This Dance+ winner has many + + + beyond Dance! - The Story of Jalgaon boy Tanay Malhara
Dr. Nalini Malhara
11 February 2002
Proudly says ‘imd1’ for
Contemporary Dance, Dance
Dancer, Yoga champion, Malkhamb pro, and more! At an age when kids hardly personify in one thing, this teenager with Midas touch dons varies hats! Tanay Malhara, the youngest winner of Dance+ 2, is hardworking and dedicated for his passion. May be when teachers taught ‘Jack of all trades and master of none”, Tanay took it differently and told himself, “I would be Jack of all trades and Master of ONE”!
We are really keen to know, how did your journey begin?
My dance journey began when I was a toddler. My parents encouraged me to learn dance as a kid. Since I was a hyperactive child, running and playing around they thought of taming my energy into an art form. I was born into a family engaged in different forms of art. My father deals in business revolving arts, my mother is a teacher. Our family home is a farmhouse with lots of trees around, so I would jump and hop around them, to escape yellings of my mother! I would climb up the trees and hide. My parents feared accident possibilities because of this tree climbing adventure, and hence sent me to different activity classes. I learnt malkhamb, dance, drawing and various other things owing to my parents. Amidst learning so many things, my fondness for dance developed and eventually I was clear that I wanted to set my foot as a dancer.
Then Dance India Dance - DID happened. It really was a turning point because I was introduced to a whole new world of dance. New dance forms, techniques etc! I was thrilled with so much to learn and the things coming my way. That gave me a boost and the zest to work even harder to become a better dancer.
Quote for Life
“I always measure my confidence in hard work”
Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam
Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam
Food I love
Food I hate
Had I not been a dancer then
A sports person. I like to play football, basketball and cricket. Would become a footballer, if not a dancer!
Like Vacations at
My house, since most of the times I am travelling. I would like to travel across the world but I would prefer coming back home for vacations.
Favorite Pass time
Watching movies, listening music. I am a Bollywood fanatic and writing.
“sapne woh nahi hote jo tum sote hue dekhte ho, par woh jo tumhe sone nahi dete”
Favorite Movies / Series
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Favorite Actor / Actress
Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shruti Hassan
What’s your success mantra?
Hard work for sure and I feel, not being trapped to my comfort zone. I was lucky to have a hand at plethora of things that I grasped since childhood. That really worked for me. Because when I had a knack of so many other things being offered to me, I could choose my forte and hence it worked for me.
What were the hardships / hurdles you encountered and the way you overcame in your journey?
When I began dancing, I was too naive to know the dance forms and even their names. I faced a lot of rejections as a dancer while auditioning for various shows and events. I got lucky with DID and it was in that show, when I realised that my dance form is contemporary. The rejections came to me at a tender age when most kids are enjoying their school life and childhood. These incidents put me in a cusp for some time but then I just kept moving by continuous learning.
Success is incomplete without its share of failures. How should one overcome them to move on?
One should never fear failures and escape from them. Running away from failure will only add to the agony of piling up the heap of not being able to succeed. Yes, at one point, where I was facing so many rejections, all my efforts seemed to go in vain. I was really frustrated giving the auditions and felt there was no point in trying. But amidst that phase, I got an opportunity to perform on a platform as grand as Dance India Dance (DID). And all my trials and errors made perfect sense then. I realised destiny was taking trials just because something huge was in store for me! You keep on trying and trying until the best matches with your efforts. That is the foremost tested and approved remedial to overcome failures.
Do you think Dancing and its learning’s can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career goal?
Dance is an expressive art form. It helps people emote and pour out their feelings. It is rejuvenating and therapeutic. Being a dancer, dancing is like worship for me. Whether happy, sad, angry or frustrated, I just lock myself in a room and dance. Because music and dance are the two most powerful and optimistic sources of energies which take away the negativity and enlighten you from within. Doesn’t matter if you are a pro at it or not, dancing helps to regain the balance of life!
Who has been your influencer in this journey & how?
The key sources of influence on me have been my mother and my mentors - Mr. Akhil Tilakpure and Dr Anita Patil. Under his training, I evolved as a dancer and am able to witness so much glory at this age. He helped me nurture contemporary dance form and has stood through all thick and thin as a firm support.
Which was “that” moment when you considered yourself as “I am the 1”?
To me, audience appreciation makes me feel ‘Yes, I Am The 1’!! My ‘imd1’ moment is not just winning the Dance+ 2 trophy, but all those appreciation moments over the years after many of my performances. [Blushes with a smile].
