Sometimes death is not the end but a new beginning. As the funeral pyre reduced his brother’s body to dust, choreographer Ravi Rastogi was left with a huge responsibility. He had to fulfil his brother’s dream and thus was born Moving Souls Dance Academy in 2010. This year, the choreographer will showcase talent from age 6-60 in an evening of Salsa, Zumba, Bollywood, Jazz and more by his students on May 6 at Alliance Francaise, Delhi.
“I have put together ladies Salsa styling and Shines, Funk Jazz, and a combination of Merengue, Reggaeton and Salsa that make up a Zumba piece,” says Rastogi, adding, “Since the last one month, we’ve been working, eating, sleeping, and breathing together.” The show has been conceptualised and choreographed by Rastogi but he feels the pressure of it all like a time bomb waiting to explode. Only in his case, it’ll erupt with an enormous dancing spectacle.
While none of the dancers are professionally trained, one thing that they have in common is a zest for movement arts. Rastogi, in fact, looks out for non-dancers and encourages them to acquaint themselves with the form to know how liberating it is. “Anybody can dance. My 60-year-old students are dedicated and fun to teach. Age is just a number. Dance is all about attitude. Doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, a positive one guarantees great results,” he says.
The thought of what he has achieved often takes him back to the time he choreographed his first piece called ‘Jai Ho’ for a fundraising programme in Chandigarh. “Like all firsts, I was terribly nervous and excited. Later, when I worked on shows for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Day of Belgium Embassy, World Dance Day at DLF Mall, Saket, Delhi, MTV Lycra Awards, UTV Bindas’ Destination Love, to name a few, I became confident. Dance is what I identified with,” he says.
Born in the city of Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, and brought up in Bareilly, Rastogi went to Broadway Dance Center, New York, to learn dance. He is a certified Zumba instructor who also studied at the Aqua Zumba Convention in Orlando, USA. Salsa, Bachata, Cha Cha Cha, Merengue, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Bollywood have become his expertise. Having studied abroad, he wanted to bring world-class dance education to India. Situated in Delhi, his institute offers dance and fitness classes in Zumba, Bollywood, Salsa, Jazz, Hip Hop, Classical, and Bachata. As Rastogi derives meaning for his existence from dance, its clear that the journey on which he had set out for his brother, has also become his own.