He may have made his foray into films only recently but Gashmeer Mahajani has been successfully running a dance academy in Pune for 17 years. The Deool Band, Kanha and Dongri Ka Raja fame actor’s GRM Dance Academy is hosting its annual dance function today (July 21) at Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha.
Gashmeer says that the biggest highlight of the show is that his 160 students will come together to perform on stage. “These are students from three to 55 years. For the first time, you will have so many people performing together on stage at the same time. In my knowledge, it’s never happened before,” he says, adding that he makes the show grander so that his students get the feeling that they are performing at an award function.
“We have tried to make the set look grand so that they feel like stars while performing. All my students are amateur dancers, so it’s a big experience for them. All the acts will look like they have been done by celebs. I have not made any kind of compromises on the cost and we do not entertain any sponsors,” he says.
Gashmeer, who played the lead in Dongri Ka Raja last, says that they are also going to pay tribute to the martyrs of the Indian Army and also those who lost their lives in the Amarnath terror attack. “I have tied up with a company and I have been training their Japanese delegates. So my Japanese students are also going to perform and let me tell you, they look so cute while dancing to Bollywood songs. In total, we will have 14 acts and the performance will go on for two and half hours,” he informs.
The dancer-choreographer who has met and trained many students in his long career, observes that different people join his academy for different reasons. “I get a lot of IT professionals who spend their days sitting in front of the computer, so this kind of activity is refreshing for them. Many join to shape up their personality and be assertive. Dancing helps one to communicate and express oneself,” he says.
There are many people who have been with him for the last 10 years. “Many of my students are now trainers at my academy. They teach the students from Monday to Friday and because they are trained under me, they are as good as me. I come on the weekends and teach the students so that I can personally connect with them, which is very important,” he says.
Dance for Gashmeer is a medium to relax. “I get to see a different side of me when I dance. I have come to realise that dancing and acting are two sides of the same coin. To become a complete actor, you need to know dancing because body language is important in an actor.”
But has his stardom changed his career as a dance trainer? “There’s a drastic change,” he says, adding, “I have got more visibility because people know me now. They want to get associated with me and learn under me.”