It's time to dance

It's time to dance

Eleven years ago, two young brothers started a dance troupe in a shopping complex near Baikampady with five members.

They named the troupe ‘Boys Zone Dance Academy’ as the members were all boys. Today, the academy is one of the biggest in the City with more than 100 members including girls and kids. Prasanna Kumar and Kishore Kumar, who started the Academy, in a single room class, must be more happy as now  they have two branches in Mangalore and a UAE based overseas sister concern Mudra Dance and Music Institute.

Recently, the Boys Zone was in the news for a prestigious achievement. A seven member squad of the Academy has won Rs 51 lakh prize money in a dance contest - ‘Seven Up Dance for Me’ held at Chennai. A total of 1365 teams from different South Indian states like Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh participated in this contest, judged by South Indian film stars Allu Arjun, Chilambarasan and Hansika Motwani.

Chethan Kumar, Deekshith Kumar, Dithin, Suhas, Sandeep, Avinash and Shreejith were the winning team members who represented Karnataka in the final round of the tournament. In this, Chethan and Dikshith are younger brothers of Prasanna and Kishore.

“We started participating in dance programmes from the very young age,” says Dikshith Kumar, one of the members in the dance team. “We used to dance in local competitions, college events and even been to State-level, before reality shows became popular,” he said.

The troupe had little experience in participating in different dance reality shows in different languages. The major reality shows, the Boys Zone participated includes Boogiwoogi, India got Talent and Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega. The team has participated for five consecutive times in Boogiwoogi.

Dikshith, who considers ‘Seven Up Dance For Me’ as Academy’s biggest achievement so far, says that selection of dancers for the competition is purely based on merit and experience. “We have many members in the dance troupe. Though we used to select the dancers on a rotation basis, we saw to it that we are fielding the best ones on the stage,” he said.

On the final day

The team had won the Mangalore-level and State-level auditions of the contest before the team was selected for the finals. “This is for the first time we contested in a dance reality show in South India-level.

Earlier, we had bad experience in some reality shows in North India, where they favour their state team. But in Chennai, nothing like that happened,” said team member Chethan Kumar. “Organisers told us clearly that they are looking only for talent and nothing else.”

“We were tensed on the final day because we were under tremendous pressure. Each of us had a feeling that we are representing Karnataka. To overcome tension, we practiced hard without sleep and rest is history,” he recalled.

Opportunity to interact with the stars in film industry was a special experience. “Many of them, especially Allu Arjun gave us encouragement to do our best,” said Deekshith. Pop star Michael Jackson’s dancing style is one of the main crowd pulling numbers of this dance troupe.

In the final, they presented a portion of MJ’s dancing style in their performance. Allu Arjun, who himself is a great fan of MJ, was impressed by their performance. Recently, the troupe has also got an opportunity to perform before Rajni Kanth, Chiranjeevi and other sandalwood stars during the birthday celebrations of Kannada super star Ambarish.

The Academy is now planning to widen its wings to nurture the dancing talents of all kinds of people. The academy is taking students from any age group. “We will take the interested ones above the age of three. Some are coming with a serious intention of becoming a dancer, some for relaxation and some as a good exercise,” says Chethan Kumar.

“We are teaching them all sorts of dance forms which vary from contemporary, hip-hop to semi classical,” he said. The Academy has already started a ladies batch this year.  The Academy is now more focused on teaching children.

“Many talented kids are coming up from our area. They need right teaching,” says Managing Director of Academy Kishore Kumar. Prasanna Kumar is in-charge of UAE based Mudra Dance and Music Institute. The four brothers, children of a retired NMPT employee Sreedhar Poojary and Yashodha, have nothing in their mind, but dance. “Whatever we have earned and earning is through dance. So we will continue that.

This is our livelihood,” says Deekshith. They have also plans to step into film industry as choreographers. Allu Arjun, who was impressed by the performance, took the contact number of the dancers. “We are now eagerly waiting for a call from Hyderabad,” said an elated Chethan.

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