Durban - Two passionate dancers are preparing for an opportunity of a lifetime - representing South Africa on the popular reality show Dance Deewane India where one of the judges is screen icon Madhuri Dixit.
Sashin Kandhai and Logasen Moodley have respectively won the Johannesburg and Durban legs of the competition, hosted by Star Attraction and Colours TV, which resulted in them being eligible to compete in Mumbai next month.
Both said they were equally delighted to perform before the veteran actress, with Kandhai adding that he looked forward to her feedback - whether positive or negative.
“I had the opportunity to dance on stage with her, during the South Africa India Film and Television Awards at the ICC in Durban five years ago, and when she touched my hand during the skit, I felt accomplished as a dancer,” said Kandhai, who has since relocated from Durban to Johannesburg.
“Knowing I have the opportunity to be critiqued by her - either positively or negatively - is something every dancer would love. She has been everyone's dancing idol in Bollywood, so my plan is to go out guns blazing.
"I want to show her South African artists have talent and they are capable of anything.”
Kandhai said the competition was part of a special show screening and that he and Moodley would showcase their talent with others from different countries, including India and Canada.
The 25-year-old chief choreographer in Oriental Fire Entertainment hoped to make the most of this trip.
“I previously recorded a performance to the song Bajirao Mastani and it received a lot of traction, especially in India, and as a result I befriended other artists and role players. After Dance Deewane, I will remain in India for a bit and connect with them.”
He described himself as being career focused and intent on expanding his brand.
“My ultimate goal is to choreograph awards, like the IIFA’s, dance sequences in movies and judge competitions.”
Moodley, 31, the owner of Logasen Moodley Dance Company, said he also planned to go out guns blazing.
“I have started training and plan to use all forms of dance - from fire and bharathanatyam to contemporary - to hold me in good stead.
"I have also been working on facial expressions. It's not about going on stage and shaking, it's about giving an outward expression of one's inner self,” he explained.
Moodley, who works at National Auto Glass, started dancing at the age of three.
“My granny, Devi, and late cousin, Niven, were dancers and my inspiration. My grandfather was in the entertainment industry and he took me to eisteddfods and gave me the platform to perform at functions.”
His dance school has five branches in Durban with over 150 students, ranging from 3 to 65 years.
While the prize for winning in South Africa was getting to perform in India, both of them added that whatever opportunities arose after the performances could be considered additional prizes.
Bollywood choreographer Tushar Kalia and director Shashank Kaithan will judge alongside Dixit.
The dancers will travel abroad on August 7.