Artistic Director and Co-Founder
Nileeka has been dancing from the age of 7 and is additionally trained in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Lyrical, Street, Hip-Hop and several other dance styles. Trained initially at the Spotlight School of Dance and later Pineapple Performing Arts School, she has a strong background in commercial dance. During the past 10 years her focus has turned to Bollywood, Bhangra and Semi-Classical Indian dance styles. Mentored by Bollywood Grooves Founder & Director, Vandana Alimchandani, Nileeka’s business ideas and unique choreography did not go unnoticed. She was soon offered the role of Assistant Manager at Bollywood Grooves and stayed in this position until the company closed in September 2010.
Despite her years of training, Nileeka never dreamed that she could make a career doing what she loves. Nileeka graduated from The University of Warwick with a 2:1 in Law and the Warwick Prize for ‘Excellence in Learning’. A self-confessed over-achiever, Nileeka’s strong-willed attitude and perseverance have helped her make BDL the brand it is today. Part of her charm is her passion to succeed; she always believes in herself and in others. She speaks her mind and has an honest, intelligent and compassionate approach towards her clients & students.
Nileeka’s first job was in Advertising, which taught her about branding – already the cogs had started working and she was thinking about what life would be like if ever she started her own brand! She then worked for ‘The Times’ Newspaper in the Sales, which gave her an insight into strategy, planning in business and reaching targets and goals – something she that is evident from BDL’s achievements so far. In the end, Nileeka left Law, Media and Sales for Bollywood, mainly because she loves it, but also because she found someone great to do it with! Jennie and Nileeka have been running Bollywood Dance London now since 2010, having first met 7 years ago when they both worked for Bollywood Grooves. They are fondly referred to as the ‘Dynamic Duo’ by the staff at Danceworks!
The thing that Nileeka loves most about her job is teaching and meeting people. As well as teaching weekday evening classes at Danceworks, she also teaches the weekly slots at Pineapple and LA Fitness. On Saturday afternoons, she can be found teaching hen parties or first dance choreography to many an apprehensive bride and groom! She trains the professional BDL troupe and runs the BDL Kids Academy on Sundays. Nileeka also offers private classes from her home-studio in Shad Thames. If you ever have a one-to-one class or first dance lesson with her, the first thing she will ask you is if you’d like a cup of tea…so the last thing you should know is that she makes an excellent brew!
Accomplishments include: WINNER of the 2012 Asian Achievers Award for Contribution to Arts, Media & Culture, Face of MOVE IT 2012 representing Bollywood Dance, Face of American Express Departures & Centurion Magazine’s ‘India Issue’, Choreographer for Nestle’s Flat Belly Workout, Guest appearance on BBC2′s Newsnight, Mystery Guest on Russell Howard’s Good News, Guest Appearance on ITV1′s The Alan Titchmarsh Show, Guest Appearance on BBC1′s Blue Peter, 5* rating by The Daily Mirror for Nileeka’s BDL Drop In Classes (2011), Quoted by The Daily Telegraph on the ‘Indian Dancing in Schools’ debate with David Cameron (2012)
Performances include: Adnan Sami Concert (Wembley Arena), The Asian Music Awards 2011, 2012, Diwali on The Square 2010, 2011, 2012 (Trafalgar Square), Career Academies (O2 Arena), Mardi Gras Festival (Sadler’s Wells), Disney Channel Kids Awards (London Excel Arena), Monte Carlo Bay Hotel (Monaco), Montebelli (Tuscany), Mount Lavinia Beach Hotel (Sri Lanka).
Choreography for music videos/stage: Labh Janjua, JoSH, Arjun, GoldKartz, Ash King.