I’m thrilled to introduce my next guest, a dancing sensation and YouTuber, Shubhi Arora, an upcoming talent in Singapore. We’ve known each other for a while now, and let me tell you, she is a total powerhouse. She’s got a ton of energy and a smile that could light up a room.

 But what you might not know is the incredible journey she’s been on. From small-town beginnings to becoming a YouTube star and dance instructor, Shubhi’s story is all about resilience, passion, and finding your happiness.

Knowing her personally, I’ve seen her start with free trials for kids and adults, conducting various workshops to build her presence. Her dedication was evident as she often shot videos in East Coast Park, waking up at 4:30 am to film and upload YouTube videos before starting her day.

Shubhi has won many hearts by performing on numerous stages, teaching classes, and becoming a certified Zumba instructor. I’m thrilled to have you here and eager to learn more about your journey.

Shubhi: I was born in Bareilly, UP, into a joint family. I started dancing at three, thanks to my mother, who ensured I had opportunities despite family opposition. I pursued a six-year Prabhakar diploma in Kathak.

Later, when my family faced financial difficulties, that was another hurdle. Suddenly, dance wasn’t just about passion; it became a way to contribute. I supported my family by teaching dance from age 14.

Ranjeeta: Wow, that’s a lot to take on at a young age. Tell me more.

Shubhi: My father’s financial troubles meant my brother and I became breadwinners early. Even then, my passion for dance never wavered.  I juggled an M.A. with a teaching job while squeezing in dance classes whenever possible.

Shubhi: The more I danced, the bigger my dreams got. My small town couldn’t offer all the styles and opportunities I craved. Looking back, I know Mom did her best to support me, but there were limitations. Part of me still wishes things were different, but that yearning made me even more determined to chase my path.

I felt suffocated and thought marriage might be an escape.

Shubhi: I thought I could finally relax and travel the world after getting married. On those trips, though, I felt a creative itch I couldn’t ignore. I thought having kids would help me be occupied. The initial years of my marriage were better spent traveling with my merchant husband and busy raising two kids. This led to a 10-year hiatus from dance.

Ranjeeta: How did you resume dancing?

Shubhi: After ten years of raising children, my world revolved around my family. I found myself seeking happiness solely through them. But somewhere along the way, I understood that there was something else I was meant to do in life. A turning point arrived during the last year I spent in Dubai. Surrounded by a supportive friend circle, I confided in Nahid, who worked in event management, about my yearning to perform again. I couldn’t bring myself to look at the audience on stage. Despite my initial lack of confidence, I took a leap of faith and participated in a show. The overwhelming appreciation I received sparked a fire within me. Slowly, I began taking dance classes, reigniting a passion long dormant. At 35, my journey received a much-needed jumpstart.

Ranjeeta: So, Shubhi, tell us about your experience transitioning from Dubai to Singapore’s dance scene. Was it a smooth move, or were there any unexpected challenges?”

Shubhi: I moved back to Singapore right when the pandemic hit. It was a time of adjustment, and I lost some weight. Then, one day, I saw a video of myself and realized how good I looked! It sparked a fire in me—a love for myself and a renewed passion for dance. At this point, I realized the value of family support, and my husband stood by me and has been my pillar of strength and given me the push when needed.

With the pandemic restrictions, I couldn’t offer big classes, so I offered free trials and workshops online. But the focus wasn’t just on teaching—I ramped up my social media presence, posting dance videos regularly. People loved it! The positive response gave me a huge confidence boost.

As soon as things opened, I jumped to organize events. Seeing my students perform on stage was excellent and helped my business grow. I didn’t stop there—I expanded to new areas, even becoming a certified Zumba instructor! Here I am today, my dance journey more vital than ever.

Ranjeeta: “Shubhi, you mentioned starting your dance academy during a unique time.  Can you tell us more about the challenges you faced in those early days and how you overcame them?”

Shubhi:  Starting my dance academy in Singapore during the pandemic was a wild ride!  Resources were tight, and I remember always borrowing props from my amazing friends.  They were incredible, always cheering me on.

That phase taught me so much about people.  Their support showed me the power of community.  Thanks to their belief in me and much hard work, I can buy my props and keep growing.  It’s made me super grateful for those with your back, and I always try to pay it forward whenever possible.

Ranjeeta: Your smile is infectious! You have a natural talent for making everyone around you happy.

Shubhi: (Laughs) Thanks, Ranjeeta! I’ve always been a positive person. It’s just who I am.

Ranjeeta: That’s wonderful. How does your family back home feel about your transformation?

Shubhi: Coming from a more traditional background, I don’t think they ever imagined the quiet girl who loved wearing saris would become the confident woman I am today. I’ve found more support from my amazing online community than from some family members. That’s why I surround myself with positive influences – negativity doesn’t have a place in my life.

Shubhi: (Smiling brightly) My biggest cheerleader? Me! I love watching my videos and seeing how far I’ve come. It’s a great reminder to keep pushing forward.

Ranjeeta: I still remember that time we did that show together. You went above and beyond, coordinating everyone’s outfits and accessories to the last detail!

Shubhi: Presentation is everything, wouldn’t you agree?  A solid first impression goes a long way, and I like my troupe to look polished and put together.

Shubhi: (Smiling) Honestly, the minute I have a dance routine in mind, the costumes start taking shape in my head. By the time the choreography’s done, I’m practically at the tailor’s in my imagination!

Shubhi: I also love styling clothes. Even on a budget, I have a knack for finding pieces that work together and create a stunning look.

Ranjeeta: Looking back on your journey, how has it been for you?

Shubhi: It’s been an incredible nine years! My first performance was in Dubai, and now I’m in Singapore. Life throws different priorities at you in various phases, but there is always time to chase your dreams. Always believe in yourself.

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