Thanks to reality shows, Indians put on their dancing shoes


"Thanks to dance reality shows, people now want to experiment and are willing to learn new dance forms. Salsa is not completely out but, yes, people are showing enthusiasm in other dance forms also - something that was not there earlier," said choreographer Lucky from the Delhi-based Ballatino dance studio.
"People have done so much of salsa that now they are bored of it and want to try something new and different. Hence, they are going for jive, bachata, merengue and other dance forms," added Lucky.
The dance reality shows on television like "Nach Baliye" and "Jhalak Dikhla Ja" have created awareness about new dance forms and people are thronging dance schools to learn them.
Prashant Wali, 22, is an ardent fan of these reality shows. He says he always wanted to learn dancing but didn't know which form to opt for. These shows helped him to zero in on to hip-hop.
"Now I know that I want to learn hip-hop because it is an extended version of break dance. I want to put on my dancing shoes and show my moves to my friends," Wali averred.
According to Lucky, bachata, merengue, salsa and jive are popular in the age group of 18-35, whereas cha cha, samba, rumba, the waltz and tango are popular among people over 40 years old.
Sonia Jaffar, the winning choreographer of season three of "Jhalak Dikhla Ja", says people have misconceptions that bachata, merengue and rumba are new dance forms.
"These Latino dance forms were always there, but people didn't know about it. Now television is flooded with dance reality shows and people have found out that there is more to dance than just salsa. These shows are exposing them to various dance forms that are very popular around the globe," Sonia told IANS over the phone from Mumbai.
Apart from learning new dance forms, people are opting for these dance classes for health reasons as well.
"Dance has got physical benefits and is not a boring activity. It also helps in relieving stress and, most importantly, here you meet new people and never know they might become your good friends," Lucky said.
Normally these dancing classes take place once a week for one-and-a-half hours and one has to shell out anything between Rs.1,500 and Rs.2,000 depending on the dance form they opt for.
Even though dance enthusiasts are trying new dance forms, choreographer Longinus Fernandes says salsa will never lose its charm.
"Salsa is still very popular and will always be because it has very sensual moves. Men want to flirt; hence salsa is the best way to flirt with your partner," explained Fernandes who choreographed the Oscar winning song "Jai Ho" for "Slumdog Millionaire".
"Also, music plays a pivotal role in dance and salsa is a very sensual form of dancing with some good background music. People avoid cha cha or samba because it requires a lot of energy and is a bit loud in spite of being for couples," he added.

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