Artistic Director & Founder
Gopi Engineer is a dance artist, choreographer, instructor and performer whose dance journey spans over 25 years in Bollywood, Indian folk, classical dance styles such as Kathak and Bharat Natyam along with contemporary and fusion styles including tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop and modern dance. As the founder and crtistic director of Meher Dance Company, Gopi teaches Bollywood and traditional Indian dance to kids and adults in the Chicago land area, leads a professional dance troupe as well as engages in dance projects internationally. She was the dance coordinator on the Bollywood film, Dhoom 3 and was the director of choreography for the Bengali film, Simanaheen. She is truly passionate about dance and advancing this art form, but nothing brings her more joy than to teach people how to dance and to encourage great talent.
She started learning dance at an early age of two from her mother, Mina, who is her dance and spiritual guru. Her formal dance training started with folk dance forms such as garba, raas, bhangra and launi, followed by classical training in Bharat Natyam with Gira Patel in the US and Usha Rana in Valsad, India. Then she trained in Kathak with Hanmant Rao in Illinois. Her western dance training spanned several dance studios throughout Knoxville, Tennessee. She also has engaged in music training with tabla lessons from David Courntey in Houston and Nikhil Bhavsar in Gujrat along with vocal lessons from the late Bikhu Bhai Bhavsar from Valsad, India.
Music and dance have been a constant in Gopi's life. Growing up, she loved jamming to the newest songs in her room, choreographing cool routines and teaching them to community members. Her passion became so prominent that her parents took her around the country to perform for various cultural shows and competitions. At the University of Illinois Urbana, Champaign campus, she had the platform to flourish as a creator and leader. Soon after, she stepped into teaching dance to people of all ages and simply fell in love with the idea of sharing her passion with others.
Her favorite part of teaching is giving others the platform to let go of their inhibitions and just enjoy the moment. In addition, she enjoys seeing her students, dancers and clients enhance their craft and grow as artists. Dance is more than movement for her, it is a form of spirituality. It is her deep belief that dance is an element of grace in her life, which she hopes to share with the world through Meher Dance Company, which means "grace" in Hindi.