Children dance with great abandon: Rahul Shetty

dance for kids

Choreograher Rahul Shetty

By Shilpi Madan

Choreographer Rahul Shetty has made the seemingly boneless Prabhudeva move to his steps again, in the Muqabla number in the upcoming dance movie Street Dancer 3D. Having choreographed the star in the dance blockbuster ABCD 2 as well, Rahul has set the screen afire with stunning moves again. But then he has made stars dance to his tune in Race 3, Baaghi 2, Houseful 4 too.

At 28, Rahul Shetty is one of the most acclaimed choreographers in Bollywood. Over 70 reality shows old, Rahul has worked extensively as a child artiste himself and has choreographed kids galore too. Excerpts from a conversation with Express Parenting:

What does dance mean to you?

Dance is my life. It was a dream come true for me to choreograph Prabhudeva Sir as I have grown up watching his songs, like Urvashi.

"Dance is my life," said Rahul.

When did you start out?

At five, I was giving auditions for shows. I worked as a child artiste for a year in Kya Masti Kya Dhoom show. Then I worked in many shows. There were days when I would travel from Dombivli to Santacruz and put in 12-14 hours of dance practice each day.

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You are not professionally trained, are you?

No. But I grew up on Bollywood dance, attended countless workshops by international dance experts. I was never inclined towards classic forms like ballet or Bharatnatyam. Bollywood was my interest.

What is the right age for kids to start pursuing dance?

I believe four to five years is the right age to start. Children must also pursue an activity like gymnastics, swimming...to better their stamina and flexibility.

What works to their advantage?

They execute dance steps so effortlessly, without any fear or ego hassles. Children dance with great abandon, and absolute sincerity. This allows a choreographer a larger canvas for exploring more techniques with them. Also, children have access to more dance forms and videos through social media, they are much more aware and willing to experiment with multiple styles. They are great learners.

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Did you always want to be a choreographer?

I am an engineer by qualification. I gave that up to pursue my passion in dance. My parents were a bit concerned, but gave me space to try my luck in the industry.

What is the best piece of advice you can give to dance lovers?

Everything takes time but you can realise your dreams through honest, hard work. Be sincere and consistent. Never be disheartened if you are not selected in an audition. The rule is to better yourself and try harder. I started with reality shows, worked with leading choreographers, understood camera angles and then was able to establish myself over the years.

One last question. Do you have any 'lucky' item in your wardrobe?

No one knew of this till now: Shah Rukh Khan gifted me his perfume when I worked with him. I still have it, will never use it as it is very special to me though I have bought another bottle of the same fragrance. Choreographer Remo D Souza gifted me a pair of shoes, I wear them sparingly as they are priceless. There is a pair of track pants I always wear when I choreograph a song. They are my lucky pants.