Britain's Got Talent meets Canada's Got Talent!

It was lovely collaborating with the London School of Bollywood while I was in London last month, and playing lead in this piece choreographed by Prasanth Palliath. Loved bonding over our #gottalent experiences and creating art together ❤️ Special thank you to Shiva Raichandani for bringing us together - I knew from the first time we spoke that we would connect the way we did. I'm in love with the way you inspire. Check out the full video and don't forget to subscribe to these guys!

Mere Dholna: The Radha & Krishna story

Welcome back #dancewithSL fam! This piece was originally performed as part of my touring show "Roots: A Journey Through India." I'm so drawn to the elegance of this song, and wanted to tell the love story of Radha and Krishna through it. In this piece, Radha and Krishna dance as one, and, just like in their epic tale, Krishna leaves (told through him frozen in time). Radha yearns for him and it's her love that acts as the force that brings him back to her.

This video was shot and edited by the amazing folks at Ethnic Channels Group (ECG). This piece is part of a larger documentary celebrating #Canada150, focusing on the South Asian community in Canada. The director, Irina Volkova, is an amazing artist and producer and did such an amazing job illustrating the diaspora through South Asian music and dance. Watch the full documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoA9tduNy9M&t=105s
or at www.soundsofcanadaseries.com

xo, SL

I traveled all the way to London for some Bollywood realness!

HELLO DANCEWITHSL FAM! It's been a hot minute since I've posted on my channel and that's because (you'll already know if you follow me on Instagram)....I've been in LONDON! I journeyed for the first time ever to the UK to teach a Bollywood Master Class and do a special collab (details will be on all my social media about that one!). Thank you so much to the lovely people at Absolute Bollywood for hosting my class at Pineapple Dance Studios, and the BIGGEST thank you to all these talented and hungry souls that came to develop themselves as professional Bollywood dancers. It's the most important thing to always keep training and it was so refreshing to see a group of such talent that completely recognized and embraced the challenge. London, we will meet again soon :)

x, SL
 

Presenting the #ANAChallenge!

CONTEST ALERT!

I got together with UpsideDown and Urban Asian Music to bring you the #ANAChallenge! Enter for your chance to win some CASH to help your dance & music endeavors....or just go on a shopping spree.

1st place: $500
2nd place: $250
3rd place: $100

HOW TO ENTER: 
1. Make a cute video and upload it on YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook
2. Tag @djupsidedown @shereenladha @urbanasianmusic (Must be following these accounts)
3. Use the hashtag #ANAchallenge
Submit by July 30, 2017 11:59PM EST. Winners will be announced on Aug 5!

Music: Aaja Ni Aaja - UpsideDown
Choreography: Rohit Rumpal
Director: Anil Mohabir
Cinematography/Edit: Michael Rae (http://raer.co)
My outfit & Jewelry: Chandan Fashion
Hair & Tikka Placement: RJK Mehndi

Partnering with Happiness2Others to Raise Money for the Aga Khan Foundation!

This week I'm partnering up with Happiness 2 Others this week in a friendly competition with #ShijiniDas to raise money for the Aga Khan Foundation!

For 50 years, the Aga Khan Foundation has been committed to working with communities across Africa and Asia to break the cycle of poverty. The Aga Khan Foundation is different. They don’t just provide services or goods. 100% of your donations go to the programs. They dedicate themselves to partnering with communities to improve their quality of life for decades and generations. As a member of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the world’s leading poverty solutions networks, AKF makes long term investments, from early childhood programs to universities that benefit 2 million students every year. They build hospitals and schools, to make sure everyone has access to world-class institutions. They work with people to serve their community and build their local economy. AKF’s work impacts tens of millions in over 30 countries every year. How are they able to do this? Through partnerships with businesses, local organizations, governments, and people like you!

Make your donations here: https://www.happiness2others.org/ Last day to donate is THIS SUNDAY!

Thanks for your support, my dancewithSL fam!

Jeena: A Meeting

Happy video day dancewithSL fam!
I got to collaborate with the AMAZING Rajat "Rocky" Batta when I travelled to LA a few weeks ago, and also teach 3 classes at his school "RRB Dance Company"
This one is about a chance encounter - one of those that leads to feel something to instantly and unreasonably.
Enjoy!
 

Baarish - Storytelling Through Movement

Happy video day my dancewithSL fam!
Here’s my latest piece of work to Baarish from the new film Half Girlfriend (0:57 guy doesn’t make an appearance, but hopefully Gowtham @gothamTO will do!) This song is so great and I find it’s always the vocals that really get me in songs like this. Lately, I’ve been feeling really inspired by lyrics and melody, and I’m focused on creating little pieces of art in my videos rather than just straight choreography videos – hope you guys are down with this new direction ☺ Don’t worry, I’ll be back with the Bollywood Hip Hop to all your favourite Bollywood hits soon! Thanks to my friend Anil Mohabir (@anilmohabir) for filming this! Check him out (he’s your expert on all things 360 video!)
Don’t forget to like, comment, SUBSCRIBE, hit that notification button, and ENJOY ☺
xo, SL

Mastani & her Angels - Aayat

Happy Wednesday everyone!

