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A whole new ball game

brunch Updated: Jul 17, 2013 10:03 IST
Usmeet Kaur
Usmeet Kaur
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Ballet and ballroom dances are not just two of the most romantic forms, they are also fast gaining popularity, thanks to an increasing number of reality TV shows based on dancing. Tricity’s dance enthusiasts can now rejoice, for city boy Akshay Sharma is all set to offer training in the two highly technical dance forms.

The 24-year-old will join other dance facilitators at The Engine Room in Sector 8, Chandigarh, where training in dances such as jazz, hip-hop, Zumba and salsa is already being provided. Akshay, a bachelor’s in economics from Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi, tells us, “I first joined Ashley Lobo’s dance classes in Delhi where I learnt jazz for two years. Later, I started learning ballet, to which I have devoted six years.”

From Argentina’s Fernando Aguilera to America’s Angela Hlady, Akshay has been trained under most of the popular ballet dance experts. “My talent was further honed under the tutelage of Leah Raphael Curtis from New York and Emily Mcloughlin from London, who taught me not just ballet, but also contemporary dance and Pilates,” he adds.

The youngster says he plans to begin by educating people the basics — such as the difference between ballet and belly dancing. “Ballet is a very technical dance form, but anyone can pick its nuances. However, a person needs to be fit to learn the dance whose practice will tone your physique.”

The dancer, who is trained in La Bayadere, a ballet staged in four acts and seven tableaux, points out that the key ingredient in learning any art is discipline. “Ballet is equivalent to discipline, which should be a part of everyone’s life. From coming to the class on time to not eating junk, everything requires discipline,” he says.

Akshay also says that ballet does not induce injuries as is commonly believed. “If done using the right technique and after thorough warming up, it brings no injuries.” Interestingly, Akshay is also a ballroom dancer, about which he says, “It is a social dance belonging to the Victorian age that is categorised into standard and Latin forms.” The dancer learnt ballroom dancing from professionals such as Dimitar Bondev from Bulgaria, he claims. “It is important to note that ballet and ballroom are completely different,” he signs off.

Beginning July 23, Akshay will train people in ballet on Tuesdays and Thursdays and ballroom dancing on the weekends. Charges (per month, per person) for ballet are R2,500 and for ballroom R2,000. The dance academy also has dance facilitators Puneet Jewandah and Kritika Sharma imparting training in jazz, belly dance, Zumba, contemporary dancing, salsa and even yoga.