The Navhind Times Planet J, ‘Quintessential dance art‘, an introduction to Mystical Persian dance and tribal fusion belly dance, was held on Sunday, 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. The participants included not just youngster 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,” she said in the introduction. “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, that following one’s dream is important. She then gave a brief history of Persian dance, bellydance 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 the turning techniques.

Chantelle’s expertise, agility and flexibility were clearly evident as she guided the participants through all 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 bellydance. 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 5 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 energizing 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

We all enjoyed a lot.


Superb! Thank you.

Anita Dahl

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

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

Priyanka Arlekar

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 lved 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 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

At workshop hosted today at Dempo House by Navhind Times Kurocity,
Participants learnt techniques of the infinite spiral and moving to rhythm of Sufi devotional poetry

Workshop conducted by Chantelle Gomez – dance artist from Portugal,
Trained in Odissi, tribal fusion belly dance and Persian dance mystical

Understanding these dance forms requires a certain level of maturity,
Dance is more than movement, it is truth and an expression of divinity

Tribal fusion belly dance fuses American tribal & American cabaret style belly dance,
With elements of hip-hop and popping as well as, flamenco, Kathak and Odissi dance

Indian fusion belly dance uses very basic steps and stances of kathak to give form to the fusion,
With subtle eye nuances of odissi & also sculpturesque poses and embellished mudras’ infusion

Persian classical dance is the refined format of all central Asian dances and Armenian ballet,
A combination of Persian classical dance and Sufi whirling, inspired by words of Rumi, the poet

Chantelle Gomez started with pranam in Indian and classical Sufi devotion,
Sharing insights on ‘maya-8-taqseem’ & the dance-yoga inter-connection

In today’s session we experienced, through hands, foot and eyes, poetry in motion,
She created ‘Circle of energy’ rooted with the deep intensity of ‘looking within’ emotion

The swaying dance movements were sublime,
In those moments we came closer to the divine

Every step she taught was full of sensuality and grace,
With each step aches & pains disappeared without a trace

Matching every step with her step was initially difficult,
Yet today we learnt a new form of devotional dance cult

“‎Dancing is not just getting up painlessly, like a leaf blown on the wind; dancing is when you tear your heart out and rise out of your body to hang suspended between the worlds.” – Rumi

Saloni & Suri