The dancer-turned-actor spoke exclusively to OTTplay
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Last Updated: 09.41 AM, Apr 29, 2023
He came, he saw, he conquered. Even though he had a very ‘childish’ name as ‘Croc-Roach’ when he first entered the audition of ‘Dance India Dance’, as time passed, his real name not just became a brand, but a name to reckon with. We are indeed talking about the extremely talented Raghav Juyal, who is in conversation with OTTplay, exclusively on the occasion of ‘International Dance Day 2023’.
To begin with, today is 'International Dance Day 2023'. So, what does the term dance mean to you?
Dance for me means movement. And movement for me means life. Dance is what moves me from inside.
Are you a born dancer or have you been taught dancing?
Ever since the time I was born. The very moment I got to know the meaning of dance.... I wanted to dance. Dancing is an inner world. It's an ‘anatrang’.
Are you a born dancer or have you learnt dancing?
I am a born dancer. Nature is very inspiring when it comes to dance.
When did you first realize that you know you can dance?
The moment I was born... I knew that I was born to dance (smiles).
Can you recall your first ever dance performance?
My mother used to take me to the ladies’ sangeet. Even though I was not good at academics. Dancing became a shield of sorts for me to prove my talent and existence to the world.
And which was your first on-stage dance performance?
I must have been in my fifth standard, when I had performed my first ever dance in my school.
Also Read: International Dance Day: Remo Dsouza all set to grace 'Grand Premiere' of 'India's Best Dancer' (Season 3)
You must have surely got the first prize that time?
No! I haven't won even a single prize in dancing t ill the time I got selected in ‘Dance India Dance’! They never understood my dance form, even in my school. The slow-motion dance style was a bit unheard of at that time. Maybe, that’s why it was pretty new to all of them, and they never understood the dance form at all. But I got a lot of prizes in sports.
How did your parents react when you told them that you wanted to be a dancer?
They did not react well initially as they wanted me to study for civil services exams or get into the army. But now they are very proud of me and my achievements.
You are an inspiration to many. Who is your inspiration?
Anyone and everyone are my inspiration. I do not have one specific person or personality whom I consider my inspiration. Even a shoemaker gives me lots of ‘gyaan’, I get inspired by him also. Even the tourist guide lands up giving us lots of gyaan, which, we, otherwise can never find such gyaan. Anybody who has something to offer is my inspiration.
Which has been your toughest dance that you have done till date?
My most toughest dance that I have done till date is the one that is the most easiest to look.
Which has been the toughest dance that you have ever seen?
There was a close friend of mine in college named Saurabh Benjwal, who used to miles ahead of me in dancing. Maybe due to my expressions and a bit of destiny, I became famous. Saurabh, suddenly vanished out of the scene. I tried to persuade him to get back to dancing, but, it was of no use.
How many dance forms do you know?
I am well versed with the dance forms of slow motion, hip-hop and animation. These days, I am majorly into acting. In a way, dancing has taken a backseat of late.
So, what's your advice to the readers and the future dancers on the occasion of ‘International Dance Day’?
In today’s world, anything can be taken as a career. Let me tell all the young ones... If you are passionate about dancing, do understand one thing, that there are no shortcuts to success. These 20-second reels are fine, but, in the long run, it's only your craft which will help you. That’s why please do work on your craft.
Now you are a dancer and an actor.... Do you think that actors make for good dancers or dancers make for good actors?
I feel that good dancers can make good actors.
What are your future projects?
I am doing two projects with Guneet Monga. But I cannot reveal the name. All that I can say is that these two are full-on commercial feature films. I play the main lead in both the films. There’s one film with Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment. It's called ‘Yudhra’. Since I have signed an NDA (Non –Disclosure Agreement). It’s a proper theatrical release.