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Shehnaaz Jagasia
Founder & Creative Director

Shehnaaz Jagasia, a geneticist by profession, chose to pursue her passion for dance in 2009 when she began training children in Bollywood Indian dance. The joy she found from teaching children combined with her love for dance drove her to create the Shehnaaz Dance Academy in 2012.

Shehnaaz is a trained dancer in Classical Dance form of Bharatnatyam (Dr. Swaminathan) and has learnt other dance forms (like Jazz, Salsa, Cha Cha Cha) from the Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts. She has participated in several stage shows and has been an integral part of choreographed dances since the early age of 3.

Shehnaaz holds two Master’s degrees: Master’s in Biochemistry from the University of Mumbai, India as well as Master’s in Human Molecular Genetics from Imperial College London. She has worked in the field of Stem Cell Banking, Myeloproliferative Disorders and Melanomas. After moving to New York city, she has worked in New York Blood Center and NYU Langone Medical Center.

Even while working, Shehnaaz wanted continue to share her passion and love for dance with children and adults alike. She pursued her desires and taught private dance classes in the evenings. Having her first child convinced her of the positive impact of training the kids in the art of dance from an early age. This knowledge spearheaded her transition from research to teaching dance.

Patience, stamina, and her love for the kids are Shehnaaz’s key strengths which make her such a great teacher. She is able to coax even the littlest ones to focus and learn the dance while having a blast. She has prepped students for the OLC school Bollywood Nite, trained campers in dance at Jersey Tarana’s Summer camp, and had private students who have performed at various events such as Independence Day celebrations, Diwali Functions, etc. Currently, her classes are well sought after in the various public schools enrichment programs throughout Jersey City. Her students have performed on stage at various local events in Jersey City. She hopes to instill a love for dance in her students while improving their coordination, confidence and enhancing their natural talents.

Shehnaaz Dance Academy held its first Recital last year at the prestigious Barrow Mansion. Our students always have the opportunity to display their talents at talent shows and festivals in Jersey City but the recital gives them a platform to let their inner performers out. It builds a relationship and camaraderie in between friends as fellow performers and garners team spirit and helps do their families proud!

 

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Kavita Babaria
Instructor

Our instructor Kavita is a wonderful addition to our team. Kavita has a Masters in Business Administration and Marketing. She is currently getting her degree in Digital Marketing. She has been trained in Indian Dance, Music and has worked for SaReGaMa India Ltd.  Kavita is a licensed Zumbini instructor. The Zumbini program combines music, dance and educational tools for 45 minutes of can’t-stop, won’t-stop bonding, learning, and fun!

She has previously worked at a reputed Mother Toddler Activity Center and Afterschool Activity Studio in Mumbai, India. For age groups 6 months to 2 years, Kavita conducted sessions focusing on color, shape, number/alphabet recognition and phonics. She has planned out and mastered activities that are specifically designed to promote physical, mental and social development of her students through sensory play, water play, music and story telling. Kavita is also well versed with assisting students 4-12 years of age with afterschool programs in Chess, Piano, Pottery, Sanskrit, Tabla, Dance, Drawing, Cooking for the kids from 4 – 12 years. She is extremely well versed in maintaining effective communication with parents and is a dream while working with children of all ages.