Rukmini Vijayakumar wears many mantles. She is an ace dancer, choreographer, and actor. But when she announced a series of online classes ‘Dance With Me’, she was clear to point out that the goal was to de-stress, learn how to move the body, have fun, and feel good about it.
Amid the feeling of uncertainty and stress of the pandemic and lockdowns, the 38-year-old art director of Raadha Kalpa Dance Company in Bengaluru felt that offering to teach movement will encourage people to stay healthy physically and mentally. “The lockdowns have been hard on people and engaging in any kind of physical movement will get the blood flowing and make you feel happy about yourself. It acts as a stress buster,” says Rukmini who also holds a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the Boston Conservatory in Ballet and Modern Dance.
She goes on to add that learning to move the body can be a form of self-expression. “It’s an inherent quality in us that as human beings, we express ourselves through our body. As children, that comes easier to us but as we grow up, we stop doing that and start judging ourselves for it. For example, as children, we have jumped with joy after getting chocolates or sweets but as we grew up, even if we feel the same emotions, we do not emote that way. We tell ourselves that it does not look right or that it is not right,” says Rukmini.
Specifying that her online classes aim to make people look beyond the judgmental barriers and focus only on movement, Rukmini says, “There are times when people are so conscious of their bodies that even if there’s a song playing that they like, they would not move or dance to it afraid of how they would look like. This is also a reason why I do not correct alignments. It is not about getting your hand in the right place or making the right gesture. These classes are about learning to enjoy movement while ensuring that everyone is safe and injury-free.”