Among the surprising bits of information we learned recently is that American rapper and singer-songwriter Doja Cat is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer. Born as Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini in 1995 to parents of Jewish and Zulu descent, the singer spent her early years in a California-based ashram helmed by Late Jazz musician Alice Coltrane.
The Say So singer practised Hinduism for four years while living at the Sai Anantam Ashram located in the Santa Monica Mountains of Agoura. There, she wore head-covering scarves, sang Bhajans at Temples, and trained in Bharatanatyam. She later moved on to breakdancing classes. In her high school years, she joined a professional pop-locking troupe and competed in dance battles throughout Los Angeles.
In a 2021 conversation with Billboard, she looked back at her life and talked about learning the Indian classical dance form. She said, “I feel like it taught me to be emotive and control my body in a special way.“
In another old interview with The FADER, she had talked about her years at Ashram. She said, “It was really like constricting for me, even though it was beautiful and there was a lot of nature. I felt like I couldn’t be a kid cos you have to wrap your head and cover your everything, and you can’t show your shoulders. It was a huge part of my life, for sure.”
“And then we moved out. And I ditched it completely. But I really loved the visual aspect of it. The music was beautiful. It was great” she added.
Now, ain’t this shocking?
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