Did you get any formal training and how was that journey?
Formal training began when I started training for DID. It was a new environment where we had assistance in learning different dance forms. The entire team of choreographers were very helpful. The same regimen was followed for Dance+ 2 too. Our appointed mentors along with their team of assistant choreographers would help us. And it’s the same team of choreographers that work in most of the dance reality shows.
So the familiarity of dancers helped in bonding, which in turn helped me learn better. My main choreographers were Mr Rahul, Mr Paul, Mr Lipsa and Ashu bhaiya. I learnt a lot from them during Dance+ 2. It was a team effort as they would choreograph the act and I would instill my yoga postures to accentuate the performance. Together we would all assemble different aspects of the performance.
I was part of Team Dharmesh, which I am really grateful to. Each team member really helped me enhance my personality and my dance moves. Right from the concepts to the creative team, everybody on sets was really helpful.
Could you reflect on the importance of systematic training in Dancing?
Coming from a small town Jalgaon, I lacked the methods and techniques used in contemporary dance. As I mentioned earlier, before I participated in DID, I didn"t even know the name of my dance style. I was too raw to know the technical jargons of contemporary. These days there are many dance coaching centres which introduce varied dance forms across the globe and help the dancers identify their forte. I never really got that. For us back there in Jalgaon, abiding the dance teacher and following his steps and matching his/her choreography was the process. Been in both the environments, I can confidently say that having a functional and systematic training in dance is important as it eliminates the issues of being naive and helps in polishing the art.
What are the pre-coaching essentials e.g. Right age, mindset or any other?
The only thing essential is to have a passion for dancing. That is primary, rest all comes secondary.. They say that some people are born dancers. But I believe dancers are made out of passion and dedication.
Technology and scientific training has been changing the way people get trained in Dancing. What’s your take?
I am not that tech savy. But, technology has been a bliss and a game changer today. As there are so many people who have learnt dance by simply watching videos on YouTube and picked up the dance forms in a jiffy! It is quite amazing to see the change in people"s approach towards dancing. Today, most of us have access to Internet which makes getting information really easy.
How can one select an ideal ‘Guru’ for getting formal training for Dancing?
The relationship of a Guru and Shishya is of give and take. In other words, if I am ready to learn, naturally my guru will offer me with his experience and help me reach the niche. There is no eligibility criteria for an ideal guru. Both the teacher and learner walk hand in hand in the journey, and it is applicable in all arenas. I consider myself to be lucky that right from the beginning, when I was training for dance and yoga. My mentors have been gracious enough to help me imbibe the knack of both these art forms. I am fortunate that way!
What according to you, can be a scope for improvement in training for Dancing in India?
The scope of improvement can be in the knowledge element of the aspiring dancers. Like I said, in Jalgaon I wasn’t equipped with the methods and technical aspects of dance which was fulfilled here while participating for DID and Dance+ 2.
Hence, knowledge gaps needs to be bridged, because in India we have potential talents who are in a topsy turvy realm of training. That really needs to improve.
In your opinion, what are the basic key traits apart from formal training that make “imd1”?
The passion to cross all hurdles and not give up on your dreams. Also, to be able to walk with grace and hit the bull’s eye and believe in yourself that you can achieve it, I think that zing sets apart the person from others and then the person can proudly call himself “Yes I am the 1!”
Your piece of advice to parents and new generation especially when some people are skeptical about career in extra curriculum.
I think these days parents aren"t that skeptical about their child"s career in any field. There is a wave of change that is flooding the mindsets of parents and they are progressive and feel confident of their child"s decision on their careers. And for the new generation, only remember to give in your 100 % dedication and embrace your talent. That is essential.
One thing which you feel you want to change from the past while you walk down memory lane…
I was always considered the second best in dancing, and it always pricked me as a child. So the guilt and sorrow of not being able to stand the first best at dancing, even after putting in so much of hard work and efforts, I think I would want to erase that memory.
Yet, at least today, if not the best, I am better than my previous version of dancer and I feel contented.
How can one identify and encourage talent in the family?
Every child should at least once try his hand at as many things as he can. Exploring different things like Music, Art, Dance and Sports, all that a child could get a grasp on. That will help the child identify his liking and help him venture into that field. That will help the child as well as his family to know things better for the future.
Any other thoughts you want to share?
Having explored many dance tactics, it"s now a dream for me to someday appear on the big screen. I wish to be an actor! [Team imd1 wished him the best!!]