#Viral hula hoop dancer Eshna Kutty: Wanted to show, saree doesn’t limit your moves
Dressed in a saree and sneakers, Delhi-based hula hoop dancer Eshna Kutty recorded a video of herself dancing to the popular song Genda Phool (Delhi-6; 2009), simply out of nostalgia. Little did she know that her #SareeFlow would end up creating waves on social media, making the 24-year-old a Twitter sensation, within hours of joining fellow tweeples!
This alumna of Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University is in “disbelief” over the sudden appreciation that has come her way. “I had no idea how far this video would go. It was a practise video I made, dancing to a song I love, and I absolutely wasn’t expecting it to make it to Twitter. I wasn’t on Twitter till a day ago,” says Kutty, who has more than 4k followers within a day or two of her making a Twitter account.
The empowerment quotient is what twitterati is loving in the #SareeFlow. “The video combines two things — a saree which is so integral to the Indian society, and hooping that is relatively alien to us,” says the flow artiste, adding, “Our generation is more free with their expression and I wanted to show that a saree, in no way, limits your moves!”
And though it’s now that the youngster became viral, but “saree hooping” is something that she has been at since a long time. She has been even teaching hula hooping for five years now! “I’ve been bullied by my friends to perform at weddings in a saree... Actually, I wanted #DesiFlow instead of #SareeFlow (to trend) because I wanted it to accommodate all traditional attires, and want even men to take up this art since hula hooping is still perceived as feminine flow form,” she adds.
Homebound like most of us since March, Kutty says her tryst with movement therapy is quite interesting. “I had wanted to pursue both Psychology and dance, but I wasn’t great at the latter. In a gap year that I took after college, while I was feeling my ground, I was acquainted with dance, drama and movement therapy. I pursued it and eventually found myself going back to hooping,” she says, adding that she is completely self taught. “Hooping as a flow art form is relatively new to the world, not just India. I used to watch videos on YouTube about 10 years ago, and play them in slow motion in order to decipher the movement,” she recalls.
Among the many prominent admirers that Kutty has gained over the last couple of days, is playback singer Rekha Bhardwaj — the original voice behind the song Sarural Genda Phool. “Rekha ma’am reached out to me on social media, and she has expressed her interest in joining my program. It’s just amazing, I’m kind of numb! My friends are elated that it has happened, but they rate my performance as a 4 on 10 for this video. To them, this is my most average video so far! They want more of my ‘real dance videos’ to make it to social media now,” she shares laughing.
The hoop instructor, who has been hosting online classes for last six months, says, “I have a few endorsement opportunities lined up so I’ll be looking at those. But for now, I can really just call myself a hoop instructor! All my career hula hoops have been looked at as a child’s play; people would ask me ‘acha hooping is fine, but what do you really do?’. For the first time, I feel validated. This is what I do!”