• Abhilasha Iyer

So you think you can dance? Let these 5 dancers answer it for you!

By Abhilasha Iyer


From the top, and 5,6,7, go! Whether it's the weekend Zumba class or loosening up with a Saturday evening dance session with friends, we all feel the need to let our hair down and shake a leg!


There are some of us for whom dancing is more than just a getaway. Dance is the mainstay. These 5 stalwarts have dedicated their life to dance, danced like nobody's watching and have inspired generations of aspirational dancers.


Here's a glimpse into their lives, off and on stage, that show us the magic and mastery of their method.


Michael Jackson


MJ's iconic toe stand

Image source


The first person whose name is a household reference when anyone says dance is none other than the "King of Pop", Michael Jackson. Whether it's gliding across the stage backwards in a moonwalk or tilting 45 degrees forward in a gravity defying lean, the dreamy moves by this Smooth Criminal have been pathbreaking in the world of dance, be it pop or Bollywood.


Having learned the move from the popping style dance troupe, The Electric Booglaoos, Michael Jackson rehearsed on it in his studio, adding a spin and finishing off in style with a jaw dropping toe freeze. He fused it with his sharp robotic moves, merging the West Coast street dance and East Coast hip hop style, appealing to demographies and becoming an overnight sensation, where every aspirational dancer, kid or adult like tried to emulate his master stroke.


Here is the defining moment in dance history which flashed on TV screens, from his 1983 live solo performance of "Billie Jean"



Did you know?


Michael Jackson had fancy footwear exclusively designed and patented for him, where a V shaped slot in his heel allowed him to tilt forward at 45 degrees anti-gravity lean, making him the first dancer to devise this move



Prabhu Deva

Image source : Prabhu Deva recreating the classic Muqabla at IIF 2012


Closer to home, we have our Padmashri awardee, the Indian Moonwalker, Prabhu Deva.

Under the guidance of his choreographer father Mugur Sundar, Prabhu made early moves in dance learning both Bharatnatyam and Western Dance styles. Known for his shyness off stage, Prabhu was initially hesitant to. When he was hesitant to choreograph, his father would leave him to himself to choreograph it. The talent that came out of the room is out for the world to see! With groovy blockbuster hits like "Muqabla" and "Urvashi" from Kadhalan, to playing the lead in India's first 3D dance movie Streetdancer, Prabhu Deva's moves are as agile and feather liht


Donning multiple hats as a director, actor and choreographer across Southern cinema industries and even Bollywood, Prabhu Deva has carved a niche in the hearts of his fans as the Indian Michael Jackson, who is his inspiration.


Leaving you with a classic sequence, Muqabla for old times' sake!





Hrithik Roshan

Image Source: Bollywood heartthrob, Hrithik Roshan


One of Bollywood's dancing superstars, is Hrithik Roshan, proved he has breathtaking moves right from his blockbuster debut, Kaho Na Pyaar Hai. Behind all the glamour is a diligent man, who had a tough childhood. Born with an extra thumb on his left hand and a stammer, he shied away from school, where he was teased. He worked hard to assist his director father Rakesh Roshan on the sets, while learning the tricks of the trade. In his early twenties, he was detected with scoliosis and doctors said he wouldn't be able to dance or even perform stunts. He took it in his stride, literally and discovered he was able to jog at a slow pace one rainy morning, which he describes as the turning point of his life. Funnily enough, the choreographer on the set of Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, almost gave up on him when he could not get one step right. Instead he practised that one step for one hour and shocked everyone on sets!


Hrithik is proof that with hard work, anything is possible. Here' s an offbeat number with mind boggling moves choreographed by ace choreographer Prabhu Deva.





Madhuri Dixit


Image Source : Dhak Dhak girl Madhuri Dixit


The dancing diva, who has stolen the hearts of a millions of fans, is none other than the Dhak Dhak girl, Madhuri Dixit. Be it the roaring success of Ek Do Teen or Kathak masterpieces as Maar daala, she is versatile in expressions, grace and her vivacious personality shine through her radiant smile. Even though she dazzled the silver screens for almost three decades, she stays true to her classical dancing roots of Kathak. Training from a tender age of three, she trained in Kathak for 8 years, and even received a scholarship at the age of nine. She was only seven when her name appeared in the newspaper when she performed in a Guru Purnima festival. The journalist who covered the event mentioned that "this little girl stole the show" Well, little did we know that this prophecy would ring true in the years. Even though she has proven her mettle as an actor, she is a dancer at heart. She believes that dance is a spiritual practice that instills in onw the ability to express emotions and the power to believe in one self.




Martha Graham


Image Source : Martha Graham performing “Letter to the World” (also called “The Kick”), 1940.


The pioneer of a modern dance technique that is almost synonymous with the classical ballet is Martha Graham. As she lived in Santa Barbara, the movement of the sea intrigued her to emulate its rhythm through the bodily movements. She began expanding her dance vocabulary to using body movements as an expression of human emotions. She not only drew inspiration from human emotions but also modern paintings and women in Greek mythology and history such as Clytemnestra, Jocasta, Medea, Phaedra, Joan of Arc, and Emily Dickinson. At her own dance house, Martha Graham Dance Company, She was not just a dancer, but also a producer, choreographer and artistic director, and has produced over 180 productions, in collaboration with even fashion houses such as Calvin and Klein. The USA has conferred her with The Presidential Medal of Freedom, and declared her a “national treasure,” making her the first dancer and choreographer to receive this honor.


Here's a glimpse of her masterpiece "Lamentation" for her fluidic interpretation of the emotion





Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion
- Martha Graham

So you think you can dance?


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But, what is QShala Unconference 2.0?


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The last day for registering is November 14th.


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