At 12, he’s been declared India’s finest young dancer on the finale of Dance India Dance Li’l Master on Zee TV. The show climaxed at Pune’s Balewadi Sports Complex on Saturday night where Jeetumoni Kalita from Malegaon, Assam, beat Anuj from Chandigarh, Vaishnavi from Pune and Manoj from Mumbai by several votes.
When asked, Kalita says, "I didn’t even know through the course of the show that there was a cash prize to be won. I was competing only for the cup. I’m extremely excited because I’m not the only winner. I think all my friends who were finalists with me are the best dancers in the country among kids." Kalita, who was trained by Dharmesh Yelande, the first runner-up of Dance India Dance Season Two, plans to hand over the money to his parents and let them utilise it as they wish to.
"If it wasn’t for their blessings, I wouldn’t have reached where I did. This money will help them finance my school and dance education and also help us lead a better life. I want to become a choreographer like Farah ma’am (Farah Khan) when I grow up," says Kalita, who had his parents and sister for company on the day of the finale.
Would he keep in touch with the friends he has made in the 13 weeks that he was on the show? “Of course,” he exclaims. “I will be in touch with all of them, especially Vatsal. He and I are thick buddies. I will miss the show for sure.”
It’s okay if I haven’t won. I can just say that I plan to complete my school and college and become a choreographer for sure!
Today, though I haven’t won the competition that I worked very hard for, I’m happy I’m going back home with a new bunch of friends and tonnes of hope that I will make a better life for myself. I will grow up to become a choreographer. I will work harder, aur kya!
I was hoping to win, I wouldn’t lie about that. Losing out in the competition hasn’t deterred me from pursuing dance as a stream of education. I plan to do my Ph.D in classical dance and hopefully, on the way, I will become a master choreographer like Farah Ma’am.