Dancing to freedom.

Indian arts helped Rupal Maru weather a painful childhood. Now she offers their power to others. She talks to Davina Patel c/o

As a child growing up in a violent home, Rupal Maru found an outlet in Indian dance and henna painting. Now a primary school teacher, she has set up a business with a positive social impact, RuShee, with her sister, Sheetal, through which she hopes Indian arts will ‘help others as they helped me’.

RuShee was created seven years ago, after Rupal and Sheetal entered a business competition. As well as offering henna and dance for weddings, they deliver workshops at community events, and to schools and companies. Rupal explains the impact: ‘Straight away it brings a smile to people’s faces. That’s one thing. And then you see kids who are a bit unsure and apprehensive. At the end of the session you see them being more open, confident and participating.’

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