Before the lockdown was announced, 29-year-old Arman’s daily routine included getting up early in the morning and washing as many as 20 cars a day―work that he has been doing since childhood. Once evening fell, he would switch gears completely. He’d meet up with his childhood friends Raj, Sonu and Karan for dance practice. Using an inexpensive Oppo phone with a broken screen, the friends would spend hours studying and choreographing dance moves to shoot the next day.
This phone, Arman says, has been a “blessing” for him and has given his dancing career the kind of momentum he had only dreamed of earlier. Gifted to him by a close friend a year ago for performing at his wedding, this phone has enabled him to record himself dancing, find flaws, correct them, and to share his talent with the world. Most importantly, said Arman, the phone boosted his confidence because looking at his own dance videos showed him that he really was “quite good”.
This realisation finally sank home after a dance career that had already spanned more than 15 years.
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Arman, who was born and brought up in Valsad, Gujarat, said he has competed in over a 100 local competitions, and won over 50 awards, but there were few tangible rewards. The first time he competed was in 2007, at a dance competition in Valsad, at the age of sixteen. But it was only two years later, in 2009, that he finally won a prize―a sum of Rs 3000. Indeed, he has never earned more than that in any of the...