On April 29 International Dance Day is observed across the globe. India is one of the countries with innumerable dance forms which have got world recognition as well. One of the dancers who have represented the country internationally is actor Shantanu Maheshwari. Now, during an Exclusive interaction with DNA, he spoke at length about taking dance as a profession, what does he love the most about dancing and more.
What were the positive impacts dance brought into your life?
After dance became an integral part of my life, it brought with its discipline, focus, a lot of confidence, and made me understand my body movements in a much better manner. It helped broaden my thought process in many ways and it became my true source of happiness, positivity and inspiration. It also brought with it a lot of responsibility to focus on doing what I need to do and importantly doing it well and with absolute determination. Not only did dance help me form a structured path for what I want to achieve in life but also what my goals are and what are the new changes I want to bring in. Also when I am dancing there is no space for any negative thoughts in my brain which really helps me focus on all the positive energy around me and inculcate it into my thought process and ways of life.
Did you ever see yourself taking up dance as a profession and now that you have what's the best part about it?
Initially, I was wanting to become a choreographer, but with no background in the industry, I was aware that it would take me a lot of time to achieve my expectations. But as they say, things happen when they are supposed to happen, and at the right time, I got an opportunity of a lifetime in the form of Dil Dostii Dance, with an amazing team who taught me various aspects of choreography. The best part about being able to dance across the world has been all the travel! Travelling to so many different countries, interacting with dancers from around the world, understanding their styles, cultures and eventually making friends from around the globe has been amazing over the years! Representing the country at so many prestigious events where we got to showcase our culture, stay true to our roots while performing and making the nation proud with some amazing wins and representation of India, has forever been a moment of pride for me.
When did you realize that dance was more than just a passion for you?
It was during high school when I was actually trying to move away from dance because I was labelled as a dancer and I didn't like that as I felt I had a lot more into me explore. But as they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder, it actually happened with me being away from dance! By the time I was done with school and got to college in Mumbai, it dawned on me that dancing is my true passion. It is what I want to make an important part of my life. I then had a moment of realization that dance is my true calling and it gives me immense happiness to express myself through such a beautiful form of art. Eventually, I realized that dance is the gifted talent that I am blessed with and which I should retain and continue to enhance to the best I can, and never give it up!
Five years down the line where do you see yourself in regards to dance?
Five years down the line I still want to see myself dancing, upgrading my knowledge about dance, learning new styles and forms and thinking out of the box when it comes to conceptualization for dance. On another note, I would personally love to nurture young, talented and aspiring dancers. Help them get a platform to showcase their skills, mentor them and share my knowledge and learnings that I have acquired over the years with them. It would make me the happiest to see more representation of Indian dancers at International platforms representing our style and culture. India has immense potential which needs to be recognized and shown to the world. I have seen many dancers walk away from their dreams because of lack of good training facilities no proper mentoring and financial issues which I feel should not kill their dreams anymore because there is immense scope to change the current dance scenario, which I would love to contribute to.