'The camera has always been my first love'

Kishen Bilagali is a popular dancer and is now in ‘Bigg Boss Kannada season 7’

Kishen Bilagali

Starting off as a child artiste, Kishen Bilagali is now a familiar name in the entertainment industry down south. The Chikmagalur-born, Bengaluru-raised boy, who has been dancing from the age of 8, won the reality show ‘Dance Deewane’ in his category last year and is now part of ‘Bigg Boss Kannada’. He now has his own chain of dance studios in the city, called ‘Tryst Studios’ and is also the owner of a luxury fitness centre. He speaks to Metrolife about his journey till now.

How did you become interested in dancing?

When I was a child, my mom loved to see me dance. It is because of her that I joined classes and persisted for years, initially reluctantly then passionately. I learnt dancing at Shiamak Davar’s institute and became an instructor there later.

 You were also a child actor. Did you want to become an actor too?

I always had a passion for film and television, though my areas of interest ranged from acting to production and behind-the-scenes work. When I got a chance to observe the happenings at close quarters, I would pay attention to the process of film making and other areas of production. 

Is it difficult to make a mark in Karnataka? Does your market value increase only once you make a name elsewhere, like Mumbai?

I did enter the Kannada industry as a child artiste, but then I started focussing on dance. Once I left Shiamak Davar’s company, I opened my own dance company in Bengaluru. I started exploring myself, though it was a difficult task. It took me a couple of years but I feel that as long as you keep trying and working hard towards your goal, the place does not matter.

What did you do after opening your dance company?

I always wanted to be in front of the camera. I became a contestant in the first season of reality show ‘Dance Deewane’ (which was judged by Madhuri Dixit) and was adjudged the winner of the ‘second generation’. This win became a stepping stone for my success and eventually helped me be a part of ‘Takadhimitha’, a celebrity dance show on Colors Kannada. I was a runner-up on the show.

You are now a part of the Kannada version of ‘Bigg Boss’, which has a controversial reputation. What made you decide to join it?

The camera has always been my first love and a show like ‘Big Boss’ will help me fulfil my dream.

And as far as the show is concerned, it is completely up to the respective individuals how they portray themselves in the house.

I have developed social and interpersonal skills as a result of my background in performing arts; this lets me easily adapt to, communicate with and understand the perspective of others.

The ‘Big Boss’ platform will let me interact with other artistes, take on a challenging role and also further my personal and professional development.

Some tips for aspiring dancers looking to make this their profession?

It is important to believe in yourself. If your passion is strong, you will reach your destination. Your journey might be slow but it will be fruitful.

I speak from experience here; there were times when dancing was difficult, especially after my mother passed away and when I broke my knees twice. But I continued to work hard to achieve my dreams and now I do what I love.  

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