Thriving on TikTok: A soul laced with dance


In a digital age where everyone is showcasing their unique personalities, there are a few who stand out with exceptional talent. TikTok's dance community is a diverse melting pot of talent, bringing together individuals from various backgrounds, cultures, and skill levels.

From professional dancers to enthusiastic beginners, everyone has the opportunity to showcase their creativity and passion on this dynamic platform.

One star that shines through is Denathi Pussegoda, a dancer, choreographer, content creator, and entrepreneur. With a degree in early childhood education, being the Founder of Dance Inspire, and over 3.7M Likes and 481.1K Followers on TikTok, Denathi shows that you really can have it all!

Who is Denathi Pussegoda?

My name is Denathi Pussegoda, and I come from the beautiful city of Kandy. I am a dancer, choreographer, entrepreneur, and TikToker. I also have an AMI-certified qualification in early childhood education. Growing up, I had a loving family of five, including my two brothers. I attended Gateway College Kandy, where I spent my entire school life.

When did you realize that dancing was your passion?

From a very young age, I had an innate passion for dancing. It was something that seemed to come naturally to me, and my mother was the first to recognize my talent. She noticed how I would always
tap my feet or move to the rhythm whenever music played around me. Encouraged by her observation, she introduced me to my first dance teacher, who specialized in Kandyan dancing. Over the years, I dedicated myself to studying Kandyan and Bharatanatyam. I invested more than 15
years in mastering these traditional dance forms. I successfully completed my Visharad exams in both Bharatanatyam and Kandyan dancing, a significant milestone in my dance journey. As part of this achievement, I received the sheesha bandhane, a special headpiece that holds symbolic
importance and is blessed as part of a traditional ceremony.
Dancing has truly been a remarkable and transformative journey for me. It has allowed me to express myself, connect with my cultural heritage, and find fulfillment in pursuing my passion. I am grateful for the support of my family and the guidance of my teachers who have shaped me into the
dancer I am today.

Tell us more about how you started your own dance studio

In January 2017, we took a significant step and inaugurated our dance studio, Dance Inspire LK. In the beginning, we had just two students, both of whom I had known since my school days. However, our studio has steadily grown ever since, and we are now proud to have over 150 students.
As our studio journey progressed, we also decided to showcase our dance skills and choreography on YouTube. It all began with Dance Inspire, our channel on the platform. My brother plays a pivotal role in managing our brand's social media presence. He handles everything from videography to
editing, effectively managing our online identity.

When did you start to venture into TikTok?

Initially, I joined the app called Musically, even before the arrival of TikTok. It was a platform where I created lip-sync videos, using my phone to add some creative movements. Coming from a musically-
inclined family, we all shared a deep interest in anything related to dance and music. When I discovered this app, I was immediately captivated by its potential. However, there came a period when I didn't use the app as frequently. It wasn't until TikTok emerged that I decided to give it another shot. Initially, I started creating videos just for fun. During
the COVID pandemic, when we were confined to our homes, it provided a welcome outlet. I would post videos featuring my dog or random transition videos, simply enjoying the process.

My first TikTok video marked my return to the app, and from there, something unexpected happened. The response and engagement kept growing rapidly. It amazed me to witness the sheer
number of people from around the world participating in various dance trends and enjoying the content I shared. It was a fascinating experience to be part of such a vibrant global community.

What advice would you have for someone who ventures into content creation?

Being authentic, not imitating others, is key. While finding inspiration is valuable, being your unique self is essential. Confidence and showcasing your personality appeal to people. This lesson applies to content creation and dancing alike. In my classes, I emphasize the importance of being confident and true to yourself.

What would you say to a content creator starting out on TikTok?

Understanding and adapting to the trends on platforms like TikTok takes time for anyone. Instead of focusing on figuring it out, I believe it's better to concentrate on doing what you excel at. If you have a passion for cooking and are skilled in it, create cooking videos that truly reflect your expertise. When you watch your content, it should evoke a sense of pride and accomplishment. Feeling good about what you create will resonate with viewers, who will recognize your talent.

Staying true to your strengths and being original can greatly contribute to your success. Even if you don't immediately gain exposure to the "For You Page" (FYP), consistently showcasing your abilities
will eventually capture the viewers' attention. Through word-of-mouth sharing, your content can spread from one person to another, ultimately helping you gain visibility and reach a wider

TikTok's immense popularity has given rise to viral dance challenges, where users create and share their interpretations of choreography set to popular songs. These challenges often spread like wildfire, captivating millions of viewers and igniting a shared experience across the globe.

Through dance on TikTok, trends are born, new moves are discovered, and the joy of movement is celebrated in a truly global community.

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