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Management Team

Ajanta Chakraborty, Co-Founder/President

Vivek Kumar, Co-Founder/Strategy

bG Cardio Instructors

Angika Basant

Meghan Roekle

Romita Roy

Stephanie Locascio

Susanna Hostetter

bG Kids Instructors

Monica KapoorBollyKids Program Advisor

Barkha Kuvadia Barister

Priya Raman

Sangeeta Khemani

Taruna Rai

Yarina Birnbaum

Dance Troupe Leads

Fariha Newaz

Niharika Narain

Private Lesson Instructor

Shweta Tejani

Additional Instructors

Anish Patel

Ishita Shah

Shalini Ravindran

Anju Sharma

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Ajanta Chakraborty

Co-Founder, President

Ajanta Chakraborty

Ajanta co-founded Bollywood Groove in 2008 in California. Her biggest passion in life is to provide a cultural exposure to Bollywood and other Indian dances in a way that it can be enjoyed by all individuals irrespective of their dance skills and prior knowledge to Indian culture/dance.

Ajanta has a Senior Diploma in BharatNatyam and has years of experience teaching and performing dance. With a Masters in Computer Science from University of British Columbia, Ajanta has also spent years in the corporate world as a Professional Services Consultant and has worked in dynamic and fast paced environments.

Since summer of 2011, she has made Bollywood Groove her primary focus and enjoys every moment of it. Ajanta oversees the day to day operations of the company and is the primary instructor at Bollywood Groove.

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Vivek Kumar

Co-Founder, Strategy & Mobile Design

Vivek Kumar

Vivek uses his business skills from his work at McKinsey & Company and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University) to oversee the strategy and operations of the company.

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Angika Basant

BollyGroove Cardio Instructor

Angika is a cell biologist working towards her PhD at the University of Chicago, but is in reality a Bollywood addict at heart.

Much like the eclectic nature of Bollywood dance itself, she has over the years assimilated flavours from multiple dance forms, varying from Indian classical Bharatnatyam and folk Garba, to Salsa, Cha-cha and Belly Dance.

She has choreographed and performed dance sequences on Bollywood numbers back in Bombay and is thrilled to share the same energy and euphoria with fitness enthusiasts in Chicago.

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Meghan Roekle

BollyGroove Cardio Instructor

MeghanDance first.
Think later.
It’s the natural order.
-Samuel Beckett

Meghan is a clinical psychologist working in integrative care and as a professor, but her own personal therapy is dancing.

Meghan has taken several dance classes over the years, secretly hoping she would be “discovered” with her BFF Romita. This childlike fantasy has, unbelievably, come true! She is thrilled to be a part of the bG team and has great love for Bollywood dance—the energy, silliness, sexiness and just plain fun of the music and movement is a great way to stay fit—both physically and mentally!

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Romita Roy

BollyGroove Cardio Instructor

RomitaDance is Romita’s happy place; it always has been and always will be. Before bG, she could be seen strutting her moves on the road, mainly on 290 while other drivers wished she paid just a little more attention to the commute.

Bollywood Groove gave Romita the home she needed to safely unleash the shimmy inside. Now, she loves grooving with her long time bestie and co-teacher, Meghan. Plus, she is a big fan of cardio workouts that trick her mind into believing she is just having fun. Romita is utterly grateful to join the bg family and is excited to share the fun!

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Stephanie Locascio

BollyGroove Cardio Instructor

Although her formal dance training may be limited, the passion Stephanie exudes while performing is hard to miss. To Stephanie dance is a medium which allows her to express her emotions in a truly authentic and unique way. To her, Bollywood dance is an art form which is “exciting, colorful, intricate, and meaningful.”

Teaching at Bollywood Groove lets Stephanie combine her love for dance with her enthusiasm for helping others achieve fitness goals. Over the years Stephanie has taught an array of cardio and conditioning based classes – including hip-hop dance, step aerobics, and toning.

When Stephanie isn’t in the studio (or dance floor!) she can be found in the Village of Deerfield where she works as a Licensed Clinical Therapist providing individual, family, and group counseling services. Stephanie has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kansas and holds a M.S. in Professional Counseling.

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Susanna Hostetter

BollyGroove Cardio Instructor

Like Bollywood itself, Susanna’s dance influences are diverse: she has has studied West African, Latin, jazz, modern, and belly dance. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Dance from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, and currently works for various arts education organizations in Chicago.

