The buzz in Bollywood for years was that choreographers Saroj Khan and Vaibhavi Merchant don't get along. The two are judges on a popular dance reality show now and Vaibhavi quashes all "misconception", saying that sharing the same panel with the senior dance master is a privilege.
"It's fabulous to be sharing the judging panel with Saroj-ji. There were a lot of misconceptions that we don't get along and aren't very cordial with each other but through this show we have been able to clear all those rumours," Vaibhavi told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
"She is the mother of choreography and being on the same platform with her makes me feel extremely privileged," Vaibhavi added.
Vaibhavi, who has choreographed hit songs like Dhol Baje and Kajra re, says she is enjoying every bit of judging the dance show Jhalak Dikhhla Ja on Sony Entertainment television.
"I thoroughly enjoy being on the show. First of all, the people behind the show are very quick and don't stretch shooting schedules for long hours. They are very quality conscious. We have celebrities who are successful in their fields and they work so hard with their choreographers to put up that perfect dance."
The 33-year-old has also been in the judge's seat for another reality show Nach Baliye 3 in the past.
So what is the most challenging part of judging such shows?
"The most challenging part when you are on the judge's seat is to vote someone out. It becomes extremely difficult to decide to eliminate a person when everyone is so good. It is quite challenging because we try to be as fair and as correct as possible," she said.
Vaibhavi's stint in Bollywood started with the song Dhol baaje picturised on Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan in hit film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam for which she won a National Award.
She then went on to create a niche for herself in the industry by choreographing numbers in prominent films like Lagaan, Devdas, Baghban, Dhoom, Veer Zaara and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi among others.
The turning point in her career, however, was the hugely popular number Kajra re from Bunty Aur Babli (2005) that fetched her several awards.
Among her forthcoming projects are a Yash Raj project with Rani Mukerji and Shahid Kapur, Akshay Kumar's Kambhakkt Ishq and a song in Aamir Khan-starrer Three Idiots.
"I'm quite excited about the song I am doing in Three Idiots. It's too early to divulge any details, but I will try and do something different with that song. It is an amazing number," said Vaibhavi.
But the dance expert admitted that there is a limit to which one can experiment in Bollywood.
"You can try out different dance forms or experiment with new ones on stage but as far as films are concerned you get restricted. You are bound by the script there. So you have to work according to that," said Vaibhavi.