nisha bhaga

I am a performing artist, choreographer and aspiring mental health social worker, with a passion for giving voice to cultural and eastern dance, within the western dominated creative arts industry. I hold a combined Bachelor of Business (Management) and Bachelor of Applied Science (Biochemistry) from the Queensland University of Technology. In 2017, I completed a Master of Social Work at Queensland University of Technology. I have ambitions to use my knowledge of biochemistry, cultural cooking and Indian classical dance, folk dance and commercial Bollywood to assist in supporting the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

 

I grew up in the Queensland Gujarati community (Gujarati Association of Queensland — GAQ) and enjoy performing at community events. I have also developed an in-depth knowledge of the diverse and linguistic cultural diversities shared in the South Asian communities.

My history of dance began as a Bharatnatyam Dancer (1998–2015) at the Nadanajali School of Dance under the guidance of my Guru Smt Chitra Yogi Shri Kanta.

During my senior years at the Nadanajali School of Dance I experienced the joy of choreographing Bollywood folk dance for aspiring young dancers.

 

As a teacher and performer for Dance Masala, I have gained experience in assisting, creating and running workshops for various schools, community events and organisations such as Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma, Multicultural Development Association and Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

 

In 2013, I worked collaboratively with Lillian Shewring co-founder and director of MARACCAS — Mobile Active Recreation and Creative Community Art Space, to develop a session that was flexible to the needs of a diverse group of people from low socio-economic backgrounds, aimed at rebuilding a community. Under the MARACCAS banner I received training in how to use the ECSSARE art-based framework to facilitate workshops and Cultural Awareness training about Indigenous and Aboriginal customs and protocols.

 

In 2015, I joined the Kinetic Collective crew, and in 2016 worked collaboratively with Erika to set-up a 9-week street dance program for youth at risk of homelessness in tandem with Brisbane Youth Service. I also completed a placement at Brisbane Youth Service, providing crisis support at the service’s hub and provided Casework and Case Management support to young women at the Centre for Young Women and Families.

 

In 2017, I completed a placement with Brook RED (Recovery Empowerment and Development) community mental health organisation, providing one-on-one peer support and range of group work activities with members. In collaboration with Brook RED I was humbled to set-up a 4-week Bollywood Dance Movement and Yoga program with members.

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