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Goans who danced their way to national television

Goans who danced their way to national television

April 29 is recognised by UNESCO as International Dance Day. Dance has been an integral part of Goan society and now Goan dancers are being showcased on several national and international platforms. Café celebrates the day by speaking to Goan dancers who have made it to national TV in India

Goan dancers are known for their versatile style in ballroom dancing and yet many dancers are moving away from the ballroom circle and exploring various other forms of dance, in Goa and India. Keeping up with the latest trends, many dancers are showing their talent in contemporary, Latin and acrobatic performances as well. Though a small state, Goan dancers are reaching a wider audience through their talent.

Coming from the town Ponda, two powerful salsa dancers, Amit Rajput and Sakshi Kurtarkar, have been creating a storm on dance reality shows on national television. Amit started out as a student of Bollywood dance before moving to Latin dances and after being an instructor himself, he is now paired up with Sakshi and they have been winning hearts for their moves on stage. They were the semi finalists for the show ‘India Got Talent’ Season 5, part of the top seven on ‘Dance Plus’ and winners of ‘India Banega Manch’. They were last seen on ‘High Fever’. “The journey has been incredible. We started dancing on television nearly three years ago and this is our fifth reality show. Since not many choreographers are experienced with Latin dances, we have to choreograph are own moves. In Goa, since it is a small state, we all feel that we are the best but once you move out to other cities, you come across many more talented people. Our susegaad attitude should never hold us back,” says Amit. Amit and Sakshi also choreographed a song for Hrithik Roshan and Gautam Yami in the film ‘Kabil’ and are working on songs for Bollywood films.

Cecille Rodrigues was a part of ‘Dance India Dance (DID) Super Mom’ season 2, ‘Dance Ka Tashan’ and ‘Zee Rishtey Awards 2013’. She started out with Zumba classes and auditioned in Latin dance before getting selected for her first ever reality dance show. “It was one of the best decisions I have taken; it changed everything for me. Not fearing what the result would be and not interested in the fame, I wanted to challenge myself every day, which I did for those 5-6 months that I was in Mumbai and on the television show. That was the most important thing for me. I just wanted to do something different and when my son was two and a half, I took the decision to go on a reality show and after coming second all over India, it changed my life, my perspective started changing. If I could do something that could push young boys, girls and women into achieving their dreams, then I have achieved something,” says Cecille.

Martin and Flossy D’Costa of Dance Illusions have been teaching ballroom dancing in Goa and have stuck to the genre for the last 13 years. In Ballroom itself, they have been teaching Latin dances like Cha Cha, Bachata, Jive and Salsa. “There are social dancers who enjoy dancing at a social gathering and those who participate wholeheartedly in dance competitions. You can easily make out the difference once a well practised person takes to the floor. Through the Dancesport competitions, many youngsters have participated in Goa but the number still remains very small. There is great potential but you also need the finance to sponsor the travel and accommodation once you are selected for the next international round,” says Martin. They are the only couple in India to win in both, standard and Latin categories, a total of ten dances in the year 2008, 2011 and 2012.

Darryl D’Souza from Calangute and Raquel Fernandes from Arpora had made a mark in acrobatics on national television, starting out with shows like Sony’s ‘Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega’, ‘India’s Dancing Superstar’ on Star Plus, ‘ Adhur’s’ on Kannada TV and ‘Are You Ready?’ on ETC, Tamil channel. “I started out with freestyle, Bollywood, Latin and then acro dance, which helped us stand out on national television. My first reality show was three years after starting my career. But after dance reality shows, I feel my dance career in Goa has grown tremendously. Also, I have noticed that parents are encouraging kids to join dance classes,” says Darryl.When it comes to ballroom dancing in India, Goa is the final destination. However, with the latest dancing stars, it goes on to show that Goan dancers have much more versatility and cannot be categorised as just social dancers anymore.

This article was first published on Herald on 28th April 2018

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