It was when Dipesh Verma saw ballet dancer Sophia Lucia perform on the show, Dance Moms that he started exploring this dance form. In 2012, when he was 13-years-old, he was sure that he wanted to pursue a career in ballet. But, his parents had other plans for him. His dad often told Dipesh, "These dreams are not for the middle class." However, nothing stopped him from following his passion.
Today, as a male ballet dancer, Dipesh is a rarity - and in India, it takes courage to choose this path. The journey to follow his passion hasn't been an easy one for this 18-year-old dancer, who belongs to Siliguri, West Bengal.
This super-talented Bengali boy shared his story in an interview with a leading news channel. He shared how from a young age he was fascinated with the dance form and he would always try to replicate the dancers on TV. When he was nine, his sister saw his interest in dance and took him to a dance academy nearby. However, to go to the academy, he lied to his parents and said that he was going for Maths tuition.
Even though his parents, especially his father wasn't in favour of his choice, he continued to practice. Sometimes when his parents were asleep and other times, in an empty park. He said, "I couldn’t practice at home because my father would get angry. He would scream at me."
At the age of 15, Dipesh was accepted to Imperial Fernando Ballet Company. After that, his parents became more accepting of his career choice. Speaking about his struggle, Dipesh said, "In the beginning, it was very hard. I didn’t know anyone in Bombay. I wasn’t getting any jobs because I was underage. I couldn’t afford to stay in PGs because they were too expensive. I used to stay with friends when I could. I even slept on platforms on occasions. But I was still happy because I got to dance."
With time, Dipesh started making connections and attracting people's attention towards his spectacular dance moves. His aim is to represent India in the world of ballet. He even got scholarships from six esteemed institutes - Maryland Youth Ballet, Nashville Classical Ballet Academy, Ballet Academy East, CPYB Men’s Programme, Australian Ballet School, Berkeley Ballet Theater and Houston Ballet Academy. Even though the scholarships didn't cover all his expenses, it was still a big achievement for him.
Dipesh wants to go abroad to learn advanced ballet techniques but he isn't in favour of settling there. "I want to come back to India and be a part of spreading awareness of the ballet world. Above all, I just want to keep dancing," he said
Dipesh is an inspiration to anyone with extraordinary dreams that break stereotypes. He isn't far from making his mark in the world of dance and we can't wait to see more of his talent!
More power to you Dipesh. We're here, cheering for you!
Featured Image Source: Instagram
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