For the last three months, the audience and judges of reality show India’s Dancing Superstar being aired on Star Plus, are in awe of their performances, agility and exhilarating fusion of different dance styles. After weeks of gruelling practice sessions, Padmini Pattnaik (12) and Debashish Sahoo (13) of Bhubaneswar have proved their mettle through sheer determination and hard work.
Students of Stewart School and Saraswati Sishu Mandir here respectively, they are competing with the dance professionals from across the country and currently, slotted in the Top 10.
With every performance, the young duo has been winning the hearts of the judges - Riteish Deshmukh, Geeta Kapoor and Ashley Lobo. Contrary to tradition, Padmini, and not Debasish, has been doing all the lifts and that is perhaps their strongest point. Debasish too amazes with his agility every time he comes on to the stage.
The two started learning dance at the age of three, but in different dance institutions and came to know each other only during the auditions for India’s Dancing Superstar at Bhubaneswar in February this year.
‘’I was overweight as a kid and my parents sent me to Divine Dance & Music Academy to learn dance and lose weight. By the time I lost weight, I had developed a liking towards all dance forms,’’ says Debasish of Sailashree Vihar who is trained in contemporary, Western, bollywood and krumping.
Padmini, on the other hand, has a gold medal in ‘Malkhamb’ and is an acrobat besides, being a dancer. No wonder, she effortlessly lifted Riteish into her arms on the sets after an act recently. ‘’It is my most memorable act in the show so far,’’ says Padmini, who is trained in Odissi from dancer Aruna Mohanty’s Odisha Dance Academy and has learnt contemporary, Latin and Western forms as well. ‘’Even before the act, I had planned to lift Riteish. And I got a standing ovation. To tell the truth, it wasn’t difficult since Riteish Sir is just about 70 kgs. I can lift up to 90 kg.’’
Her father, Lokanath Patnaik said, ‘’She has been dancing since she was three. Seeing her interest, I enrolled her in a dance school Blue Light Dance Studio and also created a room in our house for her to practice. She watches clips from the internet and practices.’’
And how are the two finding the experience at Mumbai? ‘’It is tough, but fun,’’ says Debasish. ‘’Our choreographers help us with new ideas and acts. Sometimes, Geeta Maa, Ashley Sir drop in to help us with our moves. Though it gets hectic because we practice from 10 am to 9 pm daily, it does not bother us because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for both of us,’’ he says.
The two are now practising for their next performance in the show where they are doing a brother-sister act. ‘’Our act revolves around two siblings who are all set to perform duet in a dance show. The brother, however, meets with an accident and breaks his leg just before the act. Despite all odds, they continue with their performance on the stage,’’ reveals Padmini. ‘’Our motive is to show that where there is determination, there is no failure,’’ she adds. The show will be aired on Sunday at 9 pm.