Beyond Studio J with Anagha

“I really believe in the law of attraction and manifesting what you want.
I applied to Coles eighty-four times and was rejected. But I didn’t give up. Then one day, I got the job.”

Always ready with a smile and a helping hand, Anagha sparkles with positivity. Starting off as a teacher, and then coming on board as our technical assistant during COVID, she has been the perfect addition to our Studio J fam. Read on to find out more about our Bolly-Fit queen!

Tell us about your background.
I’m from Bangalore. I come from a very simple, traditional middle-class family. They encourage me not to take risks in life, to stay safe, and save money.

How did you get into dancing?
Dance has followed me my whole life. Wherever I go, whatever I do… its always been a part of my life.

I started with Bharatanatyam at age 10, but I found the teaching too slow. Then I joined a Bollywood dance class. It was a very small dance school, but because of that, I got a lot of individual attention. I was naturally good at it and from the age of thirteen, my teacher encouraged me to start teaching. Sometimes he would have to leave for an event, and I would conduct the class for him.

My parents let me pursue this passion because I never compromised on my studies. They wanted me to be very studious, and I made sure I always scored above 95%.

What keeps you so motivated?
I’ve always had an independent mind-set. When I was in grade five, there was a small shop near my house that sold a particular type of Imli (tamarind). This was a special Imli that wasn’t available elsewhere. I used to buy it and then sell it for five rupees more (laughs).

Later, I started teaching dance. Since grade ten, I have been financially independent. I’ve always made sure that if I wanted to buy something, then it should be with my own money. I’ve seen my father struggle all his life to make sure we were financially secure. He worked overtime, sometimes till 3am. It’s inspired me to use my own strength and find my own way to earn money, rather than burdening him.

Tell us about your experience at Cult Fitness in India.
After my Bachelors, I got a job in an IT company, but there was a six-month gap before I could start. I decided to use this time to dance full-time. My sister had already joined Cult Fit as an instructor, and I was inspired by watching her.

The great thing about Cult is that the main thing they look for are instructors who can spread positive vibes. For example, there was a trainer there who wasn’t very fit, but she had such a bright face and beautiful smile. She was their number one trainer.

The training they put you through is tough. For two months, I trained for ten hours a day. But apart from the physical training, they also drilled us on smiling. In a 50-minute workout session, they tell you keep smiling throughout, even if you don’t feel like it. In the beginning, I used to wonder why are they asking me to fake it. But it really does work. Smiling is contagious. I would get comments like, “seeing your smile first thing in the morning makes my day great, it makes me want to smile too”. It’s all about spreading happiness and positivity.

What brought you to Australia?
I hadn’t even thought of coming to Melbourne, till my best friend decided to come for her masters. Spontaneously, I applied and landed up here.

What is your experience of Melbourne been like?
I love being in Melbourne. People are so open-minded. It’s very different to the judgemental society in India.

I’ve been here exactly one year. As usual, I wanted to be independent once I got here. I believe Bachelors is a necessity, but Masters is a luxury. On my eight day in Melbourne I started working at an Indian restaurant as a kitchenhand. During my one year in Melbourne, I’ve done a number of jobs: train replacement customer service, Coles, Uber eats, working in a Thai restaurant and of course teaching at Studio J.

During the initial days of COVID, I was without a job for three months. That was really hard. But I really believe in the law of attraction and manifesting what you want. I applied to Coles eighty-four times and was rejected. But I just didn’t give up. Then one day, I got the job at Coles. Every job has its own lessons which I try to learn and incorporate in my life. When I’ve tried something and it’s too hard, it was because there was a valuable lesson I had to learn.

How do you find time to manage your studies?
When I have to study, I do it. It just works out. But I love being busy. I get tired if I’m not busy. It’s great to keep your mind and body active. There is no time to attract any negative thoughts. It’s a beautiful life.

Do you have a big goal you are working towards?
Top of my list is that I want my parents to come visit me in Australia at least once. My dad has never been on an airplane. I also hadn’t, till I came here. My mum has travelled a little. But I really want them to experience travel outside of India.

Any final words of advice from the Bolly-Fit queen?
My mantra always is: Eat well, sleep well, drink lots of water, keep smiling. No matter what, just dance it out. And always give your 200%.

Interviewed by Joshinder Chaggar
23 December 2020

Anagha teaches Bolly-Fit at Studio J (next term commences February 2021)