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About Nalini

“While I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole. That is why I dance.
- Hans Bos

Nalini is a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher in the greater Seattle area. She is known for captivating audiences with her technical skill, emotionally expressive performances, and compelling choreographies. Her repertoire includes Belly Dance, Bollywood, and Russian Gypsy dance. She is a world-renowned artist whose awards include:

- “National Championship of Belly Dance” Grand Champion 2003, Russia
- Best Soloist of the Year 2004, Russia (an award judging soloists from all dance styles)
- “Belly Dancer USA” People’s Choice 1st Place 2007
- “Belly Dancer USA” 2nd Place 2007 and 2010
- “Belly Dancer USA” People’s Choice 1st Place 2010

Nalini is the founder and director of the Blue Lotus Dance Company, a professional company that performs throughout the region. Under her direction, Blue Lotus has become an award-winning company, receiving 1st Place in “La Danse Orientale Belly Dance Competition” and “Belly Dancer USA” in 2010. In addition to Blue Lotus, Nalini directs two student performance ensembles; Jewels of Fire and Willow Moon. Jewels Of Fire won 1st Place in “Belly Dancer USA” in 2015. In the same competition Hitomi, Nalini's students, won 1st Place in “Belly Dancer USA” in 2015 in Golden Girls category. Also both got 1st place in People Choice votes.

Nalini grew up in Ukraine with a love of Bollywood movies and music. It was her passion for India that brought her an unexpected dance opportunity at the age of 14 when a folk ensemble, Lotus, and their Indian singer came to her town and discovered her talent for Indian dance. Lotus toured all over the Soviet Union and invited Nalini to tour with them, which she did for three years as the ensemble’s lead dancer. She fondly remembers her mentor, the director of the company, Eugene Kurbanova, who inspired her to pursue her love of dance. Nalini continued to study Indian dance on her own and at the age of 16 she began teaching Bollywood classes to children and adults in Baskunchak, Russia.

After touring with Lotus, Nalini returned to Ukraine and attended Nizhyn College of Culture where she studied classical ballet and various forms of folk and Gypsy dance of Europe and the Soviet Union. Her focus of study also included choreography and teaching/dance pedagogy. Upon finishing her degree, she joined the folkloric company Dnistrove Grono, and later became their head instructor and choreographer.

In 1997, Nalini moved to Moscow in search of a classical Indian dance guru. She was fortunate to meet her guru, Asvani Nigam, with whom she studied Kathak and Indian folkloric dance styles. While studying with Guru Asvani Nigam, she and her fellow students began the Indian dance theater, Jankar, which was sponsored by the Embassy of India in Moscow and for which it regularly performed.

Nalini continued to grow as a dancer and seek out new dance opportunities which led her to study and perform Belly Dance under the direction of Alla Janataeva. She performed professionally at The Scheherazade, a Middle Eastern restaurant in Moscow, as well as participating in Belly Dance festivals and competitions.

Nalini had become an established professional dancer in many styles when she moved to the United States and began building a new career here as a dancer, choreographer, and instructor. She began performing in Washington State in 2005, quickly becoming well-known for her technique and grace. In 2007 she performed in the DVD “The Exotic Art Of Bellydance” produced by Hollywood Music Center in Hollywood, California. Since then Nalini has choreographed and produced dance productions including “Desert Monsoon” in 2009 and the series of performances “Droma” from 2009 to 2010. These productions included Belly Dance and Bollywood as well as Russian Gypsy dance and music in collaboration with Anna Vasilevskaya, a Russian singer and guitarist. Nalini has also collaborated with artists such as the Russian Gypsy band VIA Romen. In 2010 these collaborations resulted in “Romani Soul”, a full-length production of Gypsy dance and music. Nalini continues to create new projects to share the beauty of dance with the community.

Nalini teaches classes for children and adults at various locations and is also available for individual or group private instruction. She is in demand as a soloist for festivals, parties, weddings, corporate and other events. Nalini is also well-known for her vibrant and unique Belly Dance costumes which she and her mother, Anastasiya, design and make as the company Anastasiya’s Designs.

by Casey Baldner and Emma Lux

Testimonials

"Nalini will encourage, nudge, and demand you to give more, to persevere, to break down what you think are your limitations; however, once you broke through those barriers, the joy and contentment that you immersed in is indeed beyond words "
Karen Saiyos
"Nalini is not just an accomplished dancer but an awesome teacher too! Even if you dont know a thing about dancing, she would make you feel comfortable and help learn steps.
She breaks the steps very well and puts it into the warm up so that makes it easier to perform those while dancing. I am myself a beginner in the field of dancing, but now I feel much confident about learning new steps. She is always open for questions and suggestions. Her goal is to make it easy and simple for the students. Oh and most important thing is you would always have so much fun plus the exercise in one class only! I just love being there in her class, so would you for sure!"
Sampada
"I had no previous Bellydance experience, but I can see how much I've improved in just 6months!! Thanks to Nalini and her amazing teaching technique which is perfect for beginners like me who wants to have a great workout, learn something new in a fun way. I really like the way she pays attention to details. I feel much toned, flexible and energetic after each class. A must try for every women!"
Swasti Ganguly
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