'I refused to give up dance forever' - Bollywood dancer with Muscular Dystrophy inspires others

'I refused to give up dance forever' - Bollywood dancer with Muscular Dystrophy inspires others

Ahneesh Valodia’s love for Bollywood dancing lights up his eyes and ignites his soul. 

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Supplied, Beautiful News

At the age of eight, he began learning moves intrinsic to the genre by watching Bollywood movies. As the vibrant colours saturated the screen, Valodia’s hands would mimic the extravagant gestures. He dreamt of performing the Indian art form on stage for the rest of his life. Then Valodia was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. The degenerative muscular disorder confined him to a wheelchair, rendering him unable to perform. But Valodia would not let go of his passion.

“I refused to give up dancing forever,” he says. To keep it in his life, Valodia founded Taare, an academy located in Cape Town that unites young people in the preservation and promotion of Bollywood dance. In addition to creating this platform for budding performers, Valodia is also the artistic director and choreographer of the troupe. With his knowledge of various Indian dance styles, Valodia fuses these forms to create a unique experience that portrays its diversity. “Every movement has its own meaning,” he says.

Taare have performed their crafted shows at prestigious establishments such as the Artscape Theatre Centre and Taj Hotel. They’ve also contributed to fundraisers for cancer awareness and autism. In pursuing the life he’s always wanted, Valodia is empowering others. “Bollywood dancing has the ability to move your spirit,” he says. His devotion and perseverance has become, and continues to be, the embodiment of Bollywood’s rich ethos. No matter how great his challenges, Valodia has never let it get in the way of his destiny. 

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