Dancing Dad from America: My kids won't admit but the response is pretty cool
From Bollywood numbers Ghungroo (War; 2019) to O Beta Ji (Ludo), nothing is off the table when it comes to the display of dance skills by Ricky Pond aka Dancing Dad. The Washington-based graphic designer by profession is internet’s favourite these days, after he rose to Instagram fame with his dance videos on songs created across the world. What’s special? He shakes a leg to these dance numbers along with his children!
In a candid chat, Pond tells us that he has had a long-standing history with dance. “I started dancing when I was 8 with Clogging (a folk dance in US), and I did that all the way through high school and college. I always thought that dancing would be a part of my life. I even taught clogging at a dance studio for about 3 years! But soon family, kids and work took priority and dancing took a back seat in my life. That was until March of 2020 when I made my debut on a mobile app,” he says.
In December, Pond went viral with an Instagram video that showed him dancing to the song Ghungroo, from the movie War. That’s when his incredible and not so typical dad dancing skills got noticed among fans and non fans of Bollywood alike. Within a short span, he has acquired a fan following of over 80K on Instagram. “I have a beautiful wife and four children, three of whom you can see dancing with me. My wife is starting to warm up to the whole dancing on social media, and I hope to get her to dance with me as she is a great dancer herself,” he adds.
But do his kids appreciate him dancing his heart out for an online audience? “Dancing has helped me bond with my kids since they are pursuing online schooling at home,” he confesses, adding, “We (my kids and I) have a lot of fun together, but are that average family that will get on each other’s nerves as well. They (the kids) are not always willing to do some dances, and reason that their friends are following me! I guess they are just being teenagers (laughs)!”
In fact, Pond started recording these videos for an altogether different purpose. Pond shares, “It started out as something for me to use and embarrass the kids! But then it turned into a stress reliever from 10 hour days at work, and everything else going on (during the pandemic). My family thought it would just be a phase and I would stop after a few weeks, but that wasn’t the case. And here we are!”
His desi moves to many popular Bollywood and Punjabi songs has left many a followers grooving, as he effortlessly aces most signature hook steps. Although he has been now frequently entertaining requests to dance to popular Indian songs, he is bewildered at the response to his Bollywood dance numbers, and confesses, “I don’t understand a word of Hindi, except what people have very kindly translated for me... I have fun with them all, can’t pick any one favourite. But the ones in which my kids dance with me are the ones I enjoy the most!”
His trick to embarrass his kids didn’t work. But do his co-workers feel awkward? “It has been very positive with the people around me so far; my family and me are shocked at the response we are getting. I’m humbled that people like what we are doing, and we are just having fun. Even my co-workers are supportive and laugh daily about my crazy dances. My children will never admit, but I think it’s pretty cool! I know it’s a conversation with their friends and they hate that (laughs),” Pond signs off.
Author tweets @bhagat_mallika
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