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'I danced for the first time on Jhalak'

By Rajul Hegde
January 06, 2011 15:16 IST
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Boxer Akhil Kumar proved that he wasn't as good on the dance floor, as he got evicted from Jhalak Dikkhlaa Jaa 4. He tried his best to survive with his sweet smile and wit but that obviously didn't help for long.

He talks to Rajul Hegde about his experience on the reality dance show.

How was your experience on Jhalak?

It was a wonderful experience to learn and perform on a reality show. Jhalak is my first reality show. This is the first time I've danced.

After the boxing tournaments, we normally go to clubs or discotheques. But I've never even danced then. All my juniors love to dance and I enjoy watching them. I usually take care of their mobile phones at that time (smiles).

You say you have never danced in your life. So why did you agree to come on this show?

I agreed because I was free and didn't have any tournaments coming up.

The channel also told me that the format was such that even a non-dancer could learn to dance on the show. I thought I should try. Plus, my team members and family also encouraged me to take part in it.

How did they react when they saw you dance?

They were surprised to see me dance and were very excited to see me in a different getup. 

Was it difficult dancing?

I don't think boxers have difficulty in dancing. But matching the expressions with the steps is tough. We would practice for four-five hours a day for five days a week, just for a three-minute performance.

Earlier I would pass comment on albums or movies without thinking twice. Now I know how much hard work goes in the making.

I have been boxing for the last 15 years. But the 'dancing' inside the ring is different from what I have been doing in Jhalak.

In sports, we are used to following a strict time table. But it's not the same in the entertainment industry. That is one thing I've learnt about this industry (smiles).

Which was your toughest performance?

Quick Gun Murugan was the toughest performance because I had to lift up my partner Sneha on one shoulder and use her like a gun, and dance with proper synchronisation. I got a swelling on my left shoulder after the performance. But I got good comments from the judges.

Did you feel bad about your elimination?

No. I am boxer, not a dancer, so why should I feel bad? All the contestants are from the industry except me.

Would you like to take part in more reality shows?

If I have time, why not? Now I have learnt some dance but I can't sing to save my life! (chuckles). I am only qualified to judge a boxing competition.

How were the judges?

Madhuri Dixit, Maliaka Arora and Remo D'Souza were motivating and never made any comments that would hurt the contestants. I only missed doing Quick Gun Murugan with Malaika (Akhil had wanted to lift her up, and use her like a gun but Malaika declined as she was wearing a short dress).

There was healthy competition among the contestants. Everyone would come and cheer the others.

What have you been doing after the elimination?

I am back to what I am good at. I am now preparing for National Boxing camp on January 8 in Patiala.

Now if you watch me in any of the tournaments, you will find me doing a little jig inside the ring (laughs).

My coach is aware that I have to go for wild card rehearsals and is very supportive. Now I want to do really well for my partner Sneha because she is very sweet and hard working. Plus, I want more and more boxers and athletes to participate in reality shows and get noticed (smiles).

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Rajul Hegde in Mumbai