Breaking, twisting, turning and freezing her way, shattering stereotypes of how and what a girl should dance, Ranjitha, an MBA graduate, is passionate about b-boying (breakdance or simply breaking). She is the only girl representing the South zone at the national battles. “It all started when I auditioned for my department team during my first year in college. I got selected and gradually progressed to the college team,” says ‘b-girl Ra’.
So, why breaking? “Naturally, I was very flexible. My first trainer Dev noticed this and asked me to get trained in gymnastics so that I could do a combination of both,” she says. Vigorously training to make herself strong and mentally poised to compete against boys, she says that she is proud of the way she has progressed so far. “I used to practice at the beach every day. Initial days of such hardcore training has made me strong and I am confident that I can battle with the best,” she beams.
Becoming a part of a famous dance crew in Chennai, All for One (2011), she says she was inspired by the dancers there. “I used to see them training and practising b-boying every day. I wsa inspired,” she shares.
Why is she the only girl practising this dance style? A concerned Ranjitha says, “Though it is a good feeling to represent the South in battles and receive appreciation for it, it is sad that girls don’t come forward to learn this style. Most of them want to learn quick stunts and freezes to just look cool, while the rest don’t want to spend time learning the technicalities. Sustaining for a long time is the major challenge in b-boying and that’s what stops girls to learn it.”
A usual competitor in championships happening around the country, her recent stint was in Indian b-boying championship (IBC) 2016 in Hyderabad. “I competed with one of the strongest b-boys in India. But the respect, support and encouragement I have received from them has been extraordinary. That’s what keeps me going,” she shares.
Talking about family support she says, “They have been supportive, but like every family they want me to act according to my age. I feel there is no age for dancing. They aren’t restricting me from doing what I love though. I love b-girl Musik from Mumbai. She’s my inspiration.”
A regular at the Anna Tower Park where she practices, Ranjitha says many girls have approached her to learn the style. “When they see me practising here, girls are curious and interested in learning the style. Currently I am teaching three girls free of cost.”
With a long term vision of becoming India’s best b-girl, Ranjitha wants to inspire and create more b-girls in the South zone. “I want to teach and impart knowledge about the art. It would be great if we have more people from here,” she adds.
Shoes are a dancer’s best friend and a good communication with them are important. “I have over 20 dance shoes. As a dancer I have a good communication with my shoe and only they know my pain,” she says
It is important to have a unique style. “There is a lot of video biting these days. I prefer not watching videos and love having my own style in whatever I do.”