Dancing her way to the top

Published On: January 3, 2020 12:05 PM NPT By: KUMUDINI PANT

Rupa Ghising never thought she would pick dance as her profession. And yet, here she is, gracefully waltzing through her way through her career—ambitious and relentless. 

As a young girl, Ghising used to watch a lot of reality dance shows. Regardless of their quality and budget, these shows always fascinated her. Dance, in its many forms, enthralled her. She also wanted to become an anchor and would copy people she saw on TV. This was why she chose mass communication as her major in college. 

Today, 23-year-old Ghising has competed in Miss Tamang, acted in the blockbuster movie A Mero Hajur 3, garnered millions of views online on her dance clips at the Movement Dance Academy and is working as a VJ in J-Music TV. The most remarkable thing is that she has managed to accomplish this magnitude of success all while maintaining above average grades in college.

“I used to love watching shows like Call Kantipur when I was young,” says Ghising with a radiant smile. “Sometimes, I used to pretend to be an interviewer asking questions to a celebrity. It used to be one of the biggest dreams of mine. And now that I’m actually working in the same field, every day feels like a revelation. Dreams really do come true,” she adds. 

Ghising speaks to The Week’s Kumudini Pant on life, her steadily flourishing career, and what dance means to her. 

What inspired you to dance?
Honestly, it was just a hobby. I joined the Movement Dance Academy with the aim to stay fit. I never thought it would become such a huge part of my life. And now, I just dance because I love it.

What forms of dance do you perform the most?
Freestyle, hip-hop, bolly hop and cultural dances are the ones I mostly experiment with. But my personal favorites are Bollywood and cultural dances. I love that these forms combine physical movements with just the perfect demand of facial expressions. All the steps are a reflection of dance forms passed down from generations. Even when it seems simple, it’s really not. 

Do you have a hard time remembering steps?
Yes. Sometimes I have a hard time performing them too. Our choreographer’s body language is hard to copy in some instances. But with enough time and dedication, I usually remember it. But I must admit that it usually takes a lot of practice.

“Dance is a form of art.” What is your take on this?
I wholeheartedly agree with it. To me, art means to create. And there’s nothing more creative than dancing. From forming perfect steps to all the beats of the music, to spontaneous movements and improvisations, dancing is a masterful way of expression. And if that’s not art, I don’t know what is.

How often do you need practice?
I dance almost every day because my job only needs attendance once a week. Since I have a lot of free time, you will usually find me in front of a mirror, practicing my steps every day after college. 

Do you prefer dancing solo or in a group? 
I think both have its benefits. But I feel free while going solo. It’s easier to improvise and be consumed by what you are doing when you aren’t worried about syncing with another person or a group. 

Are you into choreography? 
I have just started choreography during my lessons. Most of them are Western dances. Sometimes I teach a few groups at the academy. Other times, I give solo lessons twice a week. 

There’s a great difference between Hollywood and Bollywood/ Kollywood films—especially in terms of the musical and dance factors. What is your opinion on this?
In our film industry, music and dance scores are not just cultural reflections but also commercially important. In the recent years, there has been a rise of contextual productions. So in a way, I also see them as us continuing popular traditions while adding hints of our own creativity in corners. 

Since we’re on the subject of movies, what is your favorite memory on the set of A Mero Hajur 3?
To be completely honest, the entire movie shoot was one of the most memorable times of my life. But if I had to pinpoint, I would say that the first day on the set was something I will always cherish. It was when I met Anmol, Suhana, Salon, and Rakshya for the first time and the five of us had a scene together. I remember being star struck when I saw Anmol.  

As a dancer, what gives you satisfaction?
It has to be the moment I’m onstage and dancing away. I also feel very happy when I’m able to complete the whole choreography without a single hitch. 

How much scope and platform does Nepal have in terms of professional dancing?
I believe Nepal has never focused on developing dance as a career. There have been a few reality shows but they never got the attention they deserved. We are also not capable of producing grand, big-budget shows that can give dancers a good platform to showcase their talents. 

But I do believe that this is changing gradually. Right now, you can open your own dance schools. You can improve your skills through trainings and practice. There are places for people to actually hone their talents. Places like the Movement Dance Academy can inspire sincere dedication from its students. 

Also, professional dancers are paid decently for their skills, whether it’s as background dancers for a film or entertainment segment for a program. I would call that progress.

If you had to define dance in one word, what would it be?
Love. Since I started dancing because I loved it, that’s what it means to me. 

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