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Lets set the scene: I a mum of two , whose eldest-my 8 year old daughter, had already been learning dance with Meghala for the past year. I've always wanted to learn dance and have tried twice in the past, both attempts had to end prematurely. Now I was hesitant more than ever, from the fear of being judged and possibly mocked. I also wondered if it was too late to start again. One evening when school was conducting its Vidya-Arambham pooja, Akka (we fondly refer to Meghala as Akka or Kutti Amma) asked if I'd like to join too. Needless to say hesitant and enthused all at the same time. This is a tightly knit community and my daughter and I are fortunate to be a part of it and to have found a teacher in Meghala. The thing I love about the class and Akka is the attention to detail. Akka knows where each of her students is upto and what is the best way to teach them. For everyone involved, there is affection, and a sincere effort is made to impart the art the best way possible. It is not so the child/student can perform at a said event. For our annual concert, each student was blessed. To some of the kids who struggled with the jatis, she blessed them and asked thme to remember the beats and when it was their turn chanted the swaras from behind the curtain , so the kids could perform and not worry; to the ones who usually worry and forget to smile, she reminded them to smile and enjoy the dance. To each the advice was personal and what they struggled with the most. The announcements were done by all the kids who for whatever reason could not participate, so each would have the exposure to compering a program. There is an implicit effort by the Teacher, parents and the kids alike, which makes all this possible and this is what wins people over in my opinion. Art of vinyasa in my opnion is an attempt to lead by example and establish a standard in everything it does and I pray this succeeds in leaps and bounds.

When I moved to Melbourne, I started my hunt for a good Bharatanatyam dance school. Being a dance student in India, my expectations of a dance school were very rigid. But my first day at Art of Vinyasa resolved all apprehensions about trying to fit in. Meghala akka welcomed me with a broad smile, patiently listened to all that I had to say and took me under her wing. And there is no looking back after this. She puts in a lot of effort in each student making sure the basics and thereby the foundation is right. She is a perfect blend of gentle and stern which helps us get better, correct our mistakes and making sure we enjoy each class in the process. Her dedication to dance makes me proud to be her student. The perks of being with Art of Vinyasa is the opportunity to learn under the tutelage of Dr Vasundhara whom we fondly call as 'Amma'. Attending Amma's workshops, spending time with her helps us understand the depth of Natya Shastra, Bharatanatyam and Indian mythology which is important for a dancer to understand and emote. It is a blissful period when amma is around. Art of Vinyasa is one big family which has now become an integral part of my life. I definitely couldn't have asked for anything better!
Priyanka Shetty