There is a lot of dance happening on television these days, but our mention about dancers begins after a respectable mention about the lady whom all dancers in India salute for her grit and determination.
With a Master’s in Economics from Mithibhai College, Mumbai, Sudha Chandran had a tryst with fate when a freak car accident and negligent medical treatment led to amputation of her right leg. She overcame the disability using a prosthetic Jaipur foot, with the help of which she established herself as a proficient dancer. Her example is an inspiration to many who worship dance and like to build inner strength through it. She became an overnight sensation and through television and stage shows, entered into movies in South India and Bollywood. She has essayed some very convincing roles wherein her disability is not at all to be seen. She plays Madhuri Dixit’s harassed sister in Anjaam (1994), and in the title role of Mayuri (1984), the Telugu film made on her story. She also has a flamboyant television presence today with multiple leading roles in Ekta Kapoor serials.
Dancers who made it big after Sudha Chandran are as follows:
Born in a village a few kilometers from Mysore, Prabhudeva received inspiration in dancing from his father. He went ahead in pursuing his dream by taking lessons in Indian and Western classical dance forms under noted choreographers in South Indian movies. His first appearances were in group dances on television shows in South India and in little known films like Agni Natcharitham (1988). He choreographed for the first time in the 1989 Tamil movie Vetri Vizha. The rest as they say is history. He has gone on to act in many movies in Bollywood and South Indian movies, latest of which is ABCD 2 that opened to massive success in 2015.
2. Remo D’Souza:
Brought up under an Indian Air Force officer father, Remo has grown up in the calm surroundings of Jamnagar. His athletic background helped him find easy progress in the field of dance. His brief appearances in songs choreographed by Ahmed Khan in films like Rangeela helps him set up a portfolio in the industry. Remo landed himself choreographing opportunities soon after with movies like Boillywood Dreams (1995), and has also starred in movies like ABCD. He is also an established director today with the ABCD franchise.
3. Salman Yusuff Khan:
His fluent dancing abilities earned him the top position in Dance India Dance season 1 and this led to subsequent appearances on other dance shows like Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa season 4 and season 5. He was also a part of the movie ABCD although he did not appear in the2015 movie ABCD 2.
4. Shakti Mohan:
She won Dance India Dance season 2 and was seen in many movies before she again entered a television series named Dil Dosti Dance. Movies that she worked in include Tees Maar Khan (2010), Rowdy Rathod (2012), and few more. She has acted as assistant choreographer in Dhoom 3 (2013).
5. Dharmesh Yelande:
Hailing from a village near Vadodara, Dharmesh realized his passion for dance very early in age and used it to set up a dance academy in Vadodara called the D’zire Dance Academy. He got a great break in Dance India Dance season 2 which he won a runner up position with his superfluent freestyle dancing. His popularity and demand led him to choreograph stars in movies and he also starred in the ABCD franchise both movies of which were superhits.
6. Raghav Juyal (Crockroaxz):
A self trained dancer and a pioneer at the art of slow motion, this little boy born in 1991 took the entire television dance fraternity by storm when upon being evicted from Dance India Dance season 3, his viral audition video on YouTube forced the authorities to bring him back as a wild card entry. He gained the second top spot in that season and has helped mentor children in dance programs thereafter. He has appeared in ABCD 2 in 2015 and is the best of the lot in the slow motion sequences.
7. Lauren Gottlieb:
She comes fresh from American television dance show So You Think You Can Dance. She had participated in season 3 of the show and was amongst the top 8 finalists. After the season, she continued her work and entered Indian television space with her excellent moves. She went on to appear in many shows on Indian Television namely Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa season 6 and season 7. She acted in the movie Any Body Can Dance and ABCD 2 and also in Hannah Montana: The Movie.
8. Punit Pathak:
He appeared on television with Dance India Dance and went on to act in the movie ABCD alongside choreographing in many prominent films.
Other names in dance we must not forget:
9. Javed Jaffrey:
Recognized as one of the first generations of break dancers in Bollywood who brought dance into mainstream cinema with his youthful freshness, Javed Jaffrey is also the man behind dance on Indian television screens. His show Boogie Woogie is an all time favorite where kids get to try winning on the basis of their dancing talent.
10. Aishwarya Rai:
Her career took off with modeling but this trained danseuse made a smooth transition to Bollywood after her Miss World title. Who can forget her enigmatic dance performances in films like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas?
11. Vidya Balan:
Again a model turned actress, Vidya is not a trained Bharatnatyam dancer but did a few light dancing stints in music videos that she appeared in. However, her actual test came in the movie Bhool Bhulaiya where she essayed the role of a royal dancer to perfection.
12. Hrithik Roshan:
He belongs to a film maker family and if his penchant for dancing was captured by J. Om Prakash at the age of 6 for a movie Asha in 1980, we know he meant to achieve it later. He did it after training to become a director and actor which finally happened through his grand launch in the 2000 movie Kaho Na…Pyaar Hain!
13. Terrence Lewis:
Trained to be a dancer he travelled miles abroad before returning to his hometown Mumbai and gaining the respect from the industry. He is a popular judge today and has choreographed many Bollywood numbers.
14. Farah Khan:
Her love for dance happened after she watched Michael Jackson’s music album. Farah Khan made a sudden entry into Bollywood when she took over Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, after Saroj Khan abandoned the movie. She was an assistant director on its sets and used this opportunity to prove her talent of dancing by choreographing Amir Khan in the epic song Pehla Nasha, that fetched her the first Filmfare Award.
15. Vaibhavi Merchant:
Niece of ace choreographer Chinni Prakashm Vaibhavi’s entry came through a movie role in Malayalam cinema after which she seriously entered Bollywood choreography. Her award winning direction in Dholi Taari Dhol Baaje in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam got her the first award.