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  Life   Art  11 Apr 2017  Waltzing away to the bronze medal

Waltzing away to the bronze medal

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANDIP SOPARRKAR
Published : Apr 11, 2017, 1:52 am IST
Updated : Apr 11, 2017, 1:52 am IST

It was a Bronze medal this time for India and we all hope and pray that next time we see a brighter medal around on their slender bodies.

Anuj Bhargava and his partner Ankita Dolawat. (Photo: Sharad Subramanian)
 Anuj Bhargava and his partner Ankita Dolawat. (Photo: Sharad Subramanian)

Dance is not just a hobby any more, there are many people who have started to take it seriously, for them dance is not just a passion nor a profession but for them dance it is a medium to make our country proud.

Few days back Sri Lanka was the host for the El Latino Dancesport Championship 2017 where 54 dance athletes from all over Asia took part in the Latin and Ballroom dance competition. And I feel proud to say that India came back with a bronze medal. The couple who made our country proud is Anuj Bhargava and his partner Ankita Dolawat.

 

This dynamic couple is so stylish and graceful that one feels proud that our country had them as one of our representatives. The vibrant couple happens to be my students.

They took part in four dance category, where they had to dance like the Rumba, Samba, Cha Cha Cha and Jive. I had a chat with them.

How has this entire journey been?

Anuj: I moved from Delhi to Mumbai for work. A banker by profession, I took up dance as a hobby to relax myself. Soon I became a dance instructor. However, I wanted to challenge myself. So taking part in a competition was the best way to do it.

Ankita: I was preparing for my IAS exams and I took up dance as a break from studies. I didn’t know that this will lead me to win a medal for my country. It has taken me years of practise and today I feel that I was destined to make my country proud.

 

What went into preparing for the competition?

Anuj: I knew that to balance both dance and work would be a huge task for me. I would wake up at 5 am, go to gym and then report to work at 9 am. it was the end of the financial year — a crucial and hectic time for a banker still I would pack that up and meet for our practises from 8 pm till almost midnight. It was super hectic for me but being Indian representatives was something that kept me motivated.

Ankita: For me, I was low on stamina so had to work very hard to get that in place. At an international competition a dance athlete is suppose to do all dances one after the other. We were in the four dance category and during preparation I would lose out on my stamina. So my diet and my workout were very important for which I took help of internationally acclaimed fitness expert Shalini Bhargava.

 

How did you feel when you were to step up on the floor for the competition?

Anuj: I was nervous as it was the first time ever on an international dance floor. But I guess nervousness is good, because it gave me a new sense of responsibility. I took a deep breath, thanked God and told myself “I am the Indian representative, I will my country proud”.

Ankita: I was wearing this gorgeous two-piece dress. At backstage when I removed my jacket all the dancers turned to me and said “Wow you have abs”. Their confidence in my looks gave me the confidence that I can do it. Just before stepping up on stage I remembered the words of my Guru, “Dont dance for each other but dance for one another”. And that gave me the right attitude.

 

What was running in your head when your name was called out?

Anuj: I could not control my excitement at all, I held Ankita’s hand and almost dragged her to the floor. Having the medal around my neck was the moment of pride for me.

Ankita: I was overwhelmed and could not believe that our name was being called out, I almost had tears of joy in my eyes, finally all the hard work paid off. I immediately called everyone who had been a part of this journey and thanked them. Winning a medal for India is an incredible feeling, something that I just cannot explain.

Now what is the next step  from here?

Anuj: I am keen to represent India for the Ballroom Dancing Championship at the Indoor Asian Games next year and I will start preparing for it now. I know it’s not going to be an easy job because Indoor Asian Games is a very big platform and for that i will have to work very hard. But I am willing to give my 100 per cent because dance  is more than just a hobby or a way to overcome distress. Dance has given me a sense of pride and I wish to take it ahead.

 

Ankita: Dance is my life, I am incomplete without dance. Dance has given me confidence, it has made me who I am today. Whatever happens I will never stop dancing. I take one step at a time in life and now that the El Latino Dancesport Championship 2017 is over. I will go further deep into the techniques of Ballroom dancing and try and make our bronze medal move up to another level.

Post my conversation with the winning couple, I spoke to Shalini Bhargava who trained the couple. She Said, “Anuj needed some tips on his diet and workout which I gave and he followed it well. Ankita on the other hand was put through yoga, Pilates and body conditioning sessions. I am so proud that their sweat has shown result through a bronze for India.”

 

Somewhere in our busy lives we forget what we can do and how much we can achieve. Normally, it is seen that while following ones profession the passion somewhere dies and we cannot revive it because of various reasons and situations that come in our lives.

A couple so dedicated is rare to find, I feel we all should learn from Anuj and Ankita who are able to balance profession and passion and find success in both.

Today with this article I would like to wish Anuj Bhargava and Ankita Dolawat lots of success in dance and may you both bring back many more glorious moments such as these for our country.

It was a Bronze medal this time for India and we all hope and pray that next time we see a brighter medal around on their slender bodies.

 

Sandip Soparrkar is a well-known Ballroom dancer. He can be contacted on sandipsoparrkar06@gmail.com

Tags: bronze medal, dance, anuj bhargava, ankita dolawat