Ballet is still not a popular form of dance chosen by men. Dipesh Verma wants to be the person who makes ballet popular among Indian men.
Siliguri: Dipesh Verma is one of India's most sought after ballet dancer, who mastered the game by watching it online and on television. Here is how he is striving to put India on world ballet map.
Dipesh was born and brought up in Siliguri, West Bengal. He was nine when his sister took him to a dance academy, where he learnt the dance moves formally. Though he was good in dancing, his parents would not have allowed it if they had known. So, both Dipesh and his sister told them that they were going for mathematics tuitions, while they practiced dance.
But it was when Dipesh was 13, he found his true calling. He saw Sophia Lucia on Dance Moms do a ballet variation on YouTube. In 2012 Dipesh decided what he wanted in life.
This was not good news for his parents and they did not let him practice at home. He would be screamed at most often. He then chose to practice at night, when everyone was asleep.
His parents were angry because they thought he cannot have a successful future with this form of dancing and wanted their son to pursue something that will make his future secure.
Dipesh's first success came when he got admission into Imperial Fernando Ballet Company, when he was 15. It was the first time his parents let him go after accepting that he will pursue dance professionally.
But he started facing real challenge at the age of 16 as he did not get any job. Staying in PGs was also difficult as he did not have enough money. When he did not have any friend's place to sleep, he spent the nights on platforms.
His main challenge was that men in India have not taken ballet as a popular form of dancing yet. Thus Dipesh is making waves in foreign troupes as they do not have Indian males opting to join the ballet groups.
Dipesh is currently with Danceworx in Mumbai and trains under Israeli American teacher, Yehuda Maor.
Dipesh won six ballet scholarships - Maryland Youth Ballet, Nashville Classical Ballet Academy, Ballet Academy East, CPYB Men's Programme, Australian Ballet School, Berkeley Ballet Theater and Houston Ballet Academy and here is when he started believing in the fact that success was not far.
Last Updated 5:47 PM IST