Oman-India team wins US dance competition
May 7, 2019 | 8:38 PM
by Times News Service
Kings United Dance Academy, which has studios in both India and Oman, sent a 14-member troupe to the US, where they won the hearts of judges Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo and Derek Hough.

Muscat:A team of dancers with representatives and instructors from both India and Oman posted a perfect score as they won the finale of the NBC World of Dance competition.

Kings United, which has studios in both India and Oman, sent a 14-member troupe to the US, where their amazing performances ended up winning the hearts of judges Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo and Derek Hough.

Giving full credit to Suresh Mukund, the founder of the Kings United Dance Academy in Oman, Tejas Gupta said: “We are very proud of the academy which is growing every year.”

The group was founded in 2008 that blends of vigorous dance moves and acrobatic flips. The group rose to fame when they emerged as winners of India's Got Talent season 3 in 2011. They also won a bronze medal at World Hip-Hop Dance Championship in 2015.

“This is the one of the world’s biggest dance championship that happens in the US every year. We forayed into the competition this year,” Tejas added. “The team had different levels to perform in, and each level requires you to perform a different act, so we had about four or five completely different acts to perform.”

Winning the NBC World of Dance competition meant the Kings United team was also awarded a prize money of a million dollars (about OMR 385,000).

For the finale, Kings United decided to perform an east-meets-west number that featured hip-hop beats fused with Bollywood numbers. So impressed were the judges by what was performed in front of them that they gave Kings United a perfect score, a feat that makes Tejas very proud.

“Everyone is actually happy that we have been placed on the dance map,” she said. “People already know India as a country with a rich dance culture, and it has already been on the dancing map, but to perform a hip-hop Bollywood number in the birthplace of hip-hop is something that has not been done before, and to get a perfect hundred on an American show in front of an American audience is just amazing. This has never happened.

“All our acts have Bollywood music in it,” added Tejas. “The team don’t just use one track. The team has a lot of editing work. We put in a lot of lyrics, tunes, beats and tones, as well as a hip-hop music, to merge this into one track. We are still digesting the fact that we have won it. Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, AR Rahman and Vicky Kaushal have been sharing our success, so we are just basking in the glory and trying to digest what is happening to us right now.”

Preparation for this tournament began about six months ago, in the wake of success at the World Hip-Hop Championships, where Kings United won third position overall.

“The team under leadership of Suresh Mukund actually planned this participation, because before this also, we won bronze at the World Hip Hop Championship and were hungry for success,” said Tejas.

Having now tasted success on the world stage, Kings United also had some advice to give to aspiring contestants who entered reality competition shows.

She said: “If you want to get into a competition, there will always be someone who is going to be better than you. If you keep that in your mind, you will be able to cope with defeat in a very simple way. If you lose a competition, then remember that this is a stepping stone to future success.”

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