Three times a week Shraddha Kutty, Sagar Nagar and Nischit Pathak finish college and teach less privileged children.
No, they don’t teach them their school syllabus but teach them break dancing.
Part of a crew called Freak ‘n’ Stylz, the group holds regular classes all over Mumbai and has been coaching several aspiring breakers and poppers from poor economic backgrounds for free. The group started three years ago.
“Breaking is a very labour intensive dance form and requires training. We come
across a lot of kids during our summer batch that possess some very impressive skills but they discontinue afterwards due to financial difficulties. We provide free training and studio space to students that may have a problem paying for our classes. There’s so much talent out there and it’s a shame to let it go to waste. Dance is way in which kids can let go a little of steam and energy and channel it in the right direction,” said 19-year-old Kutty from Jai Hind College, Churchgate.
One such example is 14-year-old fraternal twins, Benjamin and Francis Nartekar. Their talent was discovered during a summer batch performance. “After the summer batch, the students vanished. Their parents were not exactly very happy about them wanting to take up dance as a routine and it would have been difficult for the family to pay for regular classes,” said Gautam Jeewan, crewmember and a head instructor. The crew then hunted them down to Sion and offered them free training. “These children have serious talent and it would be a shame to let it go to waste. As twins, they complement each other very well,” added Jeewan. Now, the twins train rigorously and are on their way to a bright future.
The group’s ambition is to educate people on the dance form and help dance students with the right approach towards it. “I had to start from scratch with my crew. We browsed the net and had to educate ourselves but now people don’t need to go through so much effort anymore. Anyone who is interested in learning the dance form can come forward and join the cult,” said AV Venkatesh, founder of the group.