Actor Darsheel Safary, 16, is the youngest contestant on Jhalak Dikkhlaa Jaa 5 (JDJ 5). Few would know that he’s in class 10 and will be appearing for his first board exams early next year. Considering that this is the most crucial time of his school life, the actor says he needs to beat the stress as much as he needs to focus on his studies.
“I took on JDJ 5 because I think dancing is a good stress buster. The show requires me to be present for the shoot two days a week. The producers and the channel (Colors) have made special arrangements for me so I don’t have to keep my studies on the backburner for the sake of the show,” says Darsheel who has been learning how to dance for a few years now, and plans to continue with his acting stints as his studies permit.
“Usually, I don’t travel to the rehearsal studio in Andheri because I live in South Mumbai and commuting can be taxing for me because of my studies. So I rehearse at a studio that’s closer home and I give my best to each one of my performances.”
But doesn’t spending hours on the sets take a toll on his studies, considering the shoots take place in the middle of the week and he may miss important classes? “No,” he says. “I always carry my books and notes to the sets. I utilise the free time to complete my homework and do a few quick revisions.”
How have his classmates and friends reacted to his dance stint on the small screen? “My phone almost crashed with the number of calls I received after the first episode was aired. Most of my friends tune in every week and give their feedback, which I value a lot,” says Darsheel. “They’ve all been very supportive because I’m competing with some really senior celebrities, some of whom are superb dancers too. And of course, there’s Madhuri Dixit who I’d like to impress with my moves.”
Other kids who study on the sets!
* Avika Gor
* Raj Bhanushali
* Bhavya Gandhi
* Aryan Sharma
* Ashnoor Kaur
* Tapasvi Mehta
* Aashika Bhatia
* Sparsh Khanchandani