DURBAN: HAVING performed with a galaxy of stars, including Priyanka Chopra, Madhuri Dixit and Ranveer Singh, dance performer and instructor, Yesheen Bhagwandeen is in Shanghai, on a mission to promote Bollywood dance in the Chinese city.
The 25-year-old Durban resident headed to Shanghai in 2015 to join the Walt Disney Company as a foreign trainer and Disney Ambassador.
At the beginning of this month, Bhagwandeen secured his place as a dance instructor with Step-Up Dance Studios, in the district of Jingan.
“Bollywood movies are new to Shanghai, but it has been well received, I’m getting good feedback and my classes are full presently,” explained Bhagwandeen.
The Step-Up Dance Studio with its instructors from around the world is popular among the locals and plans are afoot to open a second studio soon.
Having delivered a string of memorable stage performances in the past, Bhagwandeen said his most significant display of dance happened last year at Shanghai's Spring Festival.
Beginning his dance training at the age of 11, dance performer and instructor, Yesheen Bhagwandeen is in Shanghai, on a mission, with Bollywood at the forefront.
“Bollywood’s culture is beautiful and stems from a deep history. It has also afforded me the opportunity to work with industry greats, including, Pinky Mothie, Shivani Kara and the Nateshwar Dance academy, where I was lucky enough to have Smeetha Maharaj as my dance guru,” he said.
Bhagwandeen also works with the South African Consulate in Shanghai.
“I joined the consulate after witnessing the number of children abandoned by their parents, as a result of, the then, One-Child Policy in China.”
His first project with the children happened on Mandela Day at the Shanghai Baby Home, that cares for abandoned children with disabilities.
“My goal is make the children smile and feel wanted. We have so many privileges and it is only right to give back wherever we can.”
Describing the city as cosmopolitan, beautiful, fast paced and ever-changing, Bhagwandeen explained that he was initially apprehensive to move to China.
“At first I thought the culture shock would be unbearable, however, when I got there, I quickly realised the city has a huge expatriate community and most people speak English,” he explained.
Bhagwandeen advised that people moving to a new city to follow a dream must do enough research about the chosen city.
His next big performance is planned for October at Shanghai's Pearl Theatre.