Synchronising their routines, spicing up their act with ghungroos and sneakers, Poonam and Priyanka Shah are everything the word unconventional defines. One may recognise the dancing duo from Jhalak Dikhla Ja season 9 or their multiple viral videos.
We went to Los Angeles, last year, to learn Hip-Hop for six months. We were so excited about learning that we didn’t care that we were the most inexperienced dancers in every class!”
After graduating from University of Illinois’s Urbana-Champaign’s College of Business the sisters decided to pursue with all their might the one thing they were passionate about: Dance. Instead of taking up regular corporate jobs, the twins took the tough decision of leaving home and going to the City of Angels to hone their skills. These two enthusiastic dancing divas share their experience in the city, “We went to Los Angeles, last year, to learn Hip-Hop for six months. We were so excited about learning that we didn’t care that we were the most inexperienced dancers in every class!” This yearning to learn displays their true and real dedication to dance.
What sets them apart from the crowd are their out-of-the-box Desi twists: the dynamic synergy of their Western influences and Bharatnatyam training. Their incredible moves are so good that they get an average of a quarter million views per video. Despite their popularity Poonam and Priyanka’s growth has been slow, albeit, steady. Hence, when discussing the topic of fame and popularity, they say, “We can honestly say that we didn’t expect our growth to be as slow as it has, because in our current world of instant gratification it’s easy to think everything comes overnight.” Adding to the subject of their future, they say, “With our journey, we can say gratification definitely doesn’t come over-night, because we still have a lot to learn. It will definitely be worth it for us though, no matter how long it takes!”
With our journey, we can say gratification definitely doesn’t come over-night, because we still have a lot to learn. It will definitely be worth it for us though, no matter how long it takes!”
Building a brand that could perhaps be in the league of Mary-Kate and Ashley in terms of popularity is a tenacious job, but Poonam and Priyanka are very enthusiastic and are exploring any and all works of art. Not wanting to limit themselves, they are also working in the commercials and acting space. In fact their popping and locking Bharatnatyam choreography in the ‘Banjara Filter Coffee’ advertisment raised quite a few eyebrows in appreciation. Speaking as creators who find comfort in any field of art, Poonam and Priyanka say, “We are creators first and foremost, as are all artists.”
As creators and artists they believe in the words of another great artist – Michelangelo. Quoting him, they say, “If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” And based on his words Poonam and Priyanka Shah share their open enthusiasm and advice, saying, “The times that count the most are when you can’t see the return of it, but if it means so much to you then you’ll do it anyway.” With always wanting a win (as our generation often does), the twins further add, “If you do it because it was worth it personally to you, then you have won anyway!”
Hell bent on making themselves a brand, these two zestful and hardworking dancer-choreographers know that their journey has just begun. Creating performances that are striking and unique are the bold Shah siblings.