Susanna is an avid world traveler, biker, and choreographer. One of her secret life goals has always been to become a Bollywood star….so she’s thrilled to live the dream and be a part of the bG team!

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Monica Kapoor

BollyGroove Kids! Program Advisor

Monica Kapoor

Monica has an extensive background in education. Her teaching philosophy allows children of various abilities to learn and master skills with confidence. Having worked 10 years with children with developmental delays widened her knowledge of teaching methods.

Today, she uses this philosophy to develop classes of students where the appreciation of music becomes an innovative tool in structuring dance. Furthermore, Monica’s training in Montessori philosophy enhances the classes by challenging the children to identify and create their own dance steps to a piece of music. Monica also has a MS in Psychology.

Monica is the business development lead for the Northwest suburbs.

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Barkha Kuvadia Barister

BollyGroove Kids! Instructor

barkhaA true Bollywood fanatic from childhood, dance is an integral part of Barkha’s life. With a foundation in classical dancing, Barkha has been performing and choreographing dances at various cultural and private events for as long as she can remember! Though contemporary Bollywood is her favorite, she thrives on all forms of Indian dances and has been in many national competitions for Garba/Raas. She loves kids and through her bG classes she strives to not only teach children a new art form, but a new culture.

Apart from her passion for dance, she is Marketing executive and a new mother! She is very excited to be a part of the bG team and truly believes that dance coupled with the spice and masala of Bollywood has the power to unite and exude pure joy!

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Priya Raman

BollyGroove Kids! Instructor

Priya started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of 6 and she has been trained in the classical dance form for 7 years. She has given solo and group performances on a number of occasions in school and family functions. Her passion for dance grew when she joined the Dance Club at her university-B.I.T.S,Pilani. She was a dedicated member of the group for 4 years, where she not only choreographed and performed Bollywood numbers in various cultural festivals, but also conducted dance workshops and organized stage shows.

While she was working as a Business Analyst in Bangalore, India, she continued her love for dance by learning new dance forms like Salsa and Zumba. She has been a member of the special potential batch at the Shiamak Davar’s Institute for the Performing Arts, and has performed on Bollywood numbers in various shows. She is very excited to share her love for dance with others and wants to continue dancing!

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Sangeeta Khemani

BollyGroove Kids! Instructor

A hardcore Bollywood junkie, Sangeeta loves dancing. She has been part of several local dance groups in India and performed at various cultural events in India and France. She thrives on all sorts of India folk dances – Garba, Bhangra, Koli, contemporary Bollywood, et al.

Sangeeta is proud to be a member of Bollywood groove family and happy to share the joys of dancing with the next generation.

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Taruna Rai

BollyGroove Kids! Instructor

Taruna first began dancing at the age of 7 when her parents dragged her kicking and screaming to her first Bharatnatyam lesson. Little did she know that she was being introduced to lifelong passion of hers. Since then she has completed her training in both Kathak and Bharatnatyam; and choreographed/performed in numerous shows and festivals.

Taruna’s teachers were a huge influence in her dance careers and is excited to be pass her experience along to BollyGroove Kids!

When she is not dancing Taruna is an IT manager doing Mergers & Acquisitions in the telecommunications industry. She has a MS in Information Systems and an MBA.

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Yarina Liston-Birnbaum

BollyGroove Kids! Instructor

Yarina Liston-Birnbaum has studied and performed dance most of her life – from ballet, jazz, tap and modern to other forms such as African, Salsa, Bharatnatyam and even Egyptian Bellydance, in which she holds intermediate certification. For the years she lived in Los Angeles, attending college, she danced professionally in numerous shows and events. She currently loves the sheer joy of dancing in Bollywood Groove classes.
Yarina is also a 20 +year advanced practitioner of Iyengar Yoga. She received her 200 hour Hatha Yoga certification in 2010 through the Chicago Yoga Center. She also holds a Children’s Yoga Certification through Global Family Yoga (2011). When she is not dancing or practicing yoga she is teaching college students about the religions of India as a professor in the Theology Department at Loyola University.

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Niharika Narain

BollyGroove Dance Troupe Lead

niharikaNiharika has spent her childhood standing in front of the TV set for too many hours and trying to copy all the dance sequences in bollywood movies. Needless to say, bollywood is her absolute favorite dance style but she loves to try new dance styles as well.

