Meet Nidhi Agarwal. The communication professional is trained in Latin dance and she has kept her passion alive – a journey which started 16 years ago. Agarwal has represented India in various international competitions. She and her dancing partner were the first Indian couple to be the first runners up in the Amateur Salsa category of the World Championships at World Salsa Summit 2016 in Miami.
“My journey in Latin dance commenced in 2006, the same year I relocated to Bangalore and embarked on my PR career. Arriving in a new city with my family miles away in Kolkata and minimal acquaintances in the city, I found myself with ample free time on weekends,” recalls Agarwal, Founder of Ebony & Ivory PR, in conversation with Medianews4u.com.
What began as a hobby to pass time soon transformed into a passion that engulfed her life, providing meaning and purpose unlike anything before.
“This journey has been transformative, shaping me into the woman I am today. Dance introduced me to my feminine side, empowered me with inner strength, and served as a platform for self-expression and profound life lessons. Spanning 16 years (including brief breaks), this dance journey has encapsulated various life stages, from the carefree dancing of my early twenties to the social dancing of my late thirties. Despite the evolving significance, the joy dance brings me has remained constant,” she says.
Within the Latin dance genre, Agarwal has deeply immersed herself in Salsa and Bachata (a social couple dance).
“Through diverse global instructors, countless hours of music exploration, and rigorous practice, I’ve honed my skills. Presently, Afro Cuban holds my fascination, and Bachata’s soulful rhythms continue to inspire me and my body’s rhythmic motion,” adds the communication professional.
Stage Performances and Accolades
Over the years, she has participated in 15 to 20 stage performances, including six on international platforms in Hong Kong, Singapore and Miami.
Recalling a particularly unforgettable memory, Agarwal says, “It revolves around my inaugural international competition in Hong Kong in 2010. This marked my first trip abroad and, astonishingly, we emerged as champions. This was special as I had no expectations at all and didn’t ever imagine winning this. The goal was to just finish the routine and not stop in between. This was an innocent/surprise victory. After this, every completion of mine had an expectation of a win and I carried a lot of weight due to that.”
Among her many honours, she along with her dancing partner Abhishek Singh bagged the Asia Open Salsa Championship in the Amateur category at HongKong Salsa Festival 2010. Agarwal and Singh were the runner’s up at the India Salsa Championship in the Semi Pro category at India International Salsa Festival in 2010. The duo bagged the first runners up title in the Amateur category of the Asia Bachata Championship at Singapore International Latin Festival in 2015.
The list of accolades is long. They were the first runners up in the Semi Pro category of the Asia Salsa Championships at The India International Dance Congress conducted in 2015. The same year, they bagged the first runners up trophy in the Semi Pro category of the Asia Bachata Championships at The India International Dance Congress. At Asia Bachata Championship at Singapore International Latin Festival in 2016, the duo were the first runners up in the Open category. Adding another feather to the achievements, Agarwal and Singh were the first Indian couple to be the first runners up in the Amateur Salsa category of the World Championships at World Salsa Summit 2016 in Miami.
“Dance has significantly enriched my professional life. It instilled discipline, perseverance, and immense confidence. I never had to worry much about what I was wearing, my nails, or my hair; my confidence was enough really. During my competitive dancing phase, my daily routine involved waking up at 5 am, practicing until 9 am, and then transitioning to work. Today, social dancing on weekends refills my dopamine reserves for the upcoming week,” she added.
Karel Flores, a professional salsa dancer from New York, inspires Agarwal profoundly.
“Witnessing her dance fills me with optimism, as she candidly shares her struggles and journey to triumph. Currently, my energies are dedicated to nurturing Ebony & Ivory PR, my new integrated communication agency, which is in its nascent stages. As for dancing, my plans involve delving into Afro Cuban under Alex Diaz’s guidance and participating in social dancing at least once a week,” she notes.
Apart from the Latin dancing, yoga holds immense significance for her.
“I was introduced to yoga and meditation at a young age by my mother. These practices have kept me injury-free and mentally resilient through the last 20 years. I regularly went for immersive training in Hatha and Ashtanga yoga and completed a Vipassana meditation course in Nepal. I maintain a daily practice of meditation, breathwork, and affirmations,” she concludes.
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