Sunday Sep 25, 2022
Sunday Sep 25, 2022

Glory Thapa: Promoting ballet in Nepal

Ballet is a form of dancing which needs flexibility, balance, and control over your body.

2022 Mar 21, 7:57,

Twenty-seven years old Glory Thapa, who lives in Bhairahawa, started dancing ever since she was a child. Being a 90’s kid, the major source for her recreation would be television programs. That was the time when she happened to see a ballet performance on one of the channels. Seeing their control, balance, and flexibility left her in awe. That was when she got motivated and started working on her flexibility herself as there was no dance center at that time. 

Thapa says, “I think I was born a dancer, because I don’t even remember when I started dancing. After growing up, I started my ballet journey at Sushila Arts Academy in 2015. At the age of 20, I was enrolled in my first ever dance class.

“Starting my dance class that late had its ups and downs. I’d like to give a special thanks to Alize Biannic, and the founder of the academy, Yulia Koirala, for collaborating and introducing ballet in Nepal.”

For Thapa, ballet was like a dream come true but, more than that, it was a big reality check for her, as she had to adapt to the learning environment, the intense training, the long hour exercises, and the emotional rides of not being able to be as fast and good as others were. So, ballet has taught her patience and discipline.

“My parents were supportive and understanding. They were quite positive about me shifting to Kathmandu, just for my passion for dancing though it was challenging for them,” she adds. "But here I proudly present myself as a daughter of Moti Lal Chohan and Meena Thapa, and as a dancer.”

Thapa has obtained a degree of Bachelor’s in Dance, mainly focusing on Bharatnatyam. That is why she had to learn different forms of Nepali folk and classical dances along with Indian classical. 

However, her practice is more in ballet, and, personally, she is drawn more to contemporary dance form. "So, I’d say ballet is like a mother to me but contemporary must be my love if this makes any sense. I couldn’t find better words to explain this relationship. It’s too complicated,” she tries to explain.

Ballet just happened to her unintentionally while she was preparing for a musical show called “Ruslan’s Amazing Adventure”. She says, “As a company dancer, you’re provided ballet, contemporary and pilates training, which used to be more intense than the other normal paid classes plus long hours but used to be free for us. So, I thought I might as well go for it.”  

To learn ballet, one requires a lot of endurance. You need to make sure one particular muscle is working while doing one step and, for that to happen, you need to have muscle memory which is only done by training with lots and lots of practice. Then the flexibility comes along with strength; you cannot just be flexible in ballet. You cannot exceed a certain weight, you need to eat diets. So, it costs more than just a step that you’re seeing.

“I think the interest was always there; it was just the platforms and opportunities that were missing. Definitely nowadays we’ve managed to reach out to a wider audience through social media,” she says. The good thing is now people know it’s also available in Nepal. 

Also, you can see more students enrolling in ballet than any other form in Sushila Arts Academy. All credit goes to the internet, through which people are exploring different possibilities of dance collaborations. 

Thapa used to teach kids and company interns ballet. It was easier to perform than teaching ballet, she says. “Teaching is something that is not my cup of tea. However, the positive part of teaching is you don’t forget your learnings,” she explains. 

Thapa’s plan was to obtain a Master’s Degree in Dance abroad as she is more into western forms. However, due to some reasons, she wasn’t able to stick to her plans but she will definitely be involved in some sort of dance related training. 

“My dream is to open an academic institution just for dance, where you can study most of the widely known dance forms and get an educational degree. I aspire to be a pioneer in the dance industry. You can definitely see me doing dance related projects in future,” she says. 


dancing Glory Thapa Bhairahawa ballet Control balance flexibility Sushila Arts Academy Alize Biannic Yulia Koirala patience DISCIPLINE Kathmandu western forms
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