Published on March 6th, 2014 | by Jehan Raffiuddin
FAB WOMAN: Priti Gupta
A true Sagittarian, the free-spirited Preeti comes across as a bundle of talent and who is driven by her passion to be creative, artistic and in her own words… “strong yet sensitive”. Her journey began as an ordinary girl from a rather conservative Marwari family, where it was unthinkable to be unmarried by the age of 21! Living in such an environment, not even in her wildest dreams did Priti imagine that her life would completely turn around. Her achievements are phenomenal and for that she solely credits her mother, who encouraged her to break the stereotype. Like most others in high school she was unsure of her career path and kept vacillating between becoming an air hostess and CA! Interestingly enough, Priti chose physiotherapy and specialized in Sports Physio. This was before the magic happened.
Priti’s first encounter with Latin & Ballroom Dancing was at the age of 21 while she was still finishing college. At the time she didn’t know the difference between the Salsa or the Samba. Paso Doble?! It all seemed so Greek to her, but there was no denying that she was smitten. So, Dance or Physiotherapy? As she struggled to make a choice, she fell back on her mother’s wise words – “Follow your heart” and that’s when her life changed forever.
Once on the dance floor, there was simply no stopping this lady. Within 2 years, Priti mastered over 15 different international dance forms from Tango to Waltz, Lambada to Flamenco. She partnered with Shannon Benjamin to be the first couple to represent India at the World Cup Latin & Ballroom DanceSport Championship in 2006 held at Singapore and this was just the beginning. In her own words, from a shy, under-confident, nerdy “teacher’s pet” it was dance that propelled her to one of India’s most fascinating performers. “Travelling across the globe to compete & represent India in over 15 different countries in DanceSport Championships was a real high”, says Priti. As she trained more and earned more certifications, trophies, medals – the interviews, press coverage, radio shows followed. She was flooded with ad films, photoshoots, TV shows (remember seeing her in Jhalak Dikhla Ja or Boogie Woogie?) … she even received a sponsorship from Jaya Bachchan to further her art!
Priti is credited with the birth of DanceSport India – which she founded as her initiative in 2008 to create international dance champions of tomorrow. In 3 years, Priti has taught over… hold your breath… 5000 students and created a massive fan-following for what is the most glamorous sport by her book – DanceSport!
Behind the fairy tale, it is not that she’s not had her share of hardships. Having lost her mother to Cancer and separated from her husband, she chose to invest her energy in her art and emerge as a stronger and better person. Today, as happy family woman with her new partner, Dharmen, she truly believes it when she says… “God has a better plan for me than I have for myself!”
We are in awe of her fighting spirit and and way she lives everyday like it’s a new beginning. Here are bits of our chat with Priti for you:
FAB BAG: One beauty tip that you can always fall back on?
Priti: A good amount of sleep ( Love seista! )
FAB BAG: Having travelled across the globe, what’s your idea of a perfect getaway?
Priti: Flowing river, surrounded by mountains, breeze, sunset, sottle of wine and my Hubby
FAB BAG: Happiness is…?
Priti: A state of mind that I like.
- Dr. Priti apart from being a trained Bharat Natyam & Flamenco dancer has also featured in the ‘Limca Book of Records’ for being a key participant in the ‘World Longest Dance Party’, dancing non-stop for 55 hours 15 Minutes.
- 19th Lion City DanceSport Championship – Singapore, Aug. 2006: Quarter Finals
- 1st National DanceSport Championship – New Delhi, Dec. 2006: Grade A – Ranked 1st – Gold Medal
- Creative DanceSport Championship – Malaysia, Jan. 2007: Ipoh Ranked 9th
- Hong Kong Open DanceSport Championship – July 2007: Ranked 5th
- 2nd Indoor Asian Games – Macau, Nov. 2007: Quarter Finals
- Hong Kong Open DanceSport Championship – March 2008: Ranked 2nd – Silver Medal
- Sri Lankan DanceSport Championship – Colombo, Nov. 2008: Ranked 2nd – Silver Medal
- Supremacy Awards UK – London, April 2009: Semi Finals
- Sri Lankan DanceSport Championship – Colombo, June 2009: Ranked 1st – Gold Medal in 4 categories & Ranked 2nd – Silver Medal in 4 categories.
- ISIS Cup – Hungary, Sept. 2009: Szombathley Finals – Ranked 6th
- 21st Lion City DanceSport Championship 2013- Singapore- Ranked 2nd – Silver Medal
Parting Shot: To give up a career in medicine to lose yourself in dance is not everyone’s cup of tea. Not only did Priti submit herself to her passion for dance, she never stopped doing the one thing that drives all her decisions and what we would like to leave you with today… “Follow your heart and don’t stop till you give it a full 100%”
The *FAB* Women initiative by FabBag.com celebrates the occasion of Women’s Day all through the month of March with an aim to inspire women across the country by sharing stories of ordinary women with extraordinary lives. If you liked reading Nirupama Subramanian’s story, please leave a comment below and share this article. It’s now your turn to spread the inspiration.