Can you dance to Bollywood beats after losing your left leg to an accident?
Can you perform Bharatanatyam for 2 hours continuously?
What makes you reach the Grand finale of India’s finest Dance shows?
How can you invite these exceptional dancers to your functions?
If you think any disability can stop someone from dreaming, you are wrong. If you think hearing impairment can stop them from listening to the rhythm of their dreams, you are wrong. If you think amputation can stop them from walking towards their goal, then you are wrong. If you think visual hurdles will stop them from seeing their path, then you are wrong
Atypical Advantage is home for all the talented people out there. It is the place where you will find talent in all possible categories; we have the best set of talent from all over the country. They are living their life to the fullest and we can learn a lot from them. One of the most creative and beautiful talent categories we have is Dance. There is a very popular quote that says, ‘Dance is a hidden language of the soul and every soul can easily connect to it.’ We bring out three such beautiful souls to you whose confidence and enthusiasm can enlighten any event or place. Let’s meet them!
Swaroop Janardhanan (The dancing warrior)
Amputation worked as fuel for the dreams of Swaroop Janardhanan (aged 29) who lost his left leg after an accident on 8 February this year. Swaroop, however, who is a dancer and model is determined to make the best out of his life. After the trauma, he didn’t lose faith and overcame his fears and built opportunities for himself. He has his dance studio where he teaches dance. And has a vast experience of 15 years in the dance field, where he has learnt different dance forms such as- Cinematic Western, Bollywood, Duppan, and Filmy.
Besides dancing, he has done MBA from Angamaly Institute, the list his talents goes on as he is into modeling and also a health enthusiast as bodybuilding is one of his hobbies. His work and faith are appreciable and he proves that you can win over any problem in life, if you have faith in yourself.
Swaroop expressed that when he met with the accident, he lost his faith at that moment and it brought a drastic change in his life.
Those were the days when he realized that there were no good hospitals at Wayanad. So he was taken to Kozhikode with the hope of getting better treatment. The real tragedy began from the hospital there.
He spent many days on the ventilator and doctors who treated him told his family that he is going to get better. Meanwhile, his leg was getting infected and he could see the fungus and bacteria developing right in front of his eyes! When they asked, the doctors said it was healing.
He was shifted to a hospital in Coimbatore and the doctors there were shocked to see his leg. That is when they told him that he will have to amputate his leg because the infection has spread beyond control. If timely treatment was provided, things would have been different. Even today, he feels disheartened that he lost his left limb due to the negligence of so-called medical professionals.
His doctor said that many amputees live normal lives, do extraordinary things. All that helped him come out of his depression and shock. After accepting this tragedy, he started his modelling and dancing career again. He slowly started walking with crutches. Then he started dancing gradually with his walker.
He opened a dance studio a few years back, named ‘Rhythm Wayne Dance Crew’. His crew has performed at different venues. Recently, he also started a YouTube channel where he teaches different forms of dance with one leg. He understands this thing pretty well that the path he has chosen is not simple and he has to work hard to achieve it. With the full support of his family, he is ready to conquer his dreams. He is also looking forward to an artificial leg implant and his career in dancing. And he says, “Amputation is not the end of life, it is just the beginning.”
Invite Swaroop to inspire your Audience here.
Divya Shankar (The reigning queen of classical dance)
At a young age of 8, what most of us think about is what to play, how to bunk school. But this girl had started preparing for her dance career and started her professional training and had performed in many shows. With 8 years of experience this 16-year-old girl, Divya Shankar from Ernakulam, Kerala has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. But that did not stop her from chasing her dreams of becoming a dancer. Divya has performed at over 30 venues. Her biggest support system is her family who ensures that Divya follows her dreams.
She was born as a premature baby and had many health complications at the time of birth. After a few months, she was diagnosed with Down syndrome and that shattered her parents Rajeswari and Sankaranarayanan. But they were not ready to give up. They looked out for the best therapies for their daughter. That is when Divya’s doctor suggested the family to introduce her to art, especially dance. Divya is currently studying in class 10 at a government school. According to her doctor, that was the best way to train her to live in an inclusive society. “Being in an inclusive school has helped her a lot. The teachers and her classmates are very supportive of her and she has been studying there for the past nine years. It is a government rule that a disabled child must be admitted in regular schools,” says Divya’s mother.
Divya is trained in classical dance forms including Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, and Mohiniyttam. She is undergoing training at Amritavani dance school under the guidance of her teacher – Seema Kannan. Rajeswari has ensured that she stays at home with Divya to make sure that her daughter gets nothing but the best. “We have ensured that she lives like a normal child. We have never kept her aside. She loves to spend time with people and we all go together for social gatherings too.”
Divya’s mother says that during her early years, Divya could not express herself at all. In fact, she did not have any facial expressions. That is when her doctor told us to introduce her to dance so that she can learn expressions. Dance worked like magic on Divya. She started expressing better and overall, dance has done many wonders. We would suggest dance therapy to all children with disabilities.
Divya’s biggest supporter is her brother Sarath. who recently completed his engineering course. A trained singer, Sarath performs with her sister at various venues. “Since childhood, I used to sing to her and she dances beautifully to my tunes. I noticed that Divya was passionate about dance from a very young age. As a brother, I wanted to support her throughout,” says Sarath.
Currently, she holds the Record Titled GIRL WITH DOWN SYNDROME PERFORMING BHARATNATYAM for 2 hours straight on December 23rd, 2018 in India Book of Records.
Invite the mesmerizing Divya to your event & see for yourself the magic here.
Vinod Thakur (The television sensation)
We have another very talented dancer, motivational speaker born with amputee’s legs, his both legs don’t work at all, but his confidence and way of looking at life overshadow his disability. Vinod Thakur motivates others with his dance and his inspiring words. He is an experienced dancer and has gained a lot of fame with his appearance and rock performances on India’s Got Talent Season 2 and he was one of the finalists of that season that aired on Colors TV in 2010. He was also runner up of Nach Baliye Season 6, which aired on Starplus in 2014. Besides all of this, he is into bodybuilding and a health enthusiast.
He decided to help others who are facing problems like him by motivating them; he believes that no disability can stop you from achieving your dreams, you just have to be confident, passionate, and crazy enough to chase your dreams. He did everything to help himself first and then be in a position where he can help others, because he believes that God helps those who help themselves.
Confused on inviting Vinod for a motivational session or Dancing? You could do both here.
These are just glimpses into the lives of many talented artists on our platform; the bucket is full of such performers. We have talent from all corners of the country. Hire these extremely talented dancers here to brighten up your events or to learn the art of dance yourself.
Their talent is bigger than their disability, and their identity isn’t restricted to that one aspect. They have dreams and their lives are a lesson in how to be fearless and go after what your heart desires.
Atypical Advantage is Planet’s first Talent platform for People with Disabilities. Explore our website to hire diverse talent, shop for productsmade by people with disabilities, browse through exquisitely curated art. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, read more about us on our blog, sign up for mentorship, volunteer with us or feel free to contribute here.
Until next time,
Your Atypical Buddy!