Kolkata/Mumbai: A teenager from the Siliguri district of Bengal is doing his best to raise funds that could help him pursue his dream of dancing in America.
Dipesh Verma, the 18-year-old self-taught ballet dancer, is the son of a grocer and has been offered places at some of the prestigious ballet academies in America like – Ballet Academy East (New York), Berkeley Ballet Theater ( California), Maryland Youth Ballet (Maryland), Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (Pennsylvania), and Nashville Classical Ballet Academy (Nashville). But the lack of funds seems to be skipping school for this teenager, whose trip from Siliguri to Mumbai can easily be called a miraculous journey.
From Siliguri to Mumbai
Talk to eNewsroom he said, “I come from a low-income family. My father owns a grocery store and my mother is a housewife. I was not encouraged when I started to get interested in dance, nor ballet, a form of dance that is not very popular in India. So, I had to face a lot of resistance at home. But with every obstacle I encountered, my determination to become a ballet dancer only grew stronger.
He then added, “Back then, dreaming of becoming a trained ballet dancer was a distant dream. I was a student in a public school, my father having few resources to finance the education of our three brothers and sisters. My determination to become a trained dancer often earned me the ire of my father. Until now, he thinks that I should have studied and not danced.
Watch Dipesh Verma, the dancer in action:
Tutored ballet dancer on YouTube
When asked why he chose ballet. He explained: “There is less competition here. Most boys like hip-hop or other forms of dance, so ballet was a good fit for me. He then explained, “My financial constraint always prevents me from hiring a personal trainer. So, I relied heavily on YouTube tutorials. You could say Californian ballet dancer Sophia Lucia was my spirit trainer. Her YouTube tutorial got me where I am today. »
After completing his studies, Dipesh got a scholarship at The DanceWorx Mumbai so he moved to Mumbai. But convincing his parents was a difficult task. “My elder sister and my brother have been very supportive to me and are very happy that I pursue my dream. They convinced my parents. Until now, my sister sends me half of her salary (INR 4000) every month.
Has talent but no finances
According to this young boy, who did his best to achieve his dream of being a ballet dancer in a major ballet company, his dreams would not have come true if he had not been spotted by his mentor – Yeduha Maor, DanceWorx’s ballet master. “Yeduha sir has been instrumental in not only training me in ballet but also motivating me to apply for various scholarships available to a ballet dancer. The result you can see for yourself. I was selected in five ballet academies, with a full scholarship. All I have to bear are travel and accommodation costs. But unfortunately, the lack of funds is cutting my wings.
He explains this before him; two of his DanceWorx bandmates had managed to garner immense support from the audience. “Unlike me, the crowdfunding campaign of my former batch mates had received a lot of support. Today, they are trained in the best ballet academies in the world.
Lack of funds to cut short his trip
Dipesh dreamed of joining Ballet Academy East ((NY) but has to check another option. “I feel a bit helpless. I got a full scholarship at BAE (NY) but I don’t consider it a cost of the life. in New York is very high and I don’t have the funds. So we are considering the Nashville Classical Ballet Academy.” He then added, “My crowdfunding campaign which is about to end in a few days n I don’t have a lot of supporters, I even asked them to extend my campaign and hope to get an extension, but I suspect the lack of popularity and information about the ballet could be a deterrent.