I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities.

I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities.

In 2008, I made the life-changing decision to move to the United States to pursue a career as a research scientist. I landed a job at the New York Blood Center in 2008 and graduated to a Research Coordinator position at NYU in 2009. However, my world came crashing down when I was laid off from my position that same year. It was a nightmare to find jobs as an immigrant at the time of the 2009 recession. Despite being at the top of my game, I found it hard to make headway in the job market.

But, I have always been passionate about dance and working with children. Frustrated with the job market in 2009, encouraged by my husband, I started teaching dance to kids in my building as a fun activity. Soon enough, I gained popularity, and I found myself teaching from 4 to 250 students, going from buildings to schools, and relishing every moment.

As time passed, I expanded my base, and after my second child’s birth in 2015, I established the Shenaaz Dance Academy (SDA). I adopted a collaborative approach to build relationships with other women instead of competing with them. It helped me establish SDA, which now has 10 teachers and locations in Jersey City, Hoboken, Millburn and Edgewater in New Jersey, USA.

Today, I feel fulfilled, and I credit my supportive husband and two daughters for my happiness. My journey hasn’t been easy, though. I transitioned from H1B to H4, and like many other H4 spouse visa holders, I faced self-doubt and feelings of worthlessness. However, getting my H4 EAD changed the course of my life.

10 years ago, a young girl started following her heart and converted her passion to her career. I founded Shenaaz Dance Academy in 2017, and there has been no looking back ever since. As I celebrate this milestone anniversary, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities that have come my way through the platform, allowing me to share my love for my culture, passion for dance and ability to work with children. If you visit my page, you’ll witness how far I’ve come. Today, I am content with where I am, but I know that the future holds endless possibilities.

"My journey hasn't been easy, though. I transitioned from H1B to H4, and like many other H4 spouse visa holders, I faced self-doubt and feelings of worthlessness"

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