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Manipur kids get top tips from street dance guru

- New-York based teacher concludes 5-day workshop in Imphal, picks Shillong as next destination

Imphal, Sept. 2: After a successful workshop at Imphal, New York-based street dance teacher Prosenjit Guy Kundu’s next destination is Shillong.

The five-day workshop here from August 27 culminated into a Freestyle Battle Championship, a street dance competition, yesterday in Imphal.

Kundu, a “freelance” dance exponent, has toured most of the major cities in India teaching the dance form to children and conducting workshops since 2005.

“This is for the first time I held a workshop in the Northeast. I am planning to hold a similar one in Shillong in the near future. I have been invited there to teach street dancing,” Kundu told this correspondent.

Kundu tied up with an Imphal-based dance group, Nachom Arts of Contemporary Dance, for the workshop.

Forty street dancers in the age group of seven to 45 years took part in the workshop, where Kundu taught break-dance, house dance, hip-hop, popping and locking.

The founder of the Imphal dance group, Nongmeikappam Surjit, met Kundu for the first time in Calcutta at a workshop two years back.

“We have many who love this form of dance, but do not have the opportunity to learn here or cannot go outside to pursue it. So, for their benefit, we organised the workshop and competition,” Surjit said.

Parents brought the children, thinking it would be a good recreation and also help them develop their confidence and personality.

Kundu agreed.

“Children here do not have many opportunities for recreation. Street dancing is good for health. This will prevent them from going the wrong way like taking drugs,” he said.

“School education is not enough. Children need extra-curricular activities and this helps them overcome stage fright and shyness,” said Leishangthem Lenin, whose daughter and Class III student, Verrill, attended the workshop.

But there were many who want to make a career out of it. S. Herojit, a Class XII student, has picked up a few tricks from television programmes and videos and attended the workshop to hone his skills.

“I want to become a professional street dancer. The workshop was very beneficial. Earlier, I could not get any teacher. Now I have some knowledge about various forms of street dancing,” Herojit said.

Surjit said career opportunities in this field were opening up in India.

They could become dance therapists. Moreover, many reality shows were coming up and they could participate in them, he added.

While 10 individuals took part in the solo competition, nine groups competed in the group battle.

The prizes for solo contest were Rs 5,000, Rs 3,000 and one Puma bag while for the group competition were Rs 10,000, Rs 7,000 and Puma T-shirts for first, second and third positions.