Updated: March 4, 2021 10:54:44 am
A living example of the saying that age is just a number, 62-year-old Ravi Bala Sharma from Mumbai is breaking the internet with her dance moves.
From classical dance to bhangra, Sharma has done it all and boasts of over one lakh followers on Instagram where she is fondly called the “Dancing Daadi”.
“I believe that with discipline, truth and honesty, you will achieve anything you want and no one can stop you from getting there,” Sharma told indainexpress.com, opening up on her sudden internet fame.
Though dance was a passion for Sharma since childhood, it had to take a backseat as the focus shifted to her career and family. “For the last 30 years, family and career have been my priorities. But now that I am retired, I thought it was time to revisit my passion,” she said.
Sharma, who took Kathak lessons during her childhood, also had vocal and Tabla (musical instrument) training from her musician father. She later went on to pursue a Masters in Tabla and Music before venturing into a teaching career.
Taking about her first video on Instagram she said, “It was for an online competition and I never thought I would get such a positive response on the internet. Since viewers liked what they saw of a childhood passion, I thought why not make the most of it? That’s when I decided to make more videos.”
Sharma got her own Instagram and Facebook pages in June, last year where she regularly posts her dance videos.
Apart from winning fans all over the world, top celebrities such as singer/actor Diljit Dosanjh, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali and choreographer Terence Lewis have also shared and liked her videos on social media.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think that Diljit Dosanjh would share my video on his Instagram page and for me, that moment was my biggest award. I think I have proved that age is just a number and you can get recognition at any stage of your life,” she added.
Sharma, who recently moved to Mumbai to live with her after retirement, said though it was a new city, the locals not only made her feel at home but also encouraged her to immerse herself in her passion. She added that the lockdown proved to be “icing on the cake”.
“With the lockdown in place, I realised that I needed to do something before loneliness got the better of me. However, I never thought I’d get the recognition that I have today. I returned to dancing to fulfil my childhood dream and also out of my love for it,” she said.
Sharma said that for her, dancing is a way to stay both mentally and physically fit. “Most people my age talk about joint pains, cholesterol and many other age-related diseases. But I think having a positive outlook is the key to fighting such ailments.”
Reiterating that age shouldn’t set a bar to what one can achieve, the 62-year-old believes one should be at liberty to pursue whatever makes him/her happy. “Be it drawing, painting, or cooking, doing what you have a passion for is such an enriching experience,” she added.
Speaking on the support she derives from her family, Sharma said both her son and daughter help her with the videos.
As someone who is still finding her way with technology, Sharma said her daughter gives her suggestions on songs and costumes, while her son takes care of the technicalities. “Things like shooting the videos, editing and uploading are taken care of by my son, “she added.
The 62-year-old considers herself to be a source of motivation for many. “I’ve had people reach out to me, talking about their grandmothers and mothers who decided to forego their dreams and passions to take care of their families.
Sharma thinks she has helped people her age a reason to follow their dreams. “For many people, I am a source of motivation, a ‘Rockstar Daadi’. Hearing such comments is a fulfilment in itself,” she added.
“There might be people who think that I have always been happy and things have always been easy for me. That’s not true. I have faced my share of hardships and had to overcome them. To that end, my passion, my dancing helped a lot,” she said.
Sharma hopes to keep dancing as long as her body allows her to do so.
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