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Sopparkar's dance trance for Idol contestant

By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Choreographer and dance instructor Sandip Soparrkar has been grooming contestants for Sony's Indian Idol. Putting the debacle of Pooja Bhatt's Holiday behind him, Soparrkar tells Mid-Day he is looking forward to the future...

How did you start working with Idol contestants?

I have been using dance as a tool at the Femina Miss India pageant for four years; this is my fifth year with them. I've also worked on Grasim Mr India for two years, along with many personality development schools. For the Indian Idols, I planned a Latino dance regimen.

How did you train them?

For the first session, I demonstrated eight different styles of popular Latino dances and spoke to them about the history and evolution of each dance. This was done so that apart from knowing what the dance looks like, they should have in-depth knowledge about popular dance.

The second session was divided into two parts - they all stood and started to move. I taught them some salsa steps and they rocked the floor, free from all the tensions of the show. They had a lovely time fooling around and dancing for two hours. I explained to them how Latino music and dance is different due the instruments used.

This gave them knowledge of instruments and how they sound different, compared to Indian instruments. The third session was the most important - dance floor etiquette and manners. The fourth and last session was watching European dances and learning the music style on slow and old forms.

What was the best thing about teaching them?

The best part about Indian Idol contestants was their over whelming attentiveness and willingness to grasp and learn. Every word I said was written down, and they kept asking questions to clarify their doubts. I loved my time with them and hope the best person wins, though to me, they all are winners.

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