Shiwali Tenner

Shiwali believes in art with purpose. She believes that if you want to change a society you must change its story. Through dance, she tells stories of empowerment to empower women, she tells stories of injustice to cause people to re-think how we judge, and she seeks to tell the story of our planet earth for us to find balance.

Shiwali is a trained Kathak Dancer (a north Indian dance form). She has been practicing and learning dance for over 20 years under prominent gurus (teachers) Sandip Mallick and Kiran Chauhan. She has organized  performances to raise funds for organizations that serve the city of Chicago, such as Asian Human Services, Growing Home, and Trikone.

In addition, Shiwali is a chemical engineer from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and earned her MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. She is a management consultant focusing on change management and performance improvement at organizations. She has helped several companies in re-thinking their organization and capital structure to reach their highest potential.

What the dancers says?

I do not belong to a dance family, neither as some one who started learning at an early age. But Dance did call to me from the time that I was little. With my first salary from my first job after Undergraduate Degree, I signed up for a dance class. Then life came in the way but I pursued dance again after 10 years of break. Dance has made me resilient, strong and open minded. And I wish the same for all who want to pursue dance.

Kathak taught me to tell stories. I believe shared stories are powerful. Shared stories help up connect, build communities, and heal wounds old and new.  Kathak is a vocabulary and I want to use its words to tell stories of today - stories that may go against todays norms, stories that help us think a brave, just, and equitable world.

I not only learned Kathak, but also engineering, change management, operations management, finance and accounting, sociology, flamenco, salsa and bachata.  Just like Engineering teaches us to think linear, circular, and random to understand many different topics and solve myriad of problems, dancing teaches us frame, the curve of story telling, to feel the same emotion in many different ways to open our souls.  I use both my passions business and dance to understand the world and share it with others

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