Winners of the finale of the 37th edition of the annual Dance Pe Chance solo dance competition 2021, organized by the Federation of Indian Associations NY NJ CT, were announced on February 23. They were selected from across four categories of participants—minor, junior, senior and adult. The event, part of the 72nd Indian Republic Day celebration, was organized over a span of two weekends. The auditions were held on February 13 and 14, while the finals were on February 20 and 21.
Started nearly four decades ago, DPC has had approximately 20,000 participants till now, who have showcased their Bollywood dancing skills. This time, the event was organized virtually due to the pandemic, but the excitement within the community was intact. Thanks to the efforts of the entire team and the enthusiasm of the participants, DPC 2021, also America’s Best Bollywood Dancer, became the biggest online reality show in America in Covid times.
The contest started out with 200 participants in the auditions, of which 26 were selected for the finale. Celebrity judges for the final round were well-known Indian actress and dancer Sudha Chandran, South Indian actress and Kuchipudi dancer Laya Gorty and Bollywood choreographer Feroz Khan. Expert judges included choreographers and dancers Swati Vaishnav, Prashasti Majmundar and Anil Diwakar.
Rayan Siddamsettiwar was adjudged the best in the minor category, followed by Nayan Nampally and Dhilan Shetty at the second and third positions
In the junior category, Ria Jain bagged the first prize, while Arya Prasad and Simone Shah took home the second and third prizes respectively. Ria was also adjudged America’s Best Bollywood Dancer.
Keshav Agiwal was ranked first in the senior category. Diya Bhatt was at the second and Riya Chaturvedi at the third place in the same category.
Among the adult participants, Shreya Baral got the first prize, with Kiran Kumar Jandhyala at the second and Carol Chettiar at the third place.
Wait begins for next edition
Applications for the next edition of DPC will begin on October 1 this year, FIA NY NJ CT president Anil Bansal announced. On the recently concluded event, he said, “We are proud of our team for putting together such a wonderful program and of all the children and their parents who have worked hard on their performances. FIA is committed to promoting and encouraging our next-generation children, artists and performers, while promoting our culture and to reinforce our commitment, we are increasing the first prize from $2,000 to 5,000 for next year.”
Ankur Vaidya, Chairman of FIA NY NJ CT, said, “Dance pe Chance, also America’s Best Bollywood Dancer and FIA’s almost 4-decade-old Republic Day celebration platform, was forced to become virtual due to the pandemic. The contest was held in strict compliance with CDC guidelines and Covid-related mandates. It is indeed a privilege to see a sincerely dedicated and 100% voluntary effort placed to showcase our community’s talent. Congratulations to all the participants for an entertaining competition and kudos to the entire team for the impressive show.”
Expressing gratitude to the team of volunteers who worked tirelessly round the clock, DPC chair 2021 and vice-president of FIA NY NJ CT, Saurin Parikh, said, “The response has been overwhelming and performances were above par. I would like to congratulate all the participants, who are all winners for coming out of their comfort zone and performing so well despite the limitations caused by the pandemic.”
Parveen Bansal, secretary of the federation, said, “We are happy that despite the current pandemic situation and limitations, we continued our 37 years old tradition of celebrating India’s Republic Day with a dance competition in the USA. In these challenging times, we needed to be innovative and improve our plans almost every day.”