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Unfortunately, Indian Dancers Do Not Practice Like Those in the West, Says Shakti Mohan

Self-made dancer-choreographer Shakti Mohan says while Indian dancers are creative and hardworking, we lack self-confidence and tend to ape the west as a standard of being ‘good’.

Priyanka Kaul | News18.com

Updated:December 13, 2019, 1:01 PM IST
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Unfortunately, Indian Dancers Do Not Practice Like Those in the West, Says Shakti Mohan
Self-made dancer-choreographer Shakti Mohan says while Indian dancers are creative and hardworking, we lack self-confidence and tend to ape the west as a standard of being ‘good’.

Indian dancer and TV personality Shakti Mohan feels extremely fortunate to have had a smooth sail in her career as a dancer. Shakti won the reality dance competition Dance India Dance and has had a successful run ever since. She is a TV show actress, owner of her own dance brand Nrtiya Shakti and has judged various dance reality competitions, besides appearing in various film and non-film dance numbers.

"I feel everyday is a bonus because as I never expected to be where I am. I am surprised at every opportunity to realize how I am chosen for this. When I started off as a dancer, it was only being at the back or doing typical choreographies for movies. I wanted to do other styles such as contemporaries at that time, which were not very Bollywood-ish. I had chosen something where success is the last thing that happens. But for me things went unexpectedly well. My family helps me get along with problems and motivate me," she says.

Shakti reveals that it was, in fact, her father who asked her to follow a career of her own choice, even if it meant dropping IAS preparations and taking up dance instead. "Usually kids are upset because their dads force their decisions on them. In my case, it was the opposite. I would be pissed with my dad that why would he not ask me to take academics, since I was a meritorious kid. I knew choosing dance would be difficult as I wasn't sure where I'd land. But I am happy I took this decision and that made me more responsible towards my father's belief in me."

Shakti clears it out for all those who think choosing art is an easier way out and adds, "I tell the kids at my dance studio, whether your parents are supportive or not supportive, you have to work harder than doctors and engineers because they have a guaranteed job. In this field, there's too much competition. You need to be extremely positive and focused constantly. You can't be looking at others and doing what they do."

It was in 2012 when Shakti underwent an intensive dancing training at the prestigious Broadway Dance Centre, New York, where she represented India at the BBC World Collaboration Culture.

"People in the West really look up to people in India for all the hard work we do. But the problem is, we try way too many things. While we are creative and hardworking, we lack self-confidence and tend to ape the west as a standard of being 'good'. My interactions with the dancers from LA tell me that they have been to India, China and Europe but the kind of dancers they see here are unmatchable," Shakti says while talking about where India stood as compared to the West.

"When I was in NY, I found that even the professional dancers who have featured on big platforms and musicals, they would come and practice daily. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen in India. We don't have that culture here once we have learnt it. I used to wish we had this mentality too," she added.

Shakti became a TV sensation after starring in Channel V's dance-based show Dil Dosti Dance. Her chemistry with co-actor and friend Kunwar Amarjeet Singh (who played Ray) was loved by the fans. Even though she was replaced eventually due to work commitments, their pairing was un-matchable.

Shakti says that the show had been something really special to her and she is looking forward to create something on the same lines on her own. She jokes about not being sure if she is young enough to feature in it.

Recently, she came out with The Chamiya Song, a Gaurav Dagaonkar composition, in collaboration with DJ Bravo. Currently, Shakti is set to launch an 8-episode show called Break A Leg, on her YouTube channel. The show will be dance chat show, where they will throw some crazy dance challenges. "We plan to invite various celebrities and close friends," she says.

So do we expect her to reunite with (close friend) Kunwar Amarjeet to on screen once again? "Maybe!”"Shakti signed off.

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