Growing up, she was consistently performing in local shows throughout the years in several different cities and countries as she moved often and enjoyed seeing smiles in the crowd no matter who the audience. One of her favorite dance activities was also teaching younger kids anywhere from age 6 to 13 in high school. She then went on to perform and choreograph bollywood dances at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign’s India Night for all four years during college prior to starting work as an IT Strategy Consultant in Chicago.

She is extremely pumped about finding people like her in Bollywood Groove who are just as passionate and obsessed with dancing as her!

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Fariha Nawaz

BollyGroove Dance Troupe Lead

Fariha has been dancing since the tender age of 3. She is classically trained in Bharatanaytam and completed her Arangetram, at age 18. Then continued to dance for 4 years on Ghungroo Dance Company at the University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign. Although she dabbles in jazz, hip hop and tries very hard at Bhangra, she loves dancing to those Bollywood numbers, most likely years after the song is a hit.

Fariha is living in Chicago and works as a counselor downtown. You can find her singing along to Hindi, pretending to know whats going on, adventures with the BG team and enjoying the guacamole at Big Star . Her love and passion of dancing brought her to Bollywood Groove!

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Shweta Tejani

Private Lesson Instructor

ShwetaWebShweta is a Montessori teacher by profession. She teaches the Elementary Class at a School in the West Loop.

Dancing, for her, started off as a mere hobby but now it has transformed into her passion. She began learning Bharat Natyam and Kathak at the age of 6, and went on to complete her formal training in Indian Classical dancing by the time she was 14. Her passion for dancing led her to pursue several different forms of dancing – Salsa and Jazz (trained at the Terence Lewis Dance Academy in Mumbai), and Ballet.

She’s performed several dance events and shows including “Kya Masti Kya Dhoom” on Star Plus. Over the past several years, she has been teaching dance to people of all ages – children and adults alike – and specializes in Choreographing dances for special events (e.g. Sangeets, Engagements, and Weddings). Her passion for dancing is best captured in her own words – “Dancing is not just a hobby, it’s my reason to be!”

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Anish Patel

BollyGroove Cardio Instructor

Anish is a medical student at Rush Medical College. He began dancing as a college undergrad, where he spent 2 years on Bhangra Team and 3 years on Raas Team. These high energy dance teams were great exercise, and it was this combination of dance, exercise and fun which brought Anish to Bollywood Groove.

He is enthusiastic about using Indian music and dance as a medium to help people exercise and be healthy, all while having fun and spending time with others.

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Ishita Mehta

BollyGroove Cardio Instructor

Ishita has an MBA in Finance and has worked with top financial institutions as an Investment lead.However, Dance is and will always be her Passion!

From a very young age, she has learnt different forms of dances like Bharatnatyam, Garba, Few Indian Folk dances, Salsa, Jive, Belly dance. She is not only a trained Bharatnatyam Dancer and but also a licensed Zumba instructor and has extensively trained people along with multiple Bollywood celebrities like Urmilla Matondkar, Pooja Bedi and Zareen Khan as their Dance Instructor.

Ishita has choreographed dance shows for different age groups at various cultural events. Her love for dance only grows further by training people and helping them stay a happy and healthy life.

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Shalini Ravindran

BollyGroove Cardio Instructor

Shalini Ravindran

Shalini Ravindran has learned the classical art of BharataNatyam since the age of 5. Shalini is a scholarship holder for dance from the Indian government and has represented India through this beautiful art form in International festivals in France, London and Amsterdam. Shalini has performed extensively throughout India and also taught both beginners and seasoned dancers.

Shalini’s passion is dance in any form. She has choreographed bollywood dance routines for varoius occassions and enjoys dancing herself!! She truly believes that “Dance is liberating, it is the most beautiful release, an expression of life and art at its highest form”.

Shalini is proud and happy to be part of the Bollygroove family, and to share her passion and love for dance with so many.

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Anju Sharma

BollyGroove Kids! Instructor

AnjuAnju Sharma comes to bG with a versatile background in teaching children of all ages in public and private schools. Anju is a fanatic for Bollywood music, and her 3 children participate in a variety of Bollywood shows as a result of her passion. Anju’s knowledge of classical Bharat Natyam also feeds into her choreography. She has been choreographing dances for performances held in India as well as in the Chicagoland area.

Additionally, Anju has a Masters Degree in Organic Chemistry. Her computer programming skills have led her to also become an IT professional. To top it off, Anju has been involved in the fashion industry as a model.

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