"I’ll always be a performer, the stage is what makes me feel the happiest"
Hard work and unwavering devotion are the vital elements that make Shruti Shah a prominent dance instructor and performer.
Aside from this, her success also lies in the two men that have joined Shruti on her dance journey. One is her life and dance partner, Rohan Shah and the other one is her mentor and guide Shiamak Davar.
Shruti debuted in 2016 as a judge on Battle of Bollywood alongside ace choreographer Terence Lewis, Juggy D and Suleman Mirza (of ‘Signature’ from Britain’s Got Talent).
She returns to the star-studded panel this time with Jeya Raveendran and Indian classical exponent, Gauri Sharma Tripathi.
BBC Asian Network personality – Tommy Sandhu hosts the show and there’ll be a special performance by ace-comedian, Paul Chowdhry. Furthermore, you can watch universities across the UK in a mighty dance-off.
Taking place on 11th March 2017 at Hammersmith Apollo in London, DESIblitz exclusively chats to Shruti Shah on her journey from being a performer to panellist on Battle of Bollywood!
How has the transition been from a performer to a judge?
With Shiamak’s motto of “Have Feet. Will Dance”, the belief has always been that everyone can dance without any judgment or discrimination. So this being a competition, though everyone is a winner for me, the format must make me choose!
Honestly, to judge anything, you must understand the art very well. So it is actually being a performer and teacher that makes me comfortable in assessing the potential.
Inherently, I’ll always be a performer, the stage is what makes me feel the happiest. And being a judge is exciting because I’ll get a chance to watch dance enthusiasts experience the joy of being on stage and showcasing their talent!
Shiamak Davar must be very proud of you, what advice has he given you?
I couldn’t have asked for better mentor, friend and guide. I think observing him teach us and judge shows on television has helped me so much.
We’ve always been taught to look beyond just the performance. Everyone has a spark, so like Shiamak does, other than just a great performance I’m going to look for someone who dances not only from their ‘sole’ but from their ‘soul’.
This is the second time you’re judging Battle of Bollywood (BOB), what are your expectations?
The event is growing and the talent is increasing, so this year will definitely be tougher.
Last year, we gave a chance to two participants from BoB to perform with The Shiamak Davar Dance Company at the IIFA Awards in Madrid.
So it’s not about winning, this is [a] great starting point to foray into the field of the performing arts. But yes, expecting a lot of talented dancers and some great performances!
You have performed with lots of Bollywood stars, who is your favourite to perform with?
I think this question is tougher than judging the competition because it has been a delight to perform with all of them.
Shiamak has given us so many opportunities from films to events and award shows to share the stage with Bollywood legends.
“But if I had to choose, then Mr Amitabh Bachchan has to be a highlight because even with his experience he is still so disciplined, punctual and humble.”
Rehearsals with Abhishek Bachchan are the most fun, he always chats with us, he is like family to Shiamak’s dancers.
The energy Ranveer Singh brings is amazing and Deepika’s dedication is inspiring; she is just flawless! And of course, my idol from childhood Madhuri Dixit Nene has been an experience of a lifetime, she is one of the finest performers.
What’s next for Shruti Shah?
Our main focus is educating, entertaining and empowering people through dance in the UK and this has been our mission ever since Shiamak’s Dance Academy was established in London in 2011. The response has been overwhelming.
Summer Funk course starts soon which is our most awaited students’ show every year, so we’re now jumping right into that. Shiamak is choreographing the first ever Indian Academy Awards in the USA in July so hopefully, I’ll be travelling to perform at that.
It is evident that Shruti is an inspiring dancer and performer. Through her passion for dance, she is empowering people not only in the UK but all over the world.
DESIblitz wishes Shruti Shah all the best in her dancing career.