How Salman found his ‘Dhinka Chika’

Kunal Guha

Salman Khan's signature dance style has evolved from clowning about to effortless buffoonery. Here's a tribute

A large part of what constitutes Salman Khan's 'sallugiri' are his dance moves. And adjectives from suave to street-smart have often been used to define the same. And today, as Salman gets jiggy in his latest foot tapping hit, Dhinka Chika from 'Ready', his signature style seems like an effortless celebration of idioticity. But Rome wasn't built in a day and Salman's dance steps have come a long way from when he first hit the dance floor. So from the poor man's disco dancer to the action-hero who grooves to an entire song by merely fiddling with his belt, here's a tiny tribute to the bad boy of Bollywood, Salman Khan.

Tan Tana Tan

Salman may be 'too cool for school' today, but this video from his past has visible streaks of a choreographed mayhem. Apart from the hip thrusts and claps, this super-hit number has steps that look laboured and tacky, even for Salman. Known for his spontaneity on the dance floor, here his moves look pre-meditated and rehearsed.

Oonchi hain building

Salman redefined 'taporis' with his playful and easy moves in this song. Despite Anu Mallik's vocals and nonsensical lyrics, this song was an instant hit for the simple reason that Salman made it look like a lot of fun and everyone wanted a part of it.

I love you

No one but Salman could make a Rajhastani (in full costume) confessing his love in the middle of the desert, look cool and how! When you're wearing a traditional costume (complete with a turban), your moves have to be synonymous. But which folk song has the words, 'I love you' repeated a million times? So there was tremendous scope to experiment and Salman can make even the most mundane songs seem hip and exciting and he does just that here. Just for kicks (and perhaps to manage steps that he couldn't carry off in his folk garb), he appears in a leather jacket at the end of the song.

O Oh Jaanejaana

Salman isn't the first Bollywood hero to go topless in a song. Neither is he the pioneer of cheating with an unplugged electric guitar. But when this song released, everyone else who attempted the above feats in a Hindi film couldn't help but be envious of the response that this song garnered. A break from his usual unrehearsed style, this song had carefully crafted steps which multiplied Salman's cool quotient many times over and his fans just got a new anthem to hold on to.

Janam Samjha Karo

This isn't one of Salman's more memorable songs, yet it's important to enlist this song here for a reason. And the reason is that this song marks the beginning of Salman's effortless dancing, even when it's choreographed for a stage performance. Infact, Sallu made the moves appear so simple that almost anyone wanted to give it a shot. Also, if you watch this video carefully, you will realise that only Salman can pull off some of the ridiculous steps put together for this song (read: alternate hand swaying while body twirls to each side while moving up and down).

Chunari Chunari

Salman and other actors gifted with limited elevation have always had to suffer on account of actresses towering over them. This problem couldn't be further amplified than by having to do a modern-folk jig (moves that require one to bend) opposite one of the tallest actresses in Bollywood, Sushmita Sen. Despite these impediments, this was one of the biggest hits and became an instant favourite for weddings and parties. The popularity of this song has to be equally credited to the composition and to Salman's 'casually cool' moves. Also, something he manages without looking ridiculous is performing the same steps arranged for Sushmita in several sequences.

Chandi ki daal

Imagine any other actor wearing a white netted tee and pink jeans and slumming it out on a tapori number like this one and you'll know how ridiculous it could turn out to be. But Salman isn't made to care about how he would be perceived. In fact, his neighbourhood-bhai-gone-wild moves and local flavour in this Holi song ensured it became an instant hit and was danced to, over several Holis.

Love me

Presenting the fully evolved Salman Khan who's beaming with confidence and is 'ready' to take on any dance form and whip it into this own unique style. Salman does what he does best, in this song: feels the pulse of the song and lets the steps flow through naturally enough to look like they weren't choreographed, yet impactful enough to push the song to the top of the charts.

Ud Ud Dabangg

This is a great example of how Salman decided to add shades of this character in the movie, to this song. He plays a cool cop who is known for his peculiar and idiosyncratic style in meting out justice. So such a person can't obviously be expected do the tango or any complicated dance routine for that matter. So Salman's steps in this song clearly portray his character's rustic nature and are simple enough to be performed by just about anyone. Talk about believable characterization!

Dhinka Chika

Despite the much-argued similarity that the song's choreography shares with M.I.A's Bird Flu, Dhinka Chika is a hit on paper. With Mika lending his voice for this song that almost seems like it was constructed to suit Salman's style, there was little that could go wrong. In the end of the day, Salman wins yet again with his unique style of transforming just a combination of random moves into something legendary. Here, apart from other things, a fun twist to pocket TT makes street dancing into a celebration that looks too good to be legal.

If we missed out your favourite Salman song, do comment on this post and let us know which Salman songs really get your foot tapping.