1. My mum
There’s so much I could say about my mum and everyone’s mum is special but my mum single handedly raised me, survived a divorce, and has now taken over my granddad’s business. And there’s never any fuss about it. It’s almost like a given for my mum that, ‘This is what I need to do’ not like ‘Wow, I’m doing this!’, although everyone else does it for her.
2. Gig Payne – My dance teacher
I’ve been dancing for a long time. Some of it forced, some of it liked, and lots that I wanted to do but didn’t have the time but I’m so glad at 18 I met and was taught by Gig Payne. She got me interested in Bharatnatyam, a deeply traditional Indian classical dance and she pushed me past my physical and mental boundaries.
3. Margaret Thatcher
I know she’s not everyone’s favourite but in a world where women are still fighting to be treated as equal, to be a prime minister in a ‘man’s world’ is an achievement.
4. Oprah Winfrey
At one point I used to be addicted to her talk shows. I’ve read her biography and she is another powerful woman who has achieved so much from such humble and difficult beginnings.
5. Madhuri Dixit – Bollywood actress
I think anyone who has ever danced from my era (does that make me sound old?!) and watched Indian films will have her as an idol at some point in their life. She is such an accomplished dancer and an amazing actress. Whenever, I was feeling fed up and didn’t want to do another dance practice, just thinking of her would be enough to inspire me to keep going. Plus I met her on an airplane and got her autograph.
There are so many inspirational women in this world and now, at this stage of my life, being an accountant and a mum, I find that there are so many success stories where women have made ‘it’ including Sheryl Sandberg. But the ones above are the ones I have admired as I was growing up and have had an influence in my life.