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Being a Belly Dancer in India is Adventurous, Says Assam’s Jyotsna Borgoyary

Being a Belly Dancer in India is Adventurous, Says Assam’s Jyotsna Borgoyary
August 02
16:00 2017

NET Bureau, Chirasmrita Devi

Till sometime back Raqs Sharqi, popularly known as Belly Dance, was considered as an ‘outrageous’ form of dance. But, with the surfacing of the dance reality shows, the Indian audience got a fresh perspective to look at different dance styles. The same platform helped in breaking some of the myths about belly dancing to a great extent. As a result, today, this dance genre is attracting dance enthusiasts from all over the world, irrespective of gender, age and figure.

One such enthusiast is Assam’s Jyotsna Borgyary, who had always felt a ‘past life connection” for Egyptian music. Jyotsna, who is at home in Egyptian Classical and Folkloric style of Belly dance, is a part of the very famous Belly Dance Troupe in India- Banjara School Of Dance. Talking with NET, Jyotsna converses more about her life and her passion.

Jyotsna B

Dance in her Roots

Although, this graceful dancer was born and brought up in Delhi, she never felt alienated from the rich culture of Assam. Thanks to her cultured and supportive parents!

“I am an Assamese, born and raised in New Delhi. Even after being raised in Delhi, my parents very well kept me connected to our roots in Assam, the music, the dance, the food and the people. Staying in touch with such a beautiful cultural background, it was natural for me to get attracted towards music and dance. And as I grew older my exposure to different cultures led me to understand different styles of music and dance,” says Jyotsna


On Being a ‘Banjara Girl’

The first turning point in Jyotsna’s life came when she decided to join a workshop on belly dancing for beginners at Banjara School of dance, right after finishing her graduation finals. For Jyotsna, the rehearsal hall felt like her long lost ‘Home’ and the dance form her paramour. After the workshop was over, How could have she stayed away from her love?

On learning about a vacancy at Banjara, she immediately applied for the post and bagged the job.

“Banjara had a job opening for the post of Manager. I applied, got through and started working!  As a perk, I used to get free classes and there was nothing more that I could wish for. I continued to work as a manager with Banjara for about 2.5 years and meanwhile continued with my dance training,” shares Jyotsna.

Her dreams finally got wings when Meher Malik, the owner of Banjara School of Dance and Jyostna’s teacher, offered her to be one of the dance Instructors at Banjara. Without wasting a moment, Jyotsna gave green signal. Since then, she has been working at Banjara.

“I continued to work as manager with Banjara for about 2.5 years and meanwhile continued with my dance training. One day, Meher Malik, Banjara School of Dance’s owner and my teacher asked me if I wanted to be an instructor. I instantly said yes and started with probation. It’s being almost 2 years that I am part of Banjara’s instructors’ team and I am loving it,” says a happy Jyotsna.

With the group, Jyotsna also got the opportunity to be a part of Dance Plus season 1 which she describes as a “once in a lifetime” experience.

Jyotsna Borgoyary

Belly Dance at Any Size

There is a common myth about Belly dance being a dance form meant only for women, for curvaceous women to be precise.

Shattering these myths, Jyotsna says that Belly Dance is perfect for all shapes, sizes and gender and this is, what she believes is, one of the most wonderful aspect of the style. She further clarifies that, to be a perfect belly dancer one doesn’t need to have a ‘big belly’ to highlight the body moments. If done in the correct way, even a slim dancer can look equally fabulous.

The thin line between Sensuality and Sexuality

There was a time when mere the name Belly dance, was enough to raise a hundred eyebrows. Even, history is evident of the fact that, this dance form has had a ‘scandalous reputation’ and misconceptions and stigmas of being a seductive dance form, have always been its shadows.

“Belly dance involves movements mostly around your lower abdomen, pelvis, hips, waist and chest, and a woman’s sexuality is also associated around these areas of the body. Plus some of the costume styles show the midriff.  But, it’s all in your mind. It’s up to the way one wishes to see”, she says.

Jyotsna believes that time is changing and so are the conceptions of the audience.


Often Jyotsna finds herself surrounded by the unnecessary what(s), why(s), when(s) and how(s) for choosing this unconventional path of belly dancing. But she never lets these questions spoil her stunning shimmies.

Taking such questions sportingly, Jyotsna concludes, “I love adventure and so being a belly dancer is even more exciting. It gives me the confidence of accepting my body shape, color and features as they are. It allows me to love myself the way I am.”


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