MEET JOYA KAZI
" I'm a product of the Heaven's blessings, my Gurus' teachings, and Mother Earth's gracious stages. Without them and the support of my family, I wouldn't be able to do what I love to do."
@joyakazi | #joyakazi | #kaziography
Born in Mumbai and originally from the Bay Area, Joya is a Los Angeles-based Choreographer. She double majored in Political Science and Theatre & Dance with a minor in Managerial Economics from the University of California, Davis, where she focused on the study of Choreography and Production Management. She remains ever grateful to her parents for their love, support, and for the years of driving her near and far to learn from the very best.
She is the Director of Shake Dance Tour, the first touring dance convention promoting World Dance education, which received Commendation from the City of Milpitas for "unique & unparalleled contributions of Dance Arts to the community". Joya was recently awarded The Leela Institute for the Arts Fellowship for promising artists, teachers, and cultural ambassadors to aid in placing quality arts educational programming in classrooms. Joya's credits most notably include choreographing for India's #1 reality dance TV show "Dance India Dance", choreographing for NBA & NFL dance teams, performing with Bollywood actors & artists such as Madhuri Dixit, Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Siddharth Malhotra, Ranveer Singh, Amrita Sen, AR Rahman, Babul Supriyo, Gippy Grewal & Bohemia. She can be seen in internationally running Walmart and Google commercials. Her work also includes Disney, Dreamworks, the Official 2013 Grammy After-Party hosted by E!, International Indian Film Academy Awards, FOX Season Premiere of New Girl, choreographing for the Miss. America 2014 - Nina Davuluri & Sacramento Kings NBA Dance Team halftime performance, Germany's Next Top Model, the Pre-Broadway musical - "BollyDoll", music video "Hands Up" ft. Cappadonna of Wu-Tang Clan, "Mystic India - The World Tour", and Barack Obama's Inaugural Ball. She has had the privilege of working with celebrity choreographers Shiamak Davar and Terrence Lewis while training under the classical world's most prestigious Gurus such as Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Pandit Birju Maharaj, and Guru Bandana Sen.
She has been blessed with a dance journey that has allowed her to explore everything from Ballet and Bharatnatyam to Kathak and Contemporary. She began dancing at four years old with her first Odissi Indian Classical Dance class after she saw an Odissi dancer in MJ'’s "Black or White" video. She went on to study Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Manipuri, while training in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Salsa, and Afro-Brazilian.
She is the Founder/Coach of UC Davis's very first competitive Hindi Film (Bollywood) Dance Team, Toofan, which won UC Davis's Arts & Performance Club of the Year 2009 and First Place at West Coast Crown in 2010. Through her work with UCD Toofan, Joya won the title of Best Female Dancer at Jhoomti Shaam 2010 and then a second time nationally. She is described as "the UC Davis lead that stole hearts" and as one of the "Top Collegiate Bollywood-Hindi Film Dance Leads of All Time".
Her love for Bollywood dance and artistry began way before college with Naach Dance Company in 2004 where she quickly became the youngest dancer to choreograph for company productions. In 2009 she continued with the director to the Mona Khan Company. As a company choreographer, she won numerous accolades for her exquisite productions which include Michael Jackson Tributes, "This Is It", nationally nominated for Best Non-Competitive Performance of the Year 2010, and "I'll Be There", which showcased a cast of 50+ dancers and unprecedented production value.