#WorldDanceDay: I started my dancing career learning bharatanatyam and not hip-hop, says Dharmesh Yelande


From participating in dance-based reality shows, mentoring artists on comedy-like shows in dance-based films, to being a judge on Dance Deewane Season 3, it was a roller coaster ride for dancer, choreographer and actor Dharmesh Yelande. Although Dharmesh has always been seen to adopt each style of dance with the greatest grace, there is one form which is most difficult for him. Dharmesh says, “If I am to talk about the most difficult dance form for me, then it must be our classical Indian dance forms – Kathak and Bharatnatyam. You can’t practice it for a month and master it, it takes years
riyaaz and hard work to perfect these dance forms.

Dharmesh adds, “I didn’t start my dance career by learning hip-hop, I started learning bharatnatyam first. You need a lot of patience as it may take a few days to perfect a posture. Post that I started to learn hip-hop. I then started to learn semi-classical dance and this is how it helped me improve in Indian classical dance forms.

Ask him if he has ever hurt himself while practicing these dance forms, he quickly retorts: “So often these ballet forms have pirouettes as part of the choreography and often it is not just a rotation but a few together and when it’s over you have to come back to your original position and start the next step. So when you do pirouettes you miss your starting point and the next steps, once I did the pirouettes I felt a little dizzy from the movements and fell injuring my knee. Fortunately, it was nothing major and I was able to resume practicing within a few hours.

“Dancing has always been a central part of my life and it has always helped me through the most difficult, the lowest and the most incredible phases of my life. I will always be indebted to my audience who encouraged me to perform better, ”he says.

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