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Verve People
June 23, 2016

Mohena Kumari Singh On Proving Her Mettle As A Dancer

Text by Simone Louis. Photograph by Ryan Martis. Styling by Anuradha Gandhi. Hair And Make-Up by Devika Heroor (Mumbai)

Talented, versatile and made for the spotlight, dancer Mohena Kumari Singh is the epitome of poise

First steps
“My family says that I would start grooving to any music I heard when I was around two years old. My grandmother was a Kathak dancer; I guess it’s in my genes.”

Against the grain
“I belong to the royal family of Rewa — my father is the Maharaja of Rewa. As far as dance is concerned, it was only supposed to be a hobby and never a profession. Still, I continued to learn and grow as a performer. Things only changed when I made it on Dance India Dance (DID). To go on television and perform meant that I had to make the very difficult choice of going against the norms. I was very afraid that my family and the Rajput community wouldn’t accept it, and it was a big deal that they ultimately supported me and let me follow my passion on a bigger scale.”

Proudest moment
“My first appearance on the big screen — in the dance blockbuster, ABCD, for the song Man Basiyo Saawariyo.”

Must-watch performance
“There are so many…but I’d like to mention how much I’m in awe of how Ranveer Singh has performed in the song Malhaari from Bajirao Mastani. It seems like he has no inhibitions; there’s no overthinking and he’s just enjoying the moment.”

Fun fact
“I am a complete adventure junkie — I love bungee jumping, riding bikes and road trips. I will soon be trying both scuba diving and skydiving.”

I feel the most stylish when…
“I am wearing a sari.”

Biggest challenge
“The task of reaching the finale of DID was really gruelling because there were people doubting whether I would even make it to the audition. I wanted to prove myself as a dancer; that I was not just a pampered princess who couldn’t survive the politics of the entertainment industry. And I feel that I did.”

Looking back…
“I wish I could’ve told my younger self that it’s okay to be different and to not be able to please everyone all the time. The best way to live your life is to stay true to yourself. Everything else will follow.”

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