My new video is officially out on YouTube! 

This piece has been a long time in the making for me. I loved this song from Bajiao Mastani and was so inspired by the look and beauty of the whole film. I started choreographing this piece back in June 2016 and finally brought it to life as part of Roots: A Journey Through India. I love everything about Aayat (and Bajirao Mastani) from its epic Bollywood proportions to the graceful dancing with Indian classical movement and the lyrics to every song. Don't forget to like, comment, subscribe, and request my next song! 

Thank you to my team that helped me bring this piece to life:
My outfit & Jewelry courtesy of: Chandan Fashion (@chandanfashion) 
My angels: Shaila Premji (@shailapremji), Simran Manghirmalani (sim_sim_ma), Manushi Patel (manushi.patel), and Felicia Hyman (fefenostalgia)
My videographer: Gowtham Ratnaraj (@gothamTO)
My on set assistant: Rahim Printer (@printerror1)

Check out the pictures and video below!

SL.

New Remix, Throwback Costumes!

First off, SO MANY MEMORIES with this song! I actually used to dress up in this costume and make my brother do all Akshay Kumar's parts (he probably hates me for it now, but I know he secretly had fun then).

It's always so fun creating pieces with one of my faves Pratik Marathe. He's the funniest guy you'll ever meet and just makes shoots so much fun. 

Check it out! xo, SL

New Video Alert: Badri Ki Dulhania!

This week's video is to Badri Ki Dulhania - a new song that I absolutely LOVE! Also love that it's not just a remake of some 90s song (my current pet peeve). I created this one with my brother from another mother Rahim (@printerror1) and Gotham Photography (@gothamTO). Enjoy & don't forget to subscribe to my channel! :)

Getting personal with CBC Arts

I'm so proud to have been profiled as a feature artist on CBC Arts "Exhibitionists" for a special International Women's Day episode. This piece was created by Nile and Jorden from Through The Eyes. We started this project back in December when I met them for the first time at a coffee shop. We talked stories - why I dance, what motivates me as an artist. They really got to know and understand my story and told it in the most beautiful way. 
P.S. That's my little cousin who plays the younger me! She was so excited to be on TV :)

Check it out here

New Video Alert: The Humma Song!

Y'all went IN on the requests for this one so HERE YOU GO! The original Humma from Bombay is actually one of my favourite songs of all time and this is a rare remix that actually did justice to the original. I'm even more excited about this choreo because my dancers will be performing it in front of AR Rahman HIMSELF this Saturday at the Ideal Dreams AR Rahman Tribute show!

Videography by the amazing Safira Halani - @safirahalani 

PS GET ALL MY BOYS SWAGGY DANCEWITHSL MERCH HERE

It's my birthday!

Instead of doing this ritual on New Years, I usually take the time to reflect on the past year on my birthday (I guess it helps that it falls in January at the beginning of the year!).

This year...

  • I found my dream job and moved to a cute new condo downtown Toronto
  • I produced my first viral YouTube video that got picked up by BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, etc., and was shared all around the world
  • I judged a whole lot of competitions including the ULTIMATE - Bollywood America in Cleveland
  • I was in my first national campaign for Ford Canada as a social influencer, on billboards all over Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver
  • I produced my first video at the YouTube space in Toronto and formed an AMAZING YouTube Toronto community
  • I choreographed the Opening & Closing Ceremonies at the Jubilee Games in Dubai with the most amazing team of dancers & coordinators
  • I produced my first stage show Roots - A Journey Through India (which already had two performances in Fredericton and Toronto, and where I formed my new family)
  • I was named one of YouTube's Top 15 Up & Coming Canadian creators as part of YouTube NextUp

...And I danced a WHOLE lot!

Last year, I never thought I would top 2015's accomplishments, but here I am wondering where I found the time to sleep all year, and feeling all kinds of excitement for the year ahead of me.

Thank you to everyone who's been along on this ride with me over the last year. Your support and encouragement means everything to me.

To accomplishing exponentially more this year,
SL.

A Look Back at 2016...

Happy New Year From Laila!

Happy New Year y'all! Here's a little something I put together for a special edition NYE video! It has my favourite filmy dancer, Pratik Marathe, in it it and was filmed by @GothamTO!

I love the original version of this song - Laila O Laila - and it's rare that a new version does the original justice, but I was still super inspired by the sound of this new track Laila Main Laila from Raees (doesn't hurt that my fave Shah Rukh Khan is in it too!)

Like, comment, subscribe, and enjoy! :)

New Master Class Video!

Hey fam! Check out the video from my latest master class! I choreographed to "Nachna Aaonda Nahin" (a remake on Nachna Onda Nei - one of my all time faves!). Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, & enjoy :)