He is a renowned Indian Latin and ballroom dancer, a Bollywood choreographer, actor, columnist, a Ted X speaker, who holds a doctorate in World Mythology Folklore from the United States. He has been honoured with three National Excellence Awards and one National Achievement Award by the Government of India and he is also the recipient of the prestigious Dada Saheb Phakle Award. He founded ‘India Dance Week’ which combines Indian and international dance. He has also become a philanthropist with this worldwide initiative ‘Dance for a Cause’ where he uses dance, drama and music as a medium to raise awareness of various social issues in the society.
All this does not seem enough for this multi-talented dancer as now he has taken world by storm by presenting India’s first ever radio dance show Aao Twist Karein on not just one but three radio stations; Radio Nasha, Radio One and Radio Fever. When he dances, he allures with his moves, when he writes (he is our columnist since four years), he leaves a deep impact with his words, and now with his voice and fun-filled style, he is captivating all his listeners. Life & More spoke to the dancer-turned-RJ Sandip Soparrkar about his new found love of RJaying:
Tell us more about Aao Twist Karein?
We Indian’s love dance and the dance teachers in our country get great respect, we call them Gurus. We know them from the point of view of their dance work, their unmatched art but, never really seen their personal side. We have rarely spoken to them about their struggles, fears and tears and how they got to the position that they are in. Aao Twist Karein is a show where dancing legends come and speak their heart out.
How did the idea of Aao Twist Karein come around?
I have been in the industry for about two decades now and I am fortunate that to know these extraordinary dancing legends personally. So I took this idea of a radio dance talk to show to Radhika Chaturvedi Kaushik, Regional Programming Head-West for Radio Nasha and Radio One. She was excited with the idea and was kind enough to make me meet her boss Gaurav Sharma, the National Chief Programming Officer of Radio Nasha, Radio One and Fever FM. Then there was no looking back and Aao Twist Karein got rolling headed by the very talented and creative Nisha Thomas, who I call my boss. The Creative Producer of the show, Nisha is petite but is actually a chota packet with a bomb blast wala effect.
Who all have been featured on the show so far?
I am humbled that the show has got great reviews and is being well received by the listeners all over India. It is only because of my guests who make the show super interesting that we have been able to get such praises. Classical legends like Padma Vibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj, Padma Vibhushan Dr Sonal Mansingh, Bollywood choreographers Ganesh Acharya, Geeta Kapur, Terrence Lewis, Longinus Fernandes, Farah Khan, Shakti Mohan, Rajendra Masterji, Merzi Pestonji, Vishnu Deva, etc along with actresses like Poonam Dhillion, Ameesha Patel, Madhoo Shah, Jaya Prada, Hema Malini, Meghna Naidu, Alesia Raut, Pooja Batra, etc. We also had Miss World Yukta Mookhey come on the show and celebrate her 20 years of Miss World crown and spoke of her dance and loads of charity work she is still doing. Many more such amazing people have appeared on the show and have spoken from their heart in regards to their dancing journey and their life.
Any favourites – on the show, that is?
That’s a difficult question to answer, for, each guest brought in something beautiful and unique. Ganesh ji spoke of his identity struggling days as a choreographer, Maharaj ji of how he always loved films along with his classical dance, Sonal ji about what television industry should do to help retain the Indian folk and classical dances, Poonam ji spoke of how it was difficult for her when she was asked to dance and how she overcame this situation. Madhoo and Yukta remembered the time when they were yelled at by their choreographers. Geeta, Terrence and Longi poured their heart out in regards to people they are grateful to who helped them reach where they are today, Ameesha on dancing with Hrithik and others. Each of my guests has been fabulously outspoken, and I cannot thank them enough.
Which part of the show you like the most?
There are two: One is Jhoot Bole Kaua Kate. It is a fun segment where I ask them questions about their own and other contemporaries most liked and disliked work. Then, there is Clear your controversies wherein all guests have bared their souls.
Recently the World Book of Records UK certified your show to be the World’s first Radio Dance show, how do you feel about this achievement?
It is overwhelming. When we got to hear about this honour I was in total disbelief (laughs), I thought the radio station was pulling a prank on me; it took a while for it to sink in. I am grateful to Dr Diwakar Sukul, Chairman World Book of Records UK, Advocate Santosh Shukla, India President World Book of Records and Dr Rajeev Shrivastav, India Vice-President World Book of Records and their entire team for this honour. It is indeed a big achievement for us.
You have done it all, anything left in the wish list?
(Laughs) I don’t know, I have never made any calculated moves in my entire life, I always take each day as it comes. As of now Aao Twist Karein, my classes, my dance shows and my dance for a cause is taking up all my time. Add to that my teenaged son – being a single father that is another part of my life that I now need to deal with. So where I go next, what I will do tomorrow even I won’t be able to say.
Any message you would like to give all your fans?
I do not call any one my fan, they are all dance lovers and dance enthusiasts who happen to love my art. My message to them all would be my closing lines from the show, Kuch Na Miss Karein, Sabko Kiss Karein, Aao Twist Karien.