“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
There are those who would ask what dance has to do with an acting career. This may have been a valid question in the West where most of the movies are without songs and dance, but in India with our grand old tradition of nautanki and ras leela, singing and dancing are an integral part of our movies.
So if anyone is even remotely serious about an acting career in Indian movies, you have got to not only known dance, but be good at it. Our movies have had the song and dance routine as an integral part of the film making process. The past century has seen Hindi movies attract outstanding playback singing talent who lent soul to the singing and dancing enacted by the superstars of the day.
Many were the heroes and heroines who sang and danced their way into the hearts of the millions of movie goers. Among the leading men there were many great dancing stars that wowed us with their superb dancing skills. This was just as true of Hollywood which has given the world so many dancing stars who regaled and entertained us by their dazzling performances in so many outstanding musicals.
In India we had the special privilege of getting to watch a bevy of talented and ethereal female dancing stars.
It wasn’t only the naturally gifted dancers who regaled us with their dancing. In Indian movies all stars have to dance, even if they have two left feet. If some obviously bad dancers came across as half decent on the screen, the credit surely goes to the hard working dance directors!
Then there were those stars that went from being dancers to becoming a dancing icon. If one were to compare their dancing from their earlier movies to their later ones, one would see a total metamorphosis in his dancing ability. Today their style of dancing may be in a league of their own.
On the other hand there were stars that were poor dancers and stayed that way! They made their apparent discomfort at dancing quite obvious, and far from irritating their audiences, the latter loved them all the more for putting their best foot forward.
Today, of course there is no Indian actor who doesn’t dance well. From being the butt of jokes, the Indian song and dance routine is now internationally recognized and appreciated. In the last Olympics an international gymnast performed some floor exercises to the accompaniment of Hindi film music. Bollywood dance and song and dance routines have even found a place in mainstream western movies and television shows.
So popular has the Bollywood dance routines become that a host of dancers of international repute have come down to Mumbai to take up assignments in Indian movies.
The millions of people strong Indian Diaspora may have had something to do with this newfound overseas fame. This has also spawned the money making industry of world tours where top Indian film stars dance on stage and mint millions. Why top Indian and international stars like don’t even shy away from dancing at the weddings of the rich and famous-for a fat fee of course!
In any case it is but obvious that all movie aspirants have to learn to dance! Even if they have two left feet it doesn’t matter, for they can enroll in one of the thousands of dance schools that have sprung up in every town and city of the country. If you can’t learn from in of the top dance institutions around the country, it doesn’t matter because there are so many other institutions that are quite good. Even former actresses have opened dance academies!
It is good to learn more than one style of dancing as one does not know what one might be called upon to perform. Be it classical, fusion, modern, salsa, hip-hop, jazz, ballet, or typical Bollywood steps, one has got to be ready to perform on demand. So go enroll in that dance academy today!