Meet Premilla, Writer & Life Dancer 

premilla2Premilla first saw me perform my poems at a talk I gave in January 2012.


During the talk, I offered the audience a writing prompt from one of the gates of Loving Inquiry: “What permission do you need to let yourself play and create?” 

Inspired by the prompt Premilla contacted me for support to awaken her “lost artist”. We started to work together through a one-to-one mentorship. 


At the age of 69, Premilla yearned to dance again, and to write and perform her poems. However, she wasn’t sure it was possible at this stage of life. Of Indian ancestry, Premilla grew up in Durban, South Africa. As an adolescent she studied Bharatha Natyam ( Classical Indian Dance) and performed on many stages, including events supporting political freedom in Apartheid South Africa. Premilla’s dance career was a brief one. In her early twenties, her life moved on to the serious business of becoming a wife, a mother and a teacher.

I believed that with loving encouragement and skillful guidance, Premilla would be able to channel her enthusiasm and passion into new creative work. We began by listening to the metaphors inspiring her, opening to the obstacles in her way which needed honouring, valuing the beauty of her creative output and expressing her story, one memory at a time.

Premilla gathered her volumes of poems and journals. Together we set to organize, reread and edit her work. As her creative midwife, it was my job to keep her focused on the themes and threads that were emerging and to encourage her sustained commitment to the ongoing written exploration and expression.

Toward the end of the process, we set a date for Premilla’s performance.

“Invitation to Dance,” was a 45-minute work of poetry and dance shared with an intimate audience of family and dear friends. Premilla danced and spoke her poems, accompanied by background music and narration.

Her performance was astonishing. Premilla was applauded for her courage, grace and the beauty of her creative expression.

After our successful one-to-one mentorship experience, Premilla chose to continue her creative journey by enrolling in a 12-month Loving Inquiry group mentorship program, her to deepen and expand her artistic expression.

Premilla’s journey as a writer and creative artist continues…

“Ahava, You are a gifted writer, performer, and mentor.

Your power to inspire and empower your students is outstanding!

I say this not only as one of your older students but as a fellow educator.

Thank you for taking me to the edge, encouraging me to dig deep and letting my spirit soar.”      

 Premilla Pillay


To read more testimonials from my students, click here.