Puneite Chetan Salunkhe is on seventh heaven after lifting the STAR Plus big ticket reality show, Dance +. “It took a lot of time for the news to sink in. For a while it was all just a blip; everyone was clicking pictures and I was just in a daze.”
This popping dancer credits a lot of his success to his team mentor, Punit Pathak. “Sir is very hard working. No wonder previous season winners have also come from his stables. Off work, he is a very chilled out dude who cracks a lot of jokes. But yes, the moment you are on the dance floor, he becomes a changed, focused person.”
Going on, he adds, “Punit Sir, knowing that popping is not a well-established dance form in Bollywood, really egged me on at the start when I was racking my brains to come up with newer steps. I am glad that I could step up to the plate and keep innovating till the finale.”
When asked about which judge’s comments did he fear the most, he says, “That has to be Shakti Mohan mam, for she was spot on with every minor glitch. And yes, Super Judge Remo D’Souza sir’s name goes without saying.”
Chetan’s triumph is an apt example of try and try until you succeed. “I had been trying to get into Dance + for the last 3 seasons, but somehow always faltered until now. But I never lost hope, rather took every disappointment as a stepping stone to success.” He is not a big buff of enrolling into dance classes. “I too had signed up for them, but they did not get me anywhere. Finally I branched out on my own and started working on my popping skills, courtesy online videos.”
“The only road to success is sheer hard work, and here I must thank my folks who have stood by me during my lean phase. Now I want to do my bit towards them,” added Chetan.
He does not subscribe to the theory that reality show winners soon get lost in the wilderness. “I can talk only about Dance + and it is well known that our previous season winners have already become famous. So I am sure that the sky is the limit if I play my cards right. My true journey only starts now.”
In closing, Chetan says that going ahead, he will continue to go down the popping route. “I am not a big Bollywood fan and want to give my dance form its true space in the annals of Indian dance.”