If you’re an urban dance aficionado, we’re sure to have you hooked at the mention of Chachi Gonzales. The 17-year-old from Los Angeles, who regularly gets about 70-80 lakh hits on her YouTube videos, is easily among the most popular urban dancers world over. And the fact that the young globe trotter is heading this side of the globe to conduct a series of workshops in the second week of September has created quite a buzz among Indian fans who’ve until now had to rely on the Web for their dose of urban dance grooves (the dougie being the most popular).
The first edition of the Urban Dance Tour, a three-day series of workshops being held in Delhi and Mumbai later this month, features three other urban dancers -- Canadian Indian Reet Roy, Delhi-based Manisha Agarwal and New Delhi’s Sandeep Chhabra.
Chhabra, who is also the mind behind the tour, has been dreaming of organising such an event ever since he was a student in the Philippines, where he was first introduced to the dance form. “While urban dance has gained popularity overseas, in India it is still in its nascent stages. Not too many people know about the form, and I wanted to take this initiative to bring the culture to India,” adds the 25-year-old dancer.
“There’s no other dance form that is more connected to the song than urban dance. It is extremely controlled and precise. Watch Chris Brown or Ne-Yo’s music videos and you will get what I mean,” says Chhabra. “I even had the chance to watch Chachi Gonzales and perform with her. She was barely 15 then, but she was amazing. I think that’s what makes her so inspiring -- she’s so young and she has achieved so much already,” says Chabbra, a 22-year-old.
“In India, most children don’t get the chance to explore their dancing skills until they enter college. And Chachi is a great example that age has nothing to do with talent and success,” he adds.
Since his return to New Delhi about a year ago, the dancer has been working hard conducting workshops across the country to spread the word about this contemporary dance form. “Urban dance tends to be quite individualistic. During the workshops I conduct, I usually combine all that I have learnt over the hundreds of workshops I have attended over the past three years. I just let it flow naturally,” admits Chhabra. “That’s the great part about urban dance.
There are no restrictions -- no keeping your feet pointed, or maintaining your hands in the right posture. It’s more about style and using your imagination.”
Where: Jamnabai Narsee School, Vile Parle (W)
When: To be announced
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