"Enjoy Your Journey and Experiment as Much as You Can" - Akansha Verma

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1. Tell us more about your background and journey.

Hi, I hail from Ambala cantonment, District in Haryana. I have done my schooling from Riverside DAV public school and after that did my bachelor's from SD college affiliated to Kurukshetra University. Mine is a nuclear family with my mum being a manager in finance and dad being in tech support so I have been quite independent of an early age!

2. When did you first decide you wanted to pursue dancing and how did you start?

Ever since I started with dance at 3, my naani knew I would achieve something in dance. I started young, achieved many things and when I thought I was so close to what I wanted to be, things took a U-turn. As they say, good times don’t last forever, the same was the case with me when I had to halt my journey of dance.

My naani was never taken seriously when she said I’ll do something in dance. But that changed when I was offered the main role at my school’s annual function in class 3rd. My parents then decided to get professional training for me. They’ve always supported me despite not being financially very well. My mother made everything workable for me.

I stood out academically while following my passion because of her. I still remember I used to eat my lunch and complete my homework in her office after school and then run to dance classes. We won a lot of competitions at various levels. I even made it to the finals of a TV show ‘Honhaar’ and that's how my channel got its name.

In 2011, my mother was diagnosed with TB and chronic asthma. The treatment took so long that even doctors weren’t sure she’ll make through. It exhausted all our savings. Since I was the only child, I decided to be more responsible towards my academics. I concluded it wasn’t feasible to get the dance classes and go to far off places for competitions.

I passed class 12th with a whopping 91.4% but decided to study local due to financial problems. My peers used to mock me but I knew wherever I was, I had my talent and hard work with me. I was still participating in functions but my growth as a dancer had stopped.

I bonded with my soul sister Vasudha in my second year at college. She had the same dreams and we started working together to get what we always wanted. I won talent shows, youth fests, restarted my Youtube channel and started choreographing. Today, we’ve choreographed various weddings and ceremonies together. I am happy with the little success I’ve achieved.

3. Who is your favourite dancer and why?

Umm.. favourite dancer ...! Well, there's absolutely not a single name. There are a few people I follow. My guru Sh. Anju Miglani: she can dance from her face alone, such is her charisma. I can't forget to mention Saroj Ji and Madhuri Dixit because that's the genre I usually do and I adore Kumar Sharma sir, his style. I have a huge crush on Tiger shroff's dancing!

4. Can you throw some light on opportunities one gets as a dancer?

Whatever passion one pursues, opportunities are definitely going to cross your paths. One should have that dedication so that he/she can actually enjoy the fruits of success. Life is so fast these days that you will see 5-6 yr old kids putting their best foot forward and would leave you amazed. They have that capability.

Initially, people had this cheap mindset about dance but today you can see the name and fame people have earned because they made their journey worth it. So you see it requires that damn "passion". That UMMMPPH factor..!

5. Is format training required or can one train themselves purely on the basis of talent?

I have been hearing from the family that I am a born dancer coz no-one in my family history ever stretched their feet. Jokes apart! Even if one has got that potential, he/she ought to go through formative training in order to shine bright.

Now here comes the importance of guru in life. Guru will always make you overcome your weaknesses. He is the one who'll provide you with the path and that path is really necessary in order to shape your passion.

6. What piece of advice would you like to give to future and aspiring artists?

Practice, practice and practice. Enjoy your journey and experiment as much as you can. Don't get stuck in a rut, you never know what may be useful.

7. Which is your favourite book and why?

I’m more into fiction and I love Durjoy’s, Preeti Shenoy’s and Ravinder Singh’s work. I am an ardent fan of life is what you make it which is by Preeti Shenoy. It’s a gripping story of the pains of growing up, the strength afforded by faith and the indestructibility of the spirit. Durjoy Dutta's “wish I could tell you” is having all my heart.

Interview by - Sonam

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