• Sujatha Ramanathan On Pursuing Her Passion For Dance In Mid-Career

    Sujatha Ramanathan’s story is an example of how it’s never too late to pursue your passion. She is in the middle of her successful career at a multinational bank, and has still managed the time to pursue Bharatnatyam, and has even recently had her first solo performance. She speaks to SheThePeople.TV about her journey.

    Ramanathan was always interested in music, and dance while growing up in Chennai, but never pursued it seriously. After she got married and moved to Mumbai, she and her husband successfully climbed up the corporate ladder at some of the biggest companies, while also managing their family life together. 

    The family used to live in Malad, and moved to Ashoka Gardens a few years ago. This is when Ramanathan got re-introduced to the world of music.

    Ramanathan applies the same standards of excellence to dance, as she does to her corporate career. “For me, dance is like worship” she says 

    “Here, lots of opportunities came up in terms of exploring my hidden talent. I used to attend concerts, but I never thought of myself to be dancing on stage.”  There was a small group in her community which invited her to help choreograph some Rabindra sangeet dances. She even performed with them. This is what re-triggered her interest in dance, which then prompted her to connect with her guru, whom she has been learning from since November 2015.

    Ramanathan applies the same standards of excellence to dance, as she does to her corporate career. “For me dance is like worship,” she says. In order to practice and give time to her dance, she is at her guru’s house every day at 6:45 am, where she practises till 8:30, before going to work.

    Sujatha Ramanathan

    Painting by Ramanathan’s friend, Ayushi Jain

    “I didn’t do this as a child, and I didn’t want to feel that I didn’t accomplish it,” she says. She says that it is important not to delay pursuing one’s passions. “Apart from your work, which can also be a passion, if you have any other hidden passions, you should pursue them for yourself, so that you feel accomplished,” she says.

    Ramanathan says that she made a lot of sacrifices to pursue her passion, as she was fully involved with it. She even gave a few exams in dance, before her performances. Although she has always led an active life — she runs marathons, and does yoga, she says that dance requires a different level of fitness, and she would sometimes even get injured.

    “This is just the beginning. The learning process is continuous in music and dance. I also want to see how to shape my career at the same time,” she says 

    But her recent full-fledged, 2.5 hour programme made it all worth it. She said that the experience of reaching out to an audience through dance, and keeping people’s attention for so long was a great experience. “The aches and pains vanish,” she said.

    Her mother is a big inspiration for her. She has seen her mother pursuing singing and the arts while also working. She says that she is also touched by the response her dance has received from people within the field, and outside of it.

    Living in India is a big plus, because one can enjoy these kinds of classical traditions, she says. ” I would strongly encourage the youth to enjoy Indian classical music.”

    “This is just the beginning. The learning process is continuous in music and dance. I also want to see how to shape my career at the same time,” she says.

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