Motivational story

Single parent, working mom, belly dancer

Name : Chitra Kannan

Age : 58

Current profession : Vice President, Shetron Limited

To Chitra, a single parent, and working mom, a new life began at 50. After she turned 18, her daughter encouraged her to begin pursuing her own dreams. That’s when Chitra got her calling and felt what she refers to as - a sense of exhilaration.

Dancing seemed to be on the cards and Chitra took to it easily, kicking things off with ‘Salsa’. While the initial feeling of the awkwardness of being among people much younger wore off, she realised that dance knows no barriers. She progressed into a variety of dance forms - Latin ballroom, contemporary, hip-hop, and, of course, quintessential Bollywood.

While traveling abroad for work, she was introduced to the Belly Dance, which helped uncover her true passion for dancing. She signed up for a Belly Dance workshop as soon as she got back home. Pushing aside the apprehensions, sniggers, and comments about how a woman her age would able to move her body to the belly dancing beat, she pursued her passion with courage and determination.

Dancing taught her to be happy in her own skin, to be confident of herself and not let age be an inhibitor. Since then, Chitra has trained in 21 dance styles (battling knee pains and more) and continues to add new dances to her repertoire - Bharatnatyam, Flamenco, Kizomba… She also performs professionally, her most notable being at Mumbai's first Latin Dance Theatre and the International Belly Dance festival in Greece.

Chitra also has a passion for traveling (21 countries and counting). When she feels bogged down with the rigors of the day-to-day, she takes off to some offbeat location where she can get in touch with the wildlife enthusiast in her heart. Chitra also paints occasionally, she finds it relaxing.

She and her daughter also help promote sports among the differently-abled community through the Phoenix Sports NGO. She does all of this while continuing to work her way up the corporate ladder and giving women a better platform to stand on in the workplace.

For Chitra, ‘Age’ is merely a number, and living nonstop is what she aims to continue doing. Her words of wisdom to those like her are - be confident, self-motivated, and express and follow your choices.

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