Rajeswari Vaidyanathan had always been interested and passionate about dance. But she nonetheless followed the usual cookie-cutter model of excelling professionally and academically.
Child of an IIT-Kharagpur topper, mediocrity and choosing a different path was just not an option. A graduate of ICFAI Business School, she impressed recruiters enough to be part of an O&M summer internship program in rural marketing.
âThe girls couldn’t participate because it was considered difficult. It was my first real step into a “man’s world”. But I continued and worked hard. I used to start my days at 6 am and end at 2 am, and I spent time in the more rural areas of the country, âsays Rajeswari. His history.
She became a banker and led a life of great power until 2014, when she developed a potentially fatal tumor in her stomach. After the operation and resting, she realized that she needed to continue dancing.
âI decided to break with the corporate world and pursue my passion. It came as a shock not only to my family but also to my elders as they were convinced that I would have become one of the 20 most powerful women in business in India over the decade. But I was attracted to something else. I wanted to achieve this feat as an entrepreneur, âshe recalls.
From banker to dancer
At 36, she reconnects with her passion to become a dancer. At that time, she was an accomplished banker. When she got married, she moved to Mumbai without hesitation. But she believed in herself, and after a few weeks she was first with Citigroup selling premium credit cards and then switched to ICICI Prudential Life Insurance. She then returned to Citibank and then to Kotak Mahindra Bank as branch manager.
His elders then entrusted him with the recovery of another very unprofitable branch. It took him about six months to get it back in shape and a year to make it profitable. Yes Bank spotted the miracle worker and sought her out as the Napean Sea Road area manager, putting all Bandra branches in Fort under their responsibility. About three years ago she was promoted to Senior Vice President.
But she took a call to stop everything and start dancing. It was during this time that she learned different forms of dance.
While traveling and training abroad, Rajeswari found a different kind of zeal among the students, who invested hours and hours in training and practicing to perfect themselves as serious dancers.
Dance her way to success
âThey take this whole sport so seriously. Unfortunately in India we lack this seriousness in approach. The main challenges we face from students are lack of time and persistence, and impatience. People associate Latin dances with salsa alone, which is a lot easier and is really a form of club dancing, âshe explains.
It was then that she decided to explore a career out of a passion for dance and established VR DanceSport – a Latin ballroom dance school. With the aim of bringing change to the industry, the dance school is driven by Rajeswari’s passion for international Latin dance and ballroom dancing. It is used to make known this form of dance and to popularize it in India.
With her closest friend and now business partner, she decided to start Shan and Ragz’s DanceSport India, driven by their common passion for Latin dance and ballroom dance, to promote this form of dance and popularize it in India.
Based on the competitive sport of ballroom dancing, DanceSport is a form of exhibition dance that requires dancers to have physical strength, agility, coordination, endurance, fitness. physicality, discipline, teamwork, grace, style and musical interpretation.
They teach all forms of Latin ballroom dance like salsa, cha cha, jive, rumba, samba, bachata, tango, waltz, quickstep, line dancing and disco. They run corporate workshops for team building and other HR related activities and also have a dance troupe in place for corporate and private events.
Although the dance industry has female mainstays such as Vaibhavi Merchant, Geeta Kapoor and the late Saroj Khan, Rajeswari says she still faced discrimination because she was not part of the ‘boys club’ .
âFrom the moment I tasted my first success until the moment I left the corporate world, I have had men who often tried to put me down – it was their insecurity that kept them going. prompted them to do so. I never wasted time on mundane corporate politics. But hard work always pays off in the end, âsays Rajeswari.
YourStory’s flagship startup and leadership conference will be virtually back for its 13th edition from October 25-30, 2021. Sign up to receive updates on TechSparks or to express your interest in partnerships and speaker opportunities . here.
To learn more about TechSparks 2021, click on here.