Amruta Khanvilkar’s dance journey began when she was 10. Ever since it has always been her first way of expressing her art. The Raazi (2018) actor has never been formally trained in dance and believes she is still learning. “I have learned from whatever life has thrown at me. I have never attended a dance class. Yes, when I entered the industry I did get to learn from masters like Ganesh Acharya, Ahmed Khan and most recently Ashish Patil. But I am not formally trained,” says Amruta, who is currently seen as a contestant on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa Season 10.
Her very first public performances include the ones where she would dance her heart out during Ganeshotsav. “Those five days would be a grand celebration for me because it included rehearsals, costume preparations and so much. Dance has always come natural to me. I vividly remember searching entire Pune market to find the red and white saree that Madhuri Dixit wears in Devdas (2002) for the song Dola Re Dola. It was then performed on a Satranji in our building parking lot. And, imagine I am now getting to perform it in front of her, my idol! My dance journey has come a full circle. I am so excited and I hope she enjoys the performance and just gives me a hug!”
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She adds that growing up, Madhuri shaped her dance aspirations and will always remain her idol. This week she will be performing the iconic song.
In 2015, Amruta won the dance reality show Nach Baliye with her husband Himanshoo Malhotra. So, does she feel the pressure to win this reality show too? “Honestly, I don’t see myself as a contestant of a dance reality show, I am taking each day as it comes. I am here to learn. Yes, there are dreams and ambitions to win it but I am not feeling the pressure or getting into the competitive mode. I am doing what I do best!”
With years of dance experience and knowledge, does she get creatively involved in the acts? “I believe I have an upper hand when it comes to Indian forms, so I do bring in my opinion or suggestion to Pratik (Utekar, choreographer). He gives me the freedom to feel the rhythm and do my bit especially in the 20-second solo bits. It is a give-and-take because I cannot just mechanically follow him. There are some things that will look good only on him or me. So we balance it out.”
The Chandramukhi (2022) actor loves participating in reality shows and believes it brings out the best in her. “Honestly, I think dance reality shows put you under pressure but for me, it works the other way round. It makes me want to do more! I won’t lie, it does get taxing but I have fun with rehearsals and technicians. I strongly believe that no matter how much you prepare, what has to happen will happen. You can just hope for the best and prepare for the worst."
The calm to her storm is her husband who helps keep her grounded especially after great feedback from judges. “He knows how much I love dance. And loves to see me dance too. He has been giving me tips on being grounded and keeps reminding me to take care of my health. He says that the show is for 13 weeks and I should respect my body and not exert or exhaust it," Amruta Khanvilkar concludes.