Shanaya Makani - I’m Disconnected From Everyone And Everything When I’m Dancing (Dancer and Owner Of 'BEAT' Studio From India)

Dance has shaped me into the person I am today; it allowed me to express myself freely to an extent where I’m disconnected from everyone and everything when I’m dancing.

1. You have a remarkable journey as an influencer and dance enthusiast. Can you tell us about how your love for dance and your online presence intersected to create your unique brand?

When I started off on social media, there was not much thought put into it. I used to shoot dance videos and upload them on my Instagram. I remember a lot of people, including my friends and family, constantly encouraged me to keep uploading more videos. As time passed, it just became something that I would do more often, and slowly my brand started building on social media. When I realized that people were actually looking at the content I was putting out, I started to put more thought into it and planned it more. When it comes to content creation, that just came with time, and all of it happened very organically. Opening my studio was another big push to my social media presence. I started talking about my dance training, my studio, and a bit of my personal life, which eventually led to the presence I have today.

2. As someone deeply involved in the world of dance, what do you believe is the most common misconception people have about the art of dancing, and how would you clarify it?

I think the most common misconception that people have about dance is that it all comes very easy because many dancers do not talk about the amount of hard work, training, patience, and persistence that goes into becoming the kind of dancer you want to be. I also personally feel like a lot of people mix up the idea of what dancing truly means and the form of expression that it is. I mean, who doesn’t love dancing for fun, right? I dance for fun all the time, but I think what a lot of people forget is that if you want that quality to come through when you perform, you actually have to put in hours and hours of blood, sweat, and tears into training.

3. Dance styles can vary greatly. Could you tell us about a dance style or routine that has been particularly challenging for you to master, and how you overcame it?

I think personally, Ballet has been a dance form that has been very, very difficult to master. I started training in Ballet about four years ago, and till date, I struggle every time I step into class. In all honesty, the only way I overcome it is by not setting unrealistic standards in my head because every time you walk into a ballet class, it humbles you. I try to take each day as it comes, and most importantly, I am extremely patient with my progress in Ballet. There are days where you want your body to look a certain way, you want to be a certain level of flexible, where you want your legs to almost touch your head, but you have to remember that it’s not going to come overnight, especially if one starts dancing and training a little later in life. You have to teach your body how to move the way you like it and how to be the way you want it to be, and that is the most challenging part.

4. Dance is often considered a form of self-expression. How has dance influenced your personal growth and the way you express yourself both online and offline?

Dance has shaped me into the person I am today. I remember when I started dancing; I was extremely under-confident, very insecure about myself. I was almost afraid to express myself freely. I was that girl in school who was scared to put her hand up, even if I knew the answer to a question because, god forbid, the teacher picked me and made me talk in front of a class of 20 people. And today, I’ve reached a point where I can perform solo, talk to anybody, teach a class of students, interact with them, and most importantly, give them that comfort and confidence. The only way I got here is because of dance. It allowed me to express myself freely to an extent where I’m disconnected from everyone and everything when I’m dancing.

5. In the world of social media and content creation, what are some tips you'd offer to aspiring dancers and influencers who want to make a mark with their talent and message?

The only thing I would want to say is always remember why you started. Do not ever be afraid to put your art and your work out there. Not everyone might like it, but there will always be people who will appreciate you so much for doing what you’re doing. It is something that I personally struggled with a lot when I started off because sometimes when I would put content, people would say things. But the second you disconnect from that and remind yourself why you’re here and why you choose to do this, it all just makes sense. It might not repay you for the longest time, but suddenly you wake up one morning, and you are flooded with opportunities, and it’s all worth it. You just have to be patient and true to yourself.

6. As our final question, let's lighten the mood a bit. If you could dance with any famous person, living or from history, who would it be and what style of dance would you choose for that epic performance?

I would love to be on stage with Beyoncé. She is such a queen, and the energy she has while performing on stage is just mesmerizing!


Meet Shanaya Makani, a 26-year-old accomplished dancer and the proud owner of 'BEAT,' an acclaimed dance studio nestled in the vibrant heart of Mumbai. With an unwavering passion for dance, Shanaya's journey intertwines artistry, entrepreneurship, and an unyielding commitment to nurturing talent. Her magnetic performances have captivated audiences, while 'BEAT' serves as a hub for aspiring dancers to explore their creativity and hone their skills under her guidance. Shanaya's vision extends beyond dance, as she strives to create a community that celebrates expression and rhythm. Through her studio and captivating performances, Shanaya Makani continues to inspire others to embrace the magic of movement and creativity.

Interviewed and Edited By - Pragya Lamba 

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