Roped in as a judge on Dance India Dance Li’l Masters, Mouni Roy discusses her love for the art form
Transitioning from television to the movies is not an easy feat, but Mouni Roy, armed with determination and hard work, made the switch. However, she is not one to forget her roots. The Naagin actor has returned to television as a judge on Dance India Dance Li’l Masters season 5. Known for her dancing skills, Roy talks about her new role and learning from the contestants.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
This is the first project you took up since your wedding.
I have been an avid follower of Dance India Dance in the initial seasons. I was ecstatic when the [offer] came my way. In fact, I was locked for the reality show a month-and-a-half before my wedding. Since I have the most understanding husband, there was no deliberation about taking the show up.
Mouni Roy with Sonali Bendre and Remo D’souza
This is a new format for you. Did you have inhibitions before taking it up?
There weren’t any inhibitions. I knew that this is a space I wanted to be a part of because I love dancing and children. I was not worried about pulling it off. The show’s writer helped me understand the format, and what is expected of me. I was nervous on the first day of the shoot, but by lunchtime, I started to find my feet. Now, I enjoy the process and look forward to a shoot day. The talent on the show amazes me. From five-year-olds to 10-year-olds, they dance like they’ve been doing this for the last 20 years.
Did you have to learn things to adapt to a judge’s role?
I learn every day from the kids and their parents. There is a family of eight, who stay in one room. The father does Navy SEAL work, and earns about seven to eight thousand a month. When we asked him if it was enough, he said, “Zarooratein hi kum hain”. You get to learn so many things like that. It is fulfilling to live life to the fullest with the little we have. We all know it, but still [chase materialism].
How is the experience of sharing the judges’ panel with Remo D’souza and Sonali Bendre?
It is a matter of honour to share the panel with them. Remo sir has done a reality dance show that I was a part of. Sonali ma’am is an absolute darling; she is emotional, and connects with every contestant and their family. It is endearing to see them both being so spontaneous. I get to learn so much just sitting next to them.
Are you planning to pick up any new dance styles while on the show?
While many believe that I am a classically trained dancer, I want to reiterate that I am not professionally trained. I don’t have the time to pick up a new dance style, but I love contemporary. I keep requesting my choreographer friends to [dance with me]. If I get any free time, I want to learn a new dance form, a new choreography [style]. I love learning new things, so, the show is an ideal [platform].