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“We must offer more encouragement to our youngsters so that they can follow their passions,” says Ashley Lobo

On National Youth Day, the choreographer and educator wants societal pressures to ease so that young people can soar in the direction of their dreams

National Youth Day is celebrated on January 12 all over the country. For Australian-Indian choreographer and educator Ashley Lobo, this day is particularly meaningful as his dance institute,The Danceworx (TDX) has been at the forefront of mainstreaming contemporary dance education for young aspirants in India. Ashley consistently collaborates with international educators, choreographers and dancers to empower Indian students so that they can learn from the best and be the best on the global stage.

As someone who observes the personal struggles of young people very closely, Ashley says, ” We generally put a lot of societal and familial pressures on the young. Our country’s youth aren’t encouraged to follow their dreams or pursue their passions enough.”

While teaching dance to his students, Ashley often communicates to them that those who follow their dreams, inevitably succeed. He says, “I always tell my students that success and money come if you put in the right amount of hard work and sincerity in what you do. India’s youth is very talented, and has the resilience and the natural ability to grasp new things faster but we need to encourage them to dream fearlessly. “

Ashely concludes, “I want to consistently expose our dancers to the best international talents so that they absorb what it takes to succeed internationally. But unless they get support from their families to follow unusual vocations, they cannot grow beyond a certain point. Unless, a student is allowed at home to dream of a future in dance, even exposure to international artists from premier ballet and contemporary companies will not be enough.”

On National Youth Day, he reminds us that while the young need roots, they also need wings and as a society, we must let them grow in the direction of their dreams.