Dance with Pride with Naach for Fun
"I want Naach For Fun to be an “all inclusive community”. It wouldn't matter what people identify as or what they look like, Naach For Fun would be a safe space for people to come together, and find their tribe of like minded folks." - Sue Aranha
Naach For Fun is a Mississauga based dance organization that focuses on community building through dance. It is a community where dancers can come together, to create unique pieces that they can be proud of. Along with solo/group workshops, as well as wedding choreography services, they also uplift local vendors that they have worked with in the past by highlighting their services once a month on their page.
In this blogpost, we interviewed Sue Aranha, the creator of Naach for Fun, about her drive and journey through fostering an inclusive community that is fun for everyone.
What is the origin story of Naach for fun? What led you to get started with it?
I’ve been a professional dancer for over 10 years, but at about year 7 I had to quit due to personal reasons. As much as I loved dancing for stage shows, wedding performances or creating videos, I stopped finding my craft as fulfilling anymore. Fast forward to 2019, there were reports of the Amazon forests being ablaze. I had contacted my local church to see what we can do to help as a community (organizing food drives, charity drives, etc) but, that was all in vain. That's when I decided to take matters into my own hands and hosted a Charity Dance Workshop for the Amazon Conservation Centre. Although the amount I raised was small, I further realized that my passion for helping the community can successfully coincide with my passion for dance. Since then, I have tried to create fun but meaningful content from my love for dance.
What is your mission and goal with Naach for fun?
With Naach For Fun, I want to spread joyous positivity in people’s lives through dance. I also want to uplift communities, represent marginalized people and try to make a difference through it. I see Naach For Fun being a safe space for people to express themselves through the art of dance.
Tell us what dancing as a medium to express yourself and your work means to you?
I am the sort of person that moves at a 100 miles/min; so dancing really helps me slow things down a bit. It helps me exercise patience, learn a lot about my body and it gives me an outlet to express my emotions on tough days.
What does pride mean to you? As a person of colour, what are some challenges that are unique to your identity as a queer person?
I used to be scared to live my life my own way, I used to think about the same question that every South Asian person thinks about, “what would people say”. But now, I have fully embraced the fact that, we only have one life to live and we should do so wholeheartedly. Which is why at this very stage in my life, Pride to me means “being unapologetically yourself.”
If you wanted to give advice to your younger self, from 10-15 years ago, what would it be?
I would tell my younger self to keep fighting the good fight - to continue being the black sheep of the family, to continue challenging the patriarchy/the rules, to continue standing her ground because that will make her the person who I am today.
What empowers you today?
My family, friends and the community that I have created around me in the last 2 years truly empower me and give me the confidence to be who I am and do what I do. Lastly, my incredibly supportive husband also is my source of empowerment. It would have taken me even longer to be here if it wasn’t for his unrelenting support.
What is your vision for yourself, Naach For Fun and the world?
I want Naach For Fun to be an “all inclusive community”. It wouldn't matter what people identify as or what they look like, Naach For Fun would be a safe space for people to come together, and find their tribe of like minded folks. I also want to push the envelope with every performance/video that I put out; because if I can influence change in the mindset of even one person, then I have made a difference.
What are some future projects that you are working on? How can the readers support your work and vision?
Because of the pandemic it has been a little tough to meet up with dancers. However, I am working on 2 major projects right now:
1) The second instalment of the Bollywood Reimagined project, where we continue to showcase positive Queer Representation in South Asian media. This is where I collaborate with other South Asian Queer dancers from Toronto to remake iconic Bollywood Songs, so the masses can see that Queer folks fall in love and also have larger than life romances. Seeing that South Asian Media is consumed by billions of people, having accurate representation of different spectrums of sexuality will spark positive conversations regarding them.
2) The second project I'm working on is regarding Body Positivity in the Dance community. A lot of plus sized dancers find themselves being put down solely because of what they look like. This project will tackle those narratives and how dancers have overcome them, again in the form of a dance video.
Check out Naach for Fun to learn more about their amazing work for the community!