Bhubaneswar, Nov. 25: Thirteen-year-old city boy Sumanth Rao, along with partner Sonali, a seven-year-old girl from Calcutta, won an all India television reality show for their extraordinary dancing skills. The finale of the show was held in Mumbai on Saturday night and the winners were chosen through SMS votes.
What made Sumanth’s victory all the more special was the chance to meet and match steps with Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma.
“Throughout the show, the judges, Farah Khan, Kiron Kher and Karan Johar, appreciated our performance. That itself made the experience special. But receiving the trophy and dancing with Shah Rukh Khan will always be a memorable experience for me,” said Sumanth, who will return home next week.
The two young dancers, who were representing Calcutta-based Bibhash Academy of Dance, received cash award of Rs 50 lakh and a Maruti Alto 800.
Sumanth is a Class IX student of Kendriya Vidyalaya-3, Mancheswar, and lives in the Rail Vihar quarters. His parents, M. Radha and M. Jagadiswar Rao, are excited to receive him in the city after his victory.
“He was lucky to be selected for the show through Bibhash Academy of Dance, where he trains. Bibhash, the choreographer, had a major role to play behind Sumanth’s success,” said his father Jagadiswar Rao, an employee of East Coast Railway here.
“Though I am sure he will be a good dancer when he grows up, I am a little concerned about his academics since he has missed school for over a month now for the show. But, he is good at studies and picks up his subjects within a few days,” said his mother M. Radha.
Sumnath’s younger brother Prashant, a Class VI student at Kendriya Vidyalaya-4, who is also a good dancer, is eagerly waiting for his brother.
“I love dancing as well as quarrelling with him and I am missing him badly. But, it was wonderful to see him victorious on television,” said the nine-year-old boy.
Bobin Mohanty of the East Coast Railway Engineers’ Association said Sumanth would be given a grand welcome when he reached home.
This is the third time a participant from Odisha reached the finals of this reality show and the second time that an artiste from the state has won.