A day off from his work, 20-year-old Saksham Tamang yet finds himself whacking and locking and popping while carrying his household chores. The passion for dancing as he believes was instilled in him by his mother as she was a classical/cultural dancer and instructor herself. Although he followed the footsteps of his mother, he did it in his own style through the compact moves of hip-hopping.
“I used to visit different studios with my mother and get fascinated by watching her dance with intense desire,” says Tamang. Originally from Jhapa, he moved to Kathmandu a year ago and initiated his journey as a hip-hop instructor at Creation Fitness & Dance Center and Y-stand dance school. To explore his passion in greater levels six months ago, he, along with his eight friends, formed THOPS (The Hoppers of Paradise Squad) which is a hip-hoppers crew through which they have made three cover videos so far.
However, dancing from his early childhood, he was unaware to the concealed and intense factor that comprised to complete this art of bodily movements. “It is through understanding and delving deep into the culture and formation of hip-hoping that led my journey from a dancer to an instructor. When we understand dance as a form of practical bodily movement, we also understand it as a way of expressing emotions with its own set of technicalities,” added Tamang.
The early age struggle was only possible for Kanchan Shrestha when she was 19, which she managed with the support of her family. Having formally been trained at Kollywood Kala Kendra, Hetauda, she moved to Kathmandu in 2016 with the hope to make her dancing dream come true and also to pursue her further studies. A BBS second year student at Mega National College, she has also been juggling as a Bollywood and zumba instructor at Y-stand dance school.
“I was always fascinated by the peppy and energetic moves of Bollywood style. As my level of my learning was growing and I wanted to learn the style in a more technical manner, I moved here to broaden my area of learning,” said Shrestha. I have quite an amazing experience instructing young learners, housewives and I can witness that dance is growing professionally in Nepal,” added Shrestha.
Amidst the hankering and drive to do something effective in the field, she has been developing back problem which she believes is a hereditary problem that runs in her maternal family. This has been adding hindrance to carrying out her household chores, however, she has decided to continue with dance as long as her health permits.
The art of dance has been struggling with its common and traditional definition that places it under an area of interest and one that is carried out for mere entertainment. A 21-year-old contemporary dance instructor, Sarita Maharjan, is one among the many who are denouncing such beliefs. Having taken a three-month course of professional dance, she has been instructing school students and young learners for the past two years now. Her interest in contemporary dance grew with her yearning to have a flexible body as she had previously started yoga after her SLC exams.
“Contemporary dance is a lyrical dance, which has a lot to do with flexibility, syncing with emotional expression and the lyrics,” said Maharjan. A student of IT at Aryan School of Engineering, Mid-Baneshwor, she believes that this form of dance serves as the base for every other form of dance as flexibility holds an unavoidable role in performing the art of dancing.
Providing a professional base to their dancing career, these emerging dancers have been witnessing a paradigm shift in the field of dancing. “The importance of dancing is gradually holding much significance as schools have started encouraging extra-curricular activities and acknowledging young talents. Moreover, dance reality shows like ‘Chham Chhami’ has been collaborating with young talents across the country. And with the first season of Boogie Woogie being organized, dance is expected to experience progressive heights,” added Maharjan.
With the young instructors actively indulged in the field, the revolutionary era has seemingly begun. “Unlike the current scenario, dance necessarily should be kept on equal footage to other professions in order for it to be prospered to its best potential. It certainly has much to experience and provide to one who is determined into learning the art of it,” added Tamang.