By Roneeshma Shrestha
Photos by Satyan Shrestha
Nepal had already been dazzled by the entrancing singers after Nepal Idol, and now Nepal has surely leveled-up by leaps and bounds with the first-ever dance reality show of international franchise, Boogie Woogie.
The endowed souls yearning for a platform could be seen from the number of contestants that had taken part. Among the 3000 participants from all around Nepal, 50 of them were invited to Kathmandu from the first round. After all the performances and elimination rounds, Kabita Nepali snared the title award for first ever ‘Boogie Woogie’ dance show during grand finale on August 4, followed by the first runner-up Pragati Pun and Second runner-Up Saroj Moktan.
Kabita Nepali, the winner of Boogie Woogie
The 18-year-old Kabita Nepali from Sarlahi has won millions of hearts with her twist and turns, expressions, and urge for dance. Her performance was so jubilant and intoxicating in its perfection that she bagged away the winning title. Always keen to take challenges, Nepali had been exploring herself during her childhood and now after she set fireworks on the competition, realized how dancing was made her.
How did it all start?
I’ve always loved dancing but I wasn’t sure what I was passionate about. My college had just started, and I somehow managed to convince my mom that I’d go to the audition instead of college. Actually, I never thought of winning or even imagined I’d come this far. I always knew I’d give my best, and my main purpose was gaining experience. I would give my 100 percent but then feel like I’d be eliminated for sure. Getting through all the levels and elimination; it still feels surreal to face the fact that I’ve actually won.
Dancing for you?
Pouring out your inner feeling
Best moments at Boogie Woogie
Well, every day was a new lesson for me as our coach, Prashant Tamang, would motivate us to try out a variety of new forms which would spice up the zeal that we had. Getting tagged as the performer of the day was immensely blissful. Especially the performance where I’d done the Waltz, which was a totally new thing for me, was one of the best moments. Being highly appreciated for something I had never done before which was truly unforgettable.
Fact audiences don’t know about you
I’m very athletic and I love all types of sport, I’d just fall it. I’ve been playing basketball and table tennis for a long time, and I think being active in it has helped me a lot in context to my flexibility and stamina. Apart from that, I’m also a guitarist and a big time foodie. Coming here, I had a very varied diet as we had to maintain our bodies. We’d sneak in ramen and make chatpateys at night.
For now, I have a one-year contract with ‘Boogie Woogie’; so, I’ll be busy with world tours and the team itself. Well, I had always dreamt of being an army since childhood; so, if I can I’ll be willing to fulfill that dream too. Along with that, I’ll be continuing my studies which I’ve taken a gap to be in this show.
“During my childhood, I’d look at the plane flying above the sky and dream of being able to attain at least a medal in an international game. But you never know where life takes you, and I guess I tilted towards my passion for dance.” —Kabita Nepali
Bubbly and entrancingly sensual, Pragati Pun has secured the position of 1st runner-up with her tantalizing hip-hop moves. The 22-year-old, who came all the way from Tanahu, surely has a long way to go!
How did it all start?
Since childhood, I’d be in front of the TV watching every dance videos, and I don’t know why I’d feel like I could dance like that or even do better. Then I’d dance without looking at the video and create my own moves. I remember being starstruck looking at Shakira and that fire inside me to dance amplified. I started practicing every move taught by famous YouTubers like Matt Steffanina and Jojo Gomez. I believed in myself after I took part in some local program in my hometown where I was awarded an award for securing the second position. Since there wasn’t a huge platform like this before, I would think of going to India for DID and other reality shows as well.
“The world is full of hardships in every sector you go and when you’re not that financially strong it’s even more challenging. I used to save up Rs.20 for dance which I’d be given for my lunch. Getting selected was a huge opportunity that did come with a lot of challenges which I think each and every participant overcame.”—Pragati Pun
Saroj Moktan is a 24-year old passionate dancer from Kavre whose allegiance, moves and endearing personality made him ensnare the position of 2nd runner-up.
How did it all begin?
Every time I’d listen to music, I’d feel pleased, and I don’t know how I’d always catch up to the rhythm since childhood. Gradually, we’d dance in deuso-bhailo programs in Dashain Tihar. I’ll never forget my first Guru, Mr. Santosh Gurung, who used to teach us so many forms like jhyaure, dohori where my virtuosity swiftly became apparent.
Facts people don’t know about you
I get emotional quite soon. A lot of my friends would mock me saying how I was ‘too emotional’ being a guy, but I feel it doesn’t matter what gender you are when it comes to emotions. Other than that, I love to play guitar and sing.
“I have seen and been in the struggles most passionate dancers face in their journey; family pressure, people saying there’s no scope in dance and what not? There’s a long way full of complications we need to go through in this path. So, I want to keep on going on and be someone influential”.—Saroj Moktan
The show was directed by Aleen Shrestha and was judged by a panel, including actress Priyanka Karki, Dilip Rayamajhi, and dance choreographer Kabiraj Gahatraj.