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Dancing up a storm

Rajitha Menon, DH News Service, Jul 21 2017, 0:25 IST

Rising talent

fleet-footed Members of 'Showstoppers'

fleet-footed Members of 'Showstoppers'

It’s the stuff we see in movies - a college dancing team that braves odds to make it to a prestigious competition. The reel will become real next month when hiphop dance team ‘Showstoppers’ will represent India at the International HipHop Championship 2017 in Arizona.

Drawn from Bengaluru and Manipal, these young students have pulling out all stops to ensure a stellar performance in the finals. With money posing a challenge, they have also started a crowdfunding campaign on ImpactGuru.com.

Still the crew is upbeat, as is evident from the chat Arpit Garg, the president of the team, and his team mates Nishtha Sharma, Meghna Mathew and Shobhana Mohanty had with Rajitha Menon.

What kind of events do you perform at?

Arpit: We do a lot of events like regional competitions, college-level performances as well as events aiming to raise awareness about some social cause.

What challenges did you face during the hiphop championship?

Arpit: After the regional qualifiers in Manipal, one of the crew members had to back out due to an emergency a day or two before nationals. We had to find a new dancer, train that person in two days and then perform. Thankfully, we qualified. Now funds are an issue. All of us are under graduates and trip to US is very expensive.

What are your practice sessions like?

Arpit: If there is a competition coming up, we practice from 6 pm to 2 am. We sleep around 3 am and go to class again at 8 am but we love dance and we manage somehow. It doesn’t affect our studies either. I am one of the toppers in my class.

A common misconception when it comes to hiphop?

Nishtha: People think that any dance that is done to fast intense music is hiphop. Hiphop has many styles within itself and these can go with any form of music.

Thoughts while dancing on stage...

Nishtha: That we have to kill it! Whenever we go on stage, we focus on giving people something to remember.

Have you ever goofed up on stage?

Meghna: Multiple times! After every performance, we reflect on our performance and the mistakes we made. Whether evident or not, the key to handling goofups is to ensure that it doesn’t show on your face.

A memorable backstage incident?

Meghna: During our first ever performance as a crew, Nishtha goofed up. It was a very small event but once we came backstage, she would not stop crying. And 20 of us stood around trying to console her.

Most challenging routine...

Shobhana: The performance that we are going to do for the finals. The kind of energy and complexity we are looking at is something we haven’t done before.

What are your future plans?

Shobhana: I believe once a showstopper, always a showstopper. I am in my final year so it’s my last year of dancing constantly with them. But I will come back to dance with the team.

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