School Kills Artists

School Kills Artists

As children, most of us were often told, inside and outside of home, to choose from limited career choices, including becoming an engineer, a doctor, or an architect. I remember people around me telling me, "beta, bade hoke doctor ya engineer banna". Few people encouraged following an unconventional path of becoming an artist, a dancer, or a fitness coach.

I remember when I was in KinderGarten, I was fascinated by one of my neighbours who was really good at sketching. I would see him and try to mimic him; draw over books and surfaces with chalks and pencils. Within a few months, my parents and teachers noticed that I could draw animals without even looking at a picture. Soon after, I started learning how to sketch with my neighbour's help. Eventually, I got into martial arts because I loved action heroes and their movies. I was so dedicated to my karate training that I earned two promotions, and I finished the standard 5-year course in 4 years. There was always an urge to learn new things and now when I think, it was everything in the artistic realm.

All these things occurred during my school years, and I always considered them as hobbies. I never seriously thought about pursuing them as a career, especially because of the demanding amount of studying that required most of my time. I achieved 90% in my 10th boards and wanted to become a veterinary doctor because of my love for animals and my parents

were supportive of this career choice.

What I’m about to say next is what makes me who I am, AN ARTIST. I also grew up watching reality dance shows and would learn Bollywood dance steps from YouTube videos. However, it was only when college began when I joined a dance class. I joined as a student and within a year's time, I started assisting and teaching there. This is when I knew I wanted to explore the field of art more than medicine. It didn't stop me from finishing my degree; I took my entrance exams and passed with good numbers, but something didn't feel right. I dropped medicine and chose to do all the things that I'm good at. I got involved in college festivals and received laurels in dancing, sketching, clay modelling, and sports. This was it! Something that made me feel alive! I felt like I could do so much more and earn a living out of something that I LOVED doing.

It continued with me being the President of Students' Council for two years and the Cultural Secretary of the college for one year. These positions helped me learn so many skills that I could never really learn in school; namely, managerial, operational, communication, negotiation, cultural relations, and many more. My time in college changed my perspective of career choices.

Initially, my father didn’t support event management and dancing, as my career, but seeing me progress over a few years and with my mother's constant support, I pulled it off!

I wish schools had such hobbies as subjects that we can pursue, and not just have them as part of inter and intra school competitions. Ever since I've joined this field of dance, I've come across so many minds that are inclined towards the so-called hobbies and not conventional subjects of career. It would help if I was taught much earlier in life about these art related careers. It would be easier for me in my later life.

The foundations of dancing, singing, sketching, sports are taught as subjects and not us goodies while in school it will help a lot of students to become someone they would want to be!

Our mainstream form of education blocks the child’s mind from understanding what they actually want to do or want to be. It took me a-lot of years to realise what I truly wanted to do while some of them wouldn’t even have that insight in them. Today, I have a dance company, Dance You Way, which specialises in Sangeet choreographies and an event company, ToTheCulture, where I work as a core team member; from dance battles, workshops, competitions, to organising events across the country.

If schools allowed students to think outside the box, pursue their dreams, uniqueness, and who they are, we could have had more artists.