home and after many years we are rebuilding this broken relationship with love and forgiveness. So while there are many difficulties and challenges at this time, there are also many reasons to be positive, and for this I am very grateful to God and to the Focolare.”

— Rose Aloysius

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