“I made a promise to myself that I wanted to keep both my creative and analytical sides of my brain working. Which is why I do what I do! I definitely have my “creative” days and my “professional” days which seem to split up my work well. I am someone who also works through weekends if needed, and luckily I enjoy my work so it isn’t draining!” Ragavi Ragavan was born in Switzerland and schooled in Australia. She studied Forensic Science in Applied Chemistry in University and has been the Head of STEM for an education company for about a decade now, allowing her to flex the analytical side of her brain. She has also been in the street dance world for about 9 years, starting off with Dancehall and Afro styles, before joining Bindi Bosses to do some creative South Asian fusion work. Her drive in life is to make a difference for young people in some capacity, whether it be through a creative or academic outlet.
You have a number of creative pursuits including dancing (with Bindi Bosses), Acting and Modelling. How do you balance this with your “day job” as a Head Educational Coach?
I actually have multiple things I do as a “day job”! I studied Forensic Science in Applied Chemistry at University and have been Head of STEM for an education company for about decade now. I really wanted to work out how to combine these both and still make a difference.
Now, I travel across Australia presenting the real life scenarios of how we use Maths and Science in the real world.
I made a promise to myself that I wanted to keep both my creative and analytical sides of my brain working. Which is why I do what I do! I definitely have my “creative” days and my “professional” days which seem to split up my work well. I am someone who also works through weekends if needed, and luckily I enjoy my work so it isn’t draining!
How did you get involved with Bindi Bosses?
I’ve been in the street dance world for about 9 years now, starting off with Dancehall and Afro styles. Shyamla had heard about me and approached me to do a Bollywood piece for a wedding and the rest is history! She had been dying to do some creative South Asian fusion and we hit it off whilst rehearsing. Our first performance as Bindi Bosses was at an event called Dancey Dance Time – that was probably my most nervous moment before a performance.
Do you have aspirations to pursue your creative pursuits on a full-time basis? Why or why not?
I’ve done some deep dive thinking on this and, personally, dancing is something I selfishly do for myself. If I take it on as a full time career it will take all the fun out of it for me. I love what I get to do though, very grateful that I get paid for my creative pursuits.
And honestly, my drive in life is to make a difference to young people more than anything. That is my motto. So as long as I’m doing that in some capacity, I’m happy. Whether it be through a creative or academic outlet.
I adore being in education, encouraging young people to step outside of their comfort zone in thinking, seeing them excel when they don’t think they can do it, watching them go from “I can’t do it” to “I’m doing it and flying!”. This is my purpose.
I personally view social media in a positive light. I see it as a tool that can be used for good or bad (similar to a car). Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
As I age and get wiser, I really do feel this way. Social media has connected people in so many ways that we haven’t been able to do before. And I’m constantly in awe and inspired by people around the world. I love that we are able to create our own narratives and see diversity on social media. This is something I definitely lacked when I was younger and now the general population gets to create content that the general population wants to see!
Of course there is the flip side, where it becomes extremely addictive and I do struggle with this from time to time as well. However, with constant reminding, I’m slowly being conscious of what and how much I consume through social media. Something I feel young people need to start being taught as well!
How have your family and friends supported you through your journey?
Surprisingly, my parents have been very supportive through my journey. Initially, it took a few conversations to get them to understand where I’m coming from but luckily, they are always open to talking about it. At the end of the day, they just want to know I’m secure and safe. I know they are confident with my choices, they’ve been more supportive than ever nowadays.
And my close friends have always been my number one hype people from the beginning! I remember when I was entering my first Dance competition, I hadn’t told anyone due to my nerves and didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. Also low key, I didn’t think I would make it past the first round either. A few days before the comp, they found out about it and the entire front row was filled with people from my life, cheering me on. The energy and love was palpable through the room, it really was a precious moment. I am so grateful that I made it all the way to the final round and ended up winning the 2017 DanceHall Queen title! They got me through a huge milestone for me.