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Karishma Chavan: “Never shied away from dance because I was a bigger person…”

Karishma Chavan: "Never shied away from dance because I was a bigger person..."

Karishma Chavan may have made her reality TV judge debut in 2019 in ‘Dance Plus 5’ but she began her dancing career – so to speak – as a contestant on dance reality show. Now having choreographed some songs and been part of a popular judging panel, Chavan is definitely set for bigger things.

BizAsiaLive.com caught up with the choreographer to talk about her journey.

Congrats on your debut as judge on ‘Dance Plus 5’, back in 2019-2020. How did you find this experience?
Being on Dance Plus as a judge was a dream come true. I wanted to be a part of it since Season 1. But I guess I was using that time to learn and build my own work profile. The experience was nostalgic as it was reliving my reality TV days but with much more responsibility as well as far better talent. Sleepless nights and creating every week for five months is extremely exhausting but it all paid off when I saw my team’s vision and hard work come alive on stage.

The world is so different now. When looking back on the last year, what would you say about what you have been most grateful for?
We only start appreciating things when we don’t have them in our lives. We take a lot of our physical interaction for granted. Being on set or being in a workshop in large numbers really makes me feel happy. I love interacting with colleagues and students on a personal level and for that to end because of a lockdown was just so sad. Not only work but even not seeing my family and friends for weeks was also tough. Such moments have greater value for me now. I think we all came to realise how important the basics such as family, friends, food, domestic help and contentment is. I was blessed with Dance Plus or else lockdown would not have been easy at all.

What most surprised you?
I think it’s very easy to lose one’s mind in unnatural situations like these. What surprised me is the fact that I came out fairly alright mentally which is most important. I also used the time to work out everyday. So I surprised myself by keeping it together.

You’ve choreographed so many popular songs. Which one would you say is your most memorable?
All songs and projects are equally important whether it be Khoobsurat, Tumhari Sulu or Veere Di Wedding. I personally cannot choose between them. All are uniquely challenging experiences and I’m looking forward to creating a lot more and hopefully win a Filmfare someday.

Having worked with so many well-known personalities, you will no doubt have many great memories. However, who have you not worked with yet who remains on your wishlist?
I have been very, very lucky to work with more than half of the industry artists and stars but I’m looking forward to working with Kangana Ranaut, Aamir Khan, Deepika Padukone, Ayushmann Khurrana, Vicky Kaushal and I can go on.

Some of your posts on social media are quite body positive. Do you believe, much like with dance, this is about letting go of inhibitions?
It’s crucial to accept who you are first, only then can you pass that baton to someone else. Being body positive has nothing to do with dance. I dance like any other dancer dances. That it looks unique because of my body type is the audience perspective. I’ve never shied away from dance because I was a bigger person. My positivity comes from looking at the glass half full all the time. My perspective about life has been so only due to experience. I never let negativity get to me. I took it in my stride and also took it up like a challenge, I guess that is what you see in me.

What’s up next for you and what locations are you looking forward to shooting in in the next few months?
I’m looking forward to creating my own inclusive clothing brand. It will pay attention to plus size trendy fashion as well. I’m also praying to work in foreign destinations as well such as the UK, USA, and Europe. I have been abroad for shows but never for shoots hence I would definitely want to work there.

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