Starting out with fashion couture in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Pratyusha Chhajer diversified into launching an academy for ballet dance in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. She is one of those few multifaceted entrepreneurs from India who have successfully struck a fine balance between family life, social life and business. Here’s exploring more.
You started out with fashion couture and then began the SS Ballet Academy (SSBA). How has this journey from fashion to dance been?
Pratyusha Chhajer: My journey is still on, and it is about a way of lifestyle. For me fashion is in everything — it’s about the concept of designing. We have seen music, dance, drama, cinema, glamour, trend, fashion all go hand in hand together. So I’m just connecting the dots to create a creative culture and tradition for coming generations.
You are also leading the Lions Club Karnavati Zeal. What are its goals and objectives?
Pratyusha Chhajer: We want to bring a habit of cultural activities as a daily routine for our coming generations that will help to balance their lifestyle. So we will work on parenting and socializing. As we know with time everything changes, we hope to set new good traditions. We feel that dance, music, fashion, theater, sports and many such activities can keep a person away from negativity.
You have proved that you can make a mark with distinctive achievements in fields revolving around the progress and evolution of culture. How does it feel contributing to the growth engine of society?
Pratyusha Chhajer: We humans are known as social animals. It’s very difficult for one to stay unsocial. I had a very blessed childhood. I’ve always been surrounded by so many influential people who taught me that though it’s easy to sit and crib, one beautiful act of change can be a big chance. A chance to create growth in society. So yes, I wish one day people can read my name in the history book. India is known as one of the oldest civilizations — rich in its culture, heritage and traditions. I will be proud if I can add to its glory.
Who are the people you take inspiration from?
Pratyusha Chhajer: For me inspiration is “looking up at yourself in the mirror.” Only you can inspire yourself the most. And even around you everything is inspiring. It’s just about how it clicks with you. For me, there are many people who have inspired me at different stages of life. I’m happy and thankful to all those people who have made a difference in my thinking process and ability to change and adapt.
Your dance outfit SS Ballet Academy follows the Vaganova Method originated in Russia. Tell us more about that.
Pratyusha Chhajer: The Vaganova Method is a classical ballet style. This method of ballet dance is most followed around the world. It is not only a beautiful method, but also a very practical method as a syllabus. Students are taught not only to work on their legs, but also hands and other body movements, which is a best example of coordination between full bodies. From your head to toe, when your body is coordinating to give a beautiful dance performance — it’s like angels from heaven are dancing. Music is so peaceful for the soul and doing ballet can feel like worship to God. There are so many benefits which one can gain from ballet dance, along with mental and physical health.
Do you think song and dance can make a difference in uniting the people of the world?
Pratyusha Chhajer: Yes, I think song and dance can make a difference in uniting the people of the world, especially today’s world. Music and dance have Always brought people closer, irrespective of boundaries. It’s a beautiful way to converse your thoughts without having to speak. Music and dance is a great platform for making good bonds of relationships. They also project the great culture of a country.
Your children Samyan Chhajer and Shonaya Chhajer, from whom SS Ballet Academy takes its name, are also into ballet from childhood. You must be really proud of them.
Pratyusha Chhajer: Samyan and Shonaya have always been my strongest strength. They have been practicing ballet from the very beginning. And yes, my twins make me feel proud. They both are disciplined, dedicated, determined, graceful. That makes me their fan. It’s very beautiful to watch them doing ballet with my other students. They all make me proud and inspire me.
What are your larger goals in life – as a person, as a mother and as a businesswoman?
Pratyusha Chhajer: As a person, as a mother, as a businesswoman, I have many goals in life. First and foremost, the most important thing is to strike a balance between goals and working on them one by one. I believe in the short goals theory, which is easy to accomplish as we move ahead.