Zee TV’s reality show Dance India Dance is the perfect platform to showcase the talent of youngsters as well as kids. A young budding star Jitu Moni, who is just 11 years old, won the DID Little Masters this season owing to his outstanding dancing capabilities. Hailing from Assam, Jeetu was superb at the competition and his electrifying dancing prowess was matchless.
Under the guidance of his dance teacher Deepak De and elder brother Manash, Jitu Moni showcased his skills perfectly. His teacher Deepak De is one of the leading choreographers of Assam and runs a dance school where he nurtures young dancers.
In an exclusive interview with Sushmita Dutta of Spicezee.com, both the student and the teacher shared their thoughts about the DID win and their common passion – dancing!
Sushmita: How are you feeling after winning the Zee TV Little Masters Dance India Dance show?
Jeetu Moni: I am feeling absolutely elated and happy.
Sushmita: How old are you, Jeetu? And since when have you been learning to dance?
Jeetu Moni: I am 11 years old now. And I have been learning to dance since when I was 4 years old.
Sushmita: What kind of preparations did you do to win this prestigious dance reality show?
Jeetu Moni: After I got selected in the audition test, my dance teacher Deepak sir and my elder brother Manash worked very hard to prepare me for the main show. After that I just followed whatever Dharmesh Sir taught me.
Sushmita: How much time do you spend in dance practice?
Jeetu Moni: Before getting selected in DID, I used to practice 3 to 4 hours, but after getting selected for DID; I started to practice for around 10-12 hours.
Sushmita: What kinds of dance do you usually do?
Jeetu Moni: I try to dance in all styles. But my favourites are freestyle and hip-hop.
Sushmita: Who are your favourite dancers?
Jeetu Moni: (Smiles) Michael Jackson, Hrithik Roshan and Shahid Kapoor.
Sushmita: In DID who was your favourite judge? And what do you have to say about Grandmaster Mithun da?
Jeetu Moni: I liked all the judges very much. And when Grandmaster Mithun da used to say ‘kya baat hai kya baat’ in his inimitable style, I really used to enjoy it.
Sushmita: How does it feel to come from the small state of Assam and win this dance reality show?
Jeetu Moni: I feel very proud in glorifying my state - Assam on such a huge platform. I never thought that I would be able to win such a big title like Zee TV’s DID. I think DID is a great platform for all dancers.
Sushmita: How do you find time to study in between dance lessons? Which school do you study in?
Jeetu Moni: My school’s name is Railway Higher Secondary School. I usually don’t find it difficult to study even if I am dancing for hours. But during the DID competition, I could not study and focused solely on it.
Sushmita: What kind of help have you got from your mom and dad? And what kind of training did you get from your dance teacher Deepak Sir?
Jeetu Moni: I had my mummy and papa’s support right from the beginning. But my elder brother recognized my talent and worked very hard for me. He took me to Deepak Sir, who is his guru also. After that I was thoroughly groomed and taken under the tutelage of Deepak Sir. He worked extremely hard for me. Right from the selection of song tracks in the auditions to every step I danced, he was always there for me.
Sushmita: Deepak, what are your feelings after Jeetu Moni’s big win in DID?
Deepak: It is a matter of great pride for me. I am very happy that Jeetu has made his mark in such a big dance show. A lot of my students have taken part in various dance shows, but they couldn’t go ahead after a few episodes. I am feeling proud after Jeetu Moni’s great win. Thank God!
Sushmita: How did you train Jeetu Moni for the competition?
Deepak: Actually, Jeetu Moni is a born dancer. Initially, I helped him after his elder brother Manash, who is also my student, guided him. It was Manash who brought Jeetu to my dance school - Dolphin Dance School. He got training for a few months. And then I helped him prepare for the auditions of DID. He practiced very hard to get selected. After he got selected, he was taken under the able hands of Dharmesh Sir, results of which are in front of you. Thank you Dharmesh Sir.
Sushmita: We don’t know much about you, Deepak? So please tell us a little about yourself?
Deepak: For the last 10 years, I have been associated with the Assamese film industry. I have been choreographing dances in films. Although there is a lack of facilities, but I am still trying to do good work.
Sushmita: How do you feel when you see your state Assam being represented at such a huge platform?
Deepak: I feel very proud and happy that I am from Assam. And this state has a lot of talented people, who are waiting for the right opportunities.
Sushmita: What are your thoughts about choreographing in Hindi movies?
Deepak: I would love to work in Hindi films if I get a chance.
Sushmita: Why did you choose a career in choreography? And who is your favourite choreographer?
Deepak: Dance has been a passion since I was a kid, and I feel that other than dance I am not good in any other thing. That’s why it became a logical choice for my career. My favourite choreographer is Ahmed Khan.
Sushmita: If given a chance, which actor or actress of Bollywood would you like to choreograph?
Deepak: I would like to choreograph Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty.
Sushmita: Please tell us about Bihu - the folk dance of Assam.
Deepak: If I start talking about the Bihu dance this interview will never end. Bihu festival is celebrated three times a year in Assam and the dance is the pride of Assam. Whenever there is an occasion to rejoice, people dance with abandon, Bihu style.
Sushmita: From quite sometime we are witnessing some amazing talents coming from Assam and the North-East, what do you have to say to this?
Deepak: I have always seen that people have a very wrong perception about the state of Assam. They think that it is a terror stricken state. Yes, terrorism exists but this kind of problem persists everywhere. But in the last few years, talents from Assam have changed the thought process of the people.