Junkeri's Story

Junkeri is a bellydance school based out of Mumbai, India. What started off as a small bellydance performance troupe is now a celebrated bellydance school worldwide.  In less than a year of classes we have worked with passion and love and have been blessed with nearly 1000 students all across the world. Junkeri is proud to be a sister unit of one of the finest and oldest bellydance schools of India Banjara School of Dance. At the school, which for us is more a state of mind than just a physical school, we hope that dancers find quality training in bellydance and allied arts which helps them to emerge as stronger dancers and human beings. At the school, we value and prioritize mindfulness, inclusivity, self love along with soulful dancing. 

At Junkeri, we see bellydance as an inner light that always guides people to find their true, beautiful, expressive, free selves; and so we say:

"Bring Forth Your Light..."

~Junkeri means firefly in Nepali.

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Junkeri Founder: Damini Sahay

"I didn't choose bellydance, bellydance chose me. It is what makes me a better human every single day of my life."

Damini Sahay, our founder and artistic director is a professional bellydancer, performer, teacher and heads Junkeri with all her love. She is trained in multiple dance styles since a very young age and sharing the joy and freedom of bellydance is her purpose in life. She is a company member of Banjara School of Dance (led by Meher Malik), a Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) practitioner and also owns her own Dance Movement Therapy Organisation The MoveVent project. 

She found bellydance saving her life at a very tough stage in her life and since then it hasn't failed to lift her life and make her a better woman every single day of her life. Thus for her, with Junkeri, the aim is to help dancers find that inner light through the beautiful art of bellydance. 

She has been teaching bellydance since 2012, has performed in Berlin, Cairo, Paris, Sri Lanka, Lisbon and in various cities inside India. She won the group competition in the folklore category at the prestigious Nile Festival Cairo one year into her bellydancing with Banjara School of Dance. She has trained under nearly all the leading master teachers in the community of bellydance including Oriental and fusion styles.

Above laurels, Damini values qualitative measure of life and dance such as depth, honesty, freedom and expression without undermining for herself or her students the importance of discipline, aesthetics, cultural context, musicality, cross training, body awareness and hard work.

"I welcome you with open arms to my school Junkeri and hope you discover the beauty of bellydance while discovering your self."

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Meet the Team

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I'm Kaanchana.
A business graduate turned fashion designer now finally embracing dance with all that I have.
I started my dance journey in my early 20s. I have been trained in hip-hop, contemporary, bollywood, jazz, whacking, bellydance and a few more styles from various dance schools in mumbai.
I have a curious mind, I love to learn as much about this art as I can.
So dance is like a puzzle for me, I find my pieces hidden in every dance style that I explore.

Kaanchana Khadatkar

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Hello! My name is Saavli, I am an ancient Indian culture graduate. I love to travel, explore various cultures and performative arts. My relationship with dance started as a kid and it has evolved ever since, starting with Bharatnatyam to folk dances to now bellydance! Curiosity and empathy are my super powers and I wish to give back by spreading joy and working at the intersection of different cultures; Bellydance along with my other interests enables me to do that! 

Bellydance makes me a better person everyday and helps me stay connected to grace, love and my inner light 

Saavli N Patil

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