Mother-daughter duo Niveditha Shetty and Ishanvi Hegde have taken the internet by storm through their dance. The journey that started with a casual posting of a dance video on YouTube, today boasts of 1.27 million subscribers.
When asked Niveditha if she ever expected this to become so big, she said, “absolutely not,” with a loud laugh that traversed on a call to us from Dubai, her resident place.
Speaking with Ranggmanch on the occasion of Mother’s Day, Niveditha narrated how she feels that dance has been the passion statement for her mother, herself, and her daughter Ishanvi; and how the duo is winning the hearts of people with their signature— “mother-daughter duo dance”.
The love for dance
An Orthodontist by profession, Niveditha has grown up seeing her mother’s love for dance. She says that whenever there used to be any school contest or program, her mother used to teach her dance. “My mother wasn’t a trained dancer, but she loved dancing and taught me whenever she could,” Niveditha says.
Hailing from Coorg, otherwise known as the Scotland of India, Niveditha did join Bharatnatyam classes but couldn’t continue it for long as her teacher moved out from the city. As time passed, Niveditha went to Mangaluru for her graduation and then for her post-graduation to Dharwad but one thing she carried with herself was her passion for dance.
“I remember even when there was a college performance in Dharwad, my mom used to catch a bus from Coorg to Dharwad to see my dance performance in college. She has always been very supportive,” Niveditha recalls.
In 2008, Niveditha got married and in 2015, she moved to Abu Dhabi with her husband. She even got a job there and settled. “My love for dance was so much that I started performing in the community programs, though I didn’t learn dancing my love for Bollywood made me dance to its tunes.
Fast forward to 2014, Niveditha got blessed with a baby girl Ishanvi and four years later she found that her daughter too has an inclination for dance. “I made sure that I would enroll Ishanvi for classical dance,” Niveditha says.
Ishanvi joined Kathak classes at the age of 4 and Bharatnatyam at the age of 5. She is 7 years old now and is learning both dance forms.
A performance that hooked the audience
In December 2017, Niveditha casually created a YouTube account and posted a video of her community dance program. “My intention to create the YouTube channel was to let my family and friends in India see me dancing. At that time little did I know that I would gain so many subscribers or anything of this sort existed,” Niveditha says.
For two years, Niveditha kept posting her dance video once in a blue moon.
“While Ishanvi was growing up, I saw her interest towards dancing. She used to notice me when I used to practice for any programme, and try to copy the same steps. One fine day, my husband told me why don’t I shoot a dancing video with Ishanvi as he thought we looked cute together dancing,” Niveditha narrates.
The duo prepped for “Kudiye ni” song. “Ishanvi and I had a similar dress, so we decided to wear that and started practicing. We posted the first video together in June 2019.”
Niveditha says her husband recorded the video on a mobile phone and she edited it to upload on YouTube.
Though the video didn’t do well on YouTube, Niveditha says one of the Facebook groups shared that video on its page, and Niveditha saw huge traction in that. This episode boosted Niveditha’s and so the journey began of the mother-daughter duo dance performance.
2020 was ‘the year’
Niveditha and Ishanvi didn’t stop there but continue entertaining people so much that today the duo’s Instagram has 109K followers. Today as well, Niveditha’s husband records the video and she edits it herself.
Niveditha says that 2020 was ‘the year’ for them as people were locked down due to pandemic COVID-19 and they used to navigate social media for their entertainment.
“We received huge traction in 2020. People used to message me saying they love our dance performance and that we should put more content. This made me a lot more happy.”
The duo is seen performing classical or semi-classical dance forms and Niveditha has a strong approach towards the dance form. She says, “Ishanvi is just 7, and getting such a small child to perform any item song wouldn’t be good as per me. The child should have that innocence in dance.”
“I feel what my mother did with me, I am doing with Ishanvi; making her love her passion,” Niveditha says adding that for her ‘trends’ don’t matter but that her daughter performs better than her last video.