“Creating Your Niche Is Very Important’- Rohan Asher Kotadia

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1. Tell us more about your background and journey. 

I have been dancing since I was 6 years old, I always had a habit of turning on the TV and copying/ learning hook steps from famous songs. As i turned older my passion for dance kept on increasing, I started heading the dance team in my school, going for classes and did a bunch of stage shows.

I also danced for a lot of kids fashion shows as filers. My first stage show was for Gini & Jony. At the age of 16, when I was in college I started my own dance classes, where I was teaching the kids in my society and their friends, and also hosted a presentation for their parents.

After finishing college, I got into Sangeet choreography, and did that for about a year, before moving to Canada. In Canada, i couldn't pursue dance, since I did not get the time but I did help a few friends teaching them dance for fun and to keep me attached to my passion.

After I came back in 2013, I resumed doing Sangeet choreographies but since, I was out of the scene for about 4 years, it was difficult to get the momentum back so I started a full time job but whenever I got  a chance to do anything dance related I would jump at it.

I dida few commercials, the video for the launch of Zee5 being the biggest, did sangeets as and when something came. About a year back, I met Nidhi Kumar, who is a big influencer/ dancer/ choreographer through a friend, and she introduced me to TikTok and we started making videos together, and she helped me out alot in building my Social Media profile as a dancer.

In the past 6 months, I've built a following of about close to 4k and have been constantly working on my Instagram profile and planing on branching out to other Social Media platforms.

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

Becoming a dancer/ pursue dancing was never part of the plan. Things just happened, I got opportunities and I used to take them on because of my love for dancing, and then one thing to led to the other and here I am. 

3. Who is your favourite Dancer and why? 

I don't have a favourite dancer, I admire a lot of dancers who are from different styles, countries etc. One person who I really admire is Micheal Jackson, I was really influenced by his kind of dancing, the way he moves, his style, the ease that he has while he dances. He is a complete package and as a kid I would always try to match up to him 

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

When I started off as a dancer, the opportunities that a dancer had was either to become a choreographer for movies/ in the entertainment industry, start your own classes or become a part of a troop like Shiamak, Terrance Lewis etc.

Today there are a lot of opportunities for dancers, Sangeets have become a huge part of the wedding culture and almost everybody hires a choreographer for it, Schools/ corporates have started quarterly events where they need choreographers, you can become an inhouse dance teacher with schools other than this the biggest opportunity that you can get is Social Media, you can become an influencer, keep doing partnerships, promoting brands and earn money, some people make a career out of it, take online classes (which has become a new trend with the lockdown and will continue as people from all over the world can learn from their favourite choreographers at the convenience of the house). 

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

Talent is very important and you can go very far with just talent and a lot of people have proved that you can but a formal training is always helpful, whether you take this training in a class or you do it on your own learning from online tutorials etc. but it is very important, because only talent doesn't form a base, dance is a skill and for any skill, getting your base is very important. Some styles/ some dance forms require training, to get the posture, form, lines and style correct.

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

Today with so much of exposure that people have, so much of access to different platforms there is a lot of competition. You may think that you're doing something different but when you actually go to Instagram/ TikTok there are 10 others doing exactly same thing.

The only way you can beat the crowd is to get yourself out there in peoples eyes and the only way you can do that is be being different. What makes you stand out from the other 10 people who are doing the same thing. Innovation and creativity is very important, creating your niche is very important.

For eg: If your a choreographer and you"re a great dancer that works but there are other doing that too, to stand out you could work on a style like Ballet or Contemporary, where you thin the crowd and create a niche, the other thing could be take a dance from and introduce something new like a fusion dance form. 

7. Which is your favourite book and why? 

I'm not much of a book reader, though I read a lot of comics and Batman comics are my favourite.

- Rohan Asher Kotadia

Interview by- Rupali Rawat

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