Dance duo takes skill one step up among Dharavi kids
Two brothers have joined hands to help children of Dharavi match steps.
Since the age of six Rahul Chavan, now 24, has thought of nothing but dance. His brother Vinayak, 18, is no different.
Together, they have formed Sky Runners, an academy t hrough which t hey t each dance to around 40 underprivileged children from the slums of Dharavi for the past three years.
“We started with four random children when we went to the area for some work one fine day. The children loved it and so did we. What began as a fun activity has now become our passion,” said Rahul.
An av i d da n c e r, Ra h u l is an em p l o ye e wi t h the mechanical department of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport ( BEST) and works in night shifts.
Determined to make it big in the world of dance, he practises after returning from work and during the weekends.
Vi n aya k , wh o has just appeared for his HSC exams, too, shares a keen interest in shaking a leg.
After moving to Nerul two years back, the brothers got the opportunity to tutor dance professionally at a studio in Vashi.
Recalling the past, Rahul said his journey from a slum boy to a professional dancer was not a cakewalk.
“We never got a formal training in dance and have learned only through observation and instinct. It was only during my college that I got to be part of a group where eight of us participated and taught our styles to each other,” said Rahul.
Despite their hectic schedule, they make sure to head to Dharavi thrice a week for the classes.
Rahul said convincing the parents to send their children to learn dance has been difficult since most of them disapprove of it thinking they have to shell out money.
“Since we belong to a lowermiddle class family, we know it is not possible to pursue one’s hobby without guidance and money,” he said.
“Hence, we teach these kids for free. That’s when they started allowing their kids to come. Some parents still disapprove of it but their children love to dance and often sneak into the classes without telling their parent,” added Rahul.
The siblings, however, asserted they do not have a proper place to teach the children and so they are teaching the kids in an open ground nearby.
“The children do not even have dance shoes but come to the class without fail. We hope to get some basic support, which would contribute to our efforts in some way,” said Vinayak.
We started with four random children when we went to the area for some work one fine day. The children loved it and so did we. What began as a fun activity has now become our passion.
RAHUL CHAVAN, 24
Rahul and Vinayak Chavan, residents of Nerul, formed Sky Runners, an academy through which they teach dance to underprivileged children of Dharavi.