Dancing from the heart with Planet J

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Maria Fernandes | NT KURIOCITY

The Navhind Times Planet J, ‘Quintessential dance art’, an introduction to Mystical Persian dance and tribal fusion belly dance, was held on March 17 at Dempo House, Panaji. Conducted by international dance artist from Portugal, Chantelle Gomez, the two and a half hour workshop was open to those above 15 years of age. Participants included not just youngsters but even adults and some senior citizens. The aim of all present was to learn and have fun.

A multi-disciplinary dance artist, and the official ambassador of Odissi and Indian Performing Arts in Portugal, Chantelle, who has been living in India since 2008, began the session with a small introduction of herself and the dances she would be teaching. “My parents were not at all happy about my decision to move to India to learn and embrace dance after completing my masters in marketing. Their concern was how I would earn a living from my chosen path; however I persisted and followed my dream,” said Chantelle and added “Today I am not just happy about my decision but also feel empowered and encouraged.” Her message to the participants came across loud and clear – following one’s dream is important. She then gave a brief history of Persian dance, belly dance and the sub-culture of fusion belly dance from San Francisco.

After the introduction, participants were asked to come on the floor and began the practical session with a Persian style pranam which she explained is centred in the heart. In a large circle, participants unified their energy and performed the pranam as one. Stressing on the importance for gratitude she said: “Be aware that we are very fortunate to be alive and have the freedom to dance and enjoy music. In Iran, dance and music is forbidden.” After a short warm-up session, she taught basic foot work and hand movements besides turning techniques.

Chantelle’s expertise, agility and flexibility were clearly evident as she guided participants through the different dance techniques. For some the exertion was a bit too much and they had to take a break but most participants were on the floor and danced with gusto from the heart.

“It was wonderful to see the women open up and move their bodies in a very beautiful and feminine way. Most important, no one was contrived to belly dance. It truly was a heart-warming experience,” she said at the end of the session.


The workshop was amazing. The energy level was awe-inspiring. Learnt a lot of moves.

Priya Shetty

I really loved the workshop. I would rank it five stars. Chantelle was awesome.

Trisha Fernandes

The workshop was awesome! I enjoyed a lot and learnt not just how to belly dance but also had fun! It was just too good. Thank you Planet J.

Dinesh Hiremath

Very energising and creative dance moves. Kept us on the floor all the time and Chantelle was simply amazing!

Afshan sayed

Chantelle’s movements were extremely graceful and she had such poise and grace coursing through her smile and radiant face. The dance was a well organised lesson to wake us up from a lazy slumber.

Lida Joao

I felt extremely comfortable with the dance and Chantelle. Ma’am you are the best.

Priyanka Arlekar

Chantelle is an amazing dancer and I am happy I got the opportunity to learn from her.

Padmashri Desai

Chantelle gave us insight into a dance form which was full of soulful music and was extremely energetic.

Zoya Joao

We all enjoyed a lot.


The dance form was not only beautiful but absolutely enjoyable as well.

Imrana Mansuri

I learned something new today

Lloyd Gomes

It was great to learn something new today.

Shweta Polji

I had a great time learning a fantastic dance form.

Akash Dodamani

I loved the way Chantelle danced, from her heart and soul.

Alina Correia

I am glad I made it here today from Margao. It was much more than I thought it would be.


Thank you Navhind Times for organising the workshop. I loved the dance routine. It was lovely and peaceful.

Pearl Gomes

Loved the opportunity to learn. I was lucky to have been a part of something that brings worlds and diverse culture together.

Laila Fernandes

Chantelle’s movements were sublime and to watch her perform was divine. It was a prayer in flow.


It was relaxing for the mind and body.

Vibhuti Kamat

Planet J never lets me down! It was a wonderful class and a Sunday well spent.

Rhea Chopra

You radiate a beautiful aura. My compliments. God bless.

Gulab Israni

Superb! Thank you.

Anita Dahl

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