Swaying to a good Beat

So when was the last time that raising awareness and material for charity had meant 12-hours of non-stop fun? On Saturday,October 8,many people discovered that supporting a good cause needn't be shorn of excitement.

Written by Shruti Nambiar | Published:October 10, 2011 12:56 am

Saturday’s Dance-o-Thon event ensured 12-hours of non-stop awareness building,charitable donations,and of course,lots of great dancing

So when was the last time that raising awareness and material for charity had meant 12-hours of non-stop fun? On Saturday,October 8,many people discovered that supporting a good cause needn’t be shorn of excitement. At the Camp branch of Talwalkar’s Gym,enthusiastic groups of people gathered to participate in an event like no other. It was the last day of the seven-day philanthropic movement called the Joy of Giving Week,and six dance schools had come together for a ‘Dance-o-Thon’. The event featured non-stop classes in eight different dance styles,from 9am to 9pm,for which anyone could walk in free and dance away. Donations were voluntary and were being raised in support of the NGO,Hope For the Children Foundation. Diva Bellydance Academy and Talwalkars Gym were heartily supported by dancers from the Rocky Poonawala,Sandip Soparrkar,Vikam Ingle,Danza De La Liga (DDLL) dance groups,and Smiths Breathe Fitness. Legs and hips shook to Zumba,Bollywood,Salsa,Contemporary,Bachata,Samba,Hip Hop,and Bellydance styles at this happy gathering.

Essa Duhaime,the creative director of Diva Bellydance Academy,was instrumental in conceptualising the Dance-o-Thon,and was inspired by a simple idea. “We wanted to change the mindset of charity. We can be charitable even by sharing our talents,and I wanted to share my passion for dancing. It was the last day of JGW,so we decided to bring the dancing community together and celebrate,” she says.

For some participating dance schools,like Danza De La Liga,it was the first tryst with a charitable endeavour. Four dancers from the group steered classes in Bachata and Bollywood dancing on the day. “The experience was really good,and it was all wonderfully organised,” says Awadhesh Pratap Singh Chauhan,one of the directors of Danza De La Liga. “I was at the venue from 9am to 8pm,I just didn’t want to leave. After all it was all about dance,and for us,dance is life.”

Chauhan believes the success of the event,(according to him close to 100 people attended the DDLL classes),was because of the dual motivations of charity and dance. “The dancing was really good. People hadn’t probably heard of Bachata before,but once the music came on,they just enjoyed. A lot of enquiries too came our way after the classes. It was also a great opportunity for us dancers to come together,I am not aware any other such platform,” he says.

Duhaime agrees. “The energy was fantastic. And people donated money,clothes,shoes and even food,some even going back home or to a store and getting the materials back. We all got to know each other,and everyone had smiles on their faces,” she says.

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