Home > Female Entrepreneurs > Female Entrepreneur: Sanjana Muthreja | Co-founder & Director, Kohl Belly Dance Movement

Female Entrepreneur: Sanjana Muthreja | Co-founder & Director, Kohl Belly Dance Movement

Sanjana Muthreja featured
Sanjana MuthrejaSanjana Muthreja has been influenced by the middle eastern culture since the age of four and began belly dancing 8 years ago. She is currently the co-founder/director of Kohl belly dance Movement, the largest belly dance company in Mumbai. She has of taught the art of bellydance to thousands of students and continues to do so everyday.
She has conducted many workshops all around India, and has also taught fusion choreographies like Yoga-Belly and Bolly-Belly at international festivals like BDC (China) , LDB (Greece) and The Nile Festival ( Egypt). She has also been a part of the panel of judges at the BDC ( China) belly dance competition.
Sanjana has also studied Kathak and Yoga for 5 years and like many, is a Bollywood-style enthusiast as well.
She has touched the hearts of children, young girls and women alike by showing them the intricacies and techniques of bellydance, enabling them to fall in love with the dance form and themselves.

My name is Sanjana Muthreja. I have been professionally teaching belly dance for the past 7 years. Besides being a hobby, this is my full time profession and I have represented India at various international festivals, both as a performer as well as a judge.
Tell us about the company you have set up – when did you set it up, what products or services do you provide, what is your target market?
I am the co-founder and director of a prestigious belly dance school in Mumbai known as Kohl Belly Dance Movement, prior to which was working as a senior bellydance instructor at Veve Dance.
Formed in 2015, we currently have seven centres across Mumbai where our team teaches this beautiful art form to women from the age group of seven to 65. We also host various short term workshops all over the country and abroad. At Kohl, we teach the Egyptian Style of belly dance and focus on the techniques of isolation , fluidity and shimmies which are very important in belly dance. We take immense pride in being one of the only classes where women get the confidence and freedom and learn to accept their body the way it is. Belly dancing is a graceful dance form that helps them relax, feel comfortable and make them let go of all the stress and tension from their day to day routine.
Why did you set up the company? / What drove you to become an Entrepreneur?

I come from a culture where girls usually get married at an early age and have not worked much after completing their education. However, I have always loved belly dancing and believed that I had the confidence to start up a dance company like no other. My passion for this dance form coupled with the support of my parents has enabled me, along with my partner, to set up Kohl Belly Dance Movement.

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
I was from a convent school and a quiet, shy person by nature, so facing a crowd or a huge audience was always a scary thought. When I first began to assist dance teachers, it was a little difficult to address a large group of students and teach them. However, belly dance has made me confident and the fear of interacting with a crowd has now gone. With bellydance, I have been able to perform and teach thousands even internationally and I hope to have made a few people let go of their fears of crowds like belly dance helped me let go of mine.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
My greatest achievement has been representing Indian and teaching belly dance in countries like Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Switzerland and China and also being a part of the panel of judges at various belly dance festivals.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?

When it comes to dance, my biggest inspiration has always been my favourite belly dance teacher Sadie Marquardt, a brilliant dancer , teacher and performer.

How do you balance your work life and home life?
I am blessed with a very loving and supportive family who are extremely understanding. They appreciate my work and thus leave very few chores for me to do back home. The erratic work schedule does make me feel guilty at times for not spending enough time with my family but I try my level best to balance it especially during the holidays.
What advice do you have for women starting out on their own?

My advice for women would be to be confident and believe in themselves. Do not let anything or anyone stop you from making your dreams come true. In a male dominated country like ours, women face many challenges but be bold enough to build your own empire. Work hard and if you have the capabilities, just go for it!

Kohl Belly Dance MovementWhat does the future hold for you?

The future for bellydance and Kohl specifically is very exciting. We will continue to spread the love for bellydance both in India as well as abroad. I will be traveling to various countries in 2016 to teach fusion bellydance workshops highlighting Indian fusion elements. Belly dance has been very close to my heart and will undoubtedly a big part of me forever.

This article was provided by WeAreTheCity Mumbai contributor Rachna Raichandani.

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