Winning against odds

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Winning against odds

Sunday, 23 December 2018 | SANGEETA YADAV

Winning against odds

Dance Plus season four contestants have crossed all hurdles to amaze everyone by their talent. Sangeeta yadav chats up some of them

Heal with dancing

Rishabh Sharma, Lucknow Dance Style — Popping


He was diagnosed with a neurological disease at a very young age due to which he was weak in academics and had a tough time in striking a conversation. But 21-year-old Rishabh Sharma, has now overcome all fears.

“People thought that I am a poor child who doesn’t want to study but they couldn’t see the root cause of my problem. I was an introvert and bad at studies. I was not able to understand why I was not able to do concentrate. When I was in Class VI, one day I suddenly fainted. But when this happened more frequently, my family took me to the doctor and after six months of treatment, it was revealed that I had a neurological disease called Absence Seizure which makes you unable to read further. I used to get stuck on the first alphabet written by my teacher on the board and keep staring at it. Gradually, it became worse and I realised that the more I was thinking about my condition, the worse it got,” Sharma says.

It took him five years to recover and he credits the success to his two sisters. “My two elder sisters became my pillar of strength. My eldest sister quit her job to take care of me. The other encouraged me to join dance by gifting me a workshop of Raghav Juyal on my birthday. Because of weakness, I had to drop one year from the school and we also changed our house since we were living in railway quarters as my dad was an employee. My sister saw potential in me and never gave up on me. I joined my school and also scored good marks. Those two-three years brought a great transformation. I was lucky that I took to dancing like a fish to water. Since Dance Plus is my first reality show, I have a long way to go,” Sharma says who is mentored by Shakti Mohan on the show.

‘I am possible’

Chetan Salunkhe, Pune

Dance Style — Popping

A self taught dancer who reached the top 12 contestants of Dance Plus, the journey of Chetan Salunkhe has been an uphill task. The circumstances at home were such that he had to discontinue studying.

“My mother works at other people’s houses and my father is a contractual painter. My elder sister is a Class IX drop out and younger one is in Class X. My mother goes to work at 7 am and comes back at 9 pm and my sisters take care of our the house and the  family. I had to discontinue my education and started distributing newspaper in the morning, assisted promotional events and did catering work as well,” Salunkhe says.

But he loved dancing and enrolled himself in a class. “Paying Rs 500-Rs 800 every month was challenging. I had no financial support. I started working as a cleaner in the dance studio and also taking classes in the absence of the instructor. One time my instructor humiliated me for wearing torn track pants and said that I would never be able to learn popping. I took this as a challenge and pushed myself,” Salunkhe says.

His mother wanted him to go back to school because he had been rejected in the very same previous season. “I asked my mother to give me one year to prepare for it and I made to top 12 finally,” Salunkhe says who aspires to better the financial condition at home.

A dream that became a reality

Om Prakash Chouhan, mumbai Dance Style — hip-hop

They are truly unbeatable in the real sense. With the loss of a team member Vikas, that dissolved the V-Unbeatable group, Om Prakash Chouhan decided to pay a tribute to him with the formation of the dance group again which is well known all over the world.

“At the age of 13, I quit school and came to Mumbai from Nepal all alone in pursuit of a better life. I was working in a sunglass manufacturing company, I met a bunch of dancers who used to practise in the park near my factory and that triggered my dancing dream. We practiced the stunts and B-boying and performed at various places. My friend, Vikas, was like a brother to me who filled the vacuum whenever I used to miss my parents,” Prakash says.

During a practise session, Vikas met with an accident while doing a stunt.

“In his X-ray report, his neck was cracked. Many quit the group. When he was referred to another hospital, the doctors told us for the operation and will be costly as well.  Some gave Rs 500 each for his surgery and I took some money from my office and gave it to Vikas’ parents. His surgery was successful but after one month in hospital, he succumbed to his injuries,” Prakash recalls

Chouhan was blamed and a case was filed against him. “It was an accident. I was scared but never  gave up. Vikas’ parents came to my rescue,” Prakash says.

It was Vikas’ wish to make his parents proud by taking them to big stage which Prakash take it forward. “Vikas used to tell his parents that one day we will perform the world over. His dream became my dream. Three months before the auditions for of Dance Plus, 20 teammates from the previous group came back and stood by me. We not only got selected in Dance Plus but are also popular worldwide. We got Vikas’ parents on the  stage and dedicated the performance to Vikas,” Chouhan